Protein quality as a Reason-To-Believe
Today, I want to talk about the importance of communicating protein quality to consumers coming back to real dairy.
If your products contain dairy, you should be in favor of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO)’s recommendation to replace PDCAAS with the Digestible Indispensable Amino Acid Score (DIAAS).
Both of these protein scoring methods provide comparisons of protein digestibility, but the current PDCAAS limits dairy’s maximum score. For consumers who prefer dairy over plant-based alternatives, an important reason-to-believe is being shortchanged.
The fact is, sales of dairy grew during the pandemic. When stressed and shut indoors, people were drawn to comfort and nostalgia. Real dairy is what most people grew up with, and provides a sense of security, well- being, and nourishment.
Now that the pandemic is over, most people continue to desire dairy as their primary milk option, but they’re being pulled in other directions. Earlier this year, Blue bottle coffee shops decided the default option in their coffees would be oak milk.
Blue Bottle can do whatever it wants, but for most people it’s a put-off to have to specifically request real milk in your latte when real milk is what is most often preferred.
As far as nutrition is concerned, consumer interest in protein reigns, and when you look at dairy under the DIAAS lens, there is no rival.
So, if you were bragging about being on par with dairy under PDCAAS, (soy and pea are on par with dairy under PDCAAS), this might hit like the year 2005 when the SAT went from 1600 to 2400 – all of a sudden, you’re not the smartest kid in the room. Under DIAAS, instead of everyone getting a high score of 1.0, there’s no cap. So animal proteins, including dairy, soar above plants. For a full explanation, read this by Donna Berry.
(I’m not saying it’s unhealthy to avoid dairy. High protein digestibility of all the essential amino acids can be achieved through combining two or more non-animal proteins to reach daily requirements.)
Consumers are always looking for reasons to support or refute their habits. Since the US still uses PDCAAS, for now it’s up to brands and manufacturers to communicate dairy’s protein superiority.
All my best,