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Cargill “Protein Profile” finds shrinking, time-strapped U.S. households demand easier meal options that deliver more value at the dinner table

Annual trends report reveals top industry insights, including consumers’ desire for more diverse and globally inspired foods on their menus


 North American consumers need protein solutions that are right-sizedsimpleglobally inspired and affordable. That’s according to the newly published Protein Profile,” an annual report produced by Cargill’s North American Protein business. The comprehensive findings are compiled by Cargill’s Marketing and Insights team, based on their own proprietary research and market intelligence gleaned from working with North America’s top retailers, food manufacturers and restaurants, and from customer and consumer surveys.

In this year’s report, Cargill’s Marketing and Insights team provides a detailed look at the latest protein consumption trends and innovations, as well as future insights and implications for brands, retailers, restaurants, other foodservice providers, as well consumers.

Notable findings from “The Protein Profile” include:

  • Less is More: As the “standard” family size continues to shrink and one-to-two person households gain prominence, the shift means new ways of shopping and an increased demand for smaller packages of protein to avoid food waste and better manage monthly grocery budgets.   
  • Simplify My Life: Convenience reigns supreme and that means more people are reaching for protein and solutions that streamline routines and meal planning. Technological advancements are at the forefront of this continued trend, with new and enhanced capabilities like AI and automation enhancing everything from order processing to fueling custom recipe inspiration.
  • Connecting Cultures and Cuisines: More diverse and globally influenced flavors are on the menu, as consumers - especially Gen Z - seek comfort in the flavors of diverse cultures. This includes mashing up cuisines and influences in new and interesting ways. Global flavor expansion has greatly impacted protein-centric meals and snacks, with culinary chefs and foodservice operators alike creating new food protein experiences and expanding offerings in bold, new ways.
  • Redefining Value: While some are choosing premium items to prepare at home, others are prioritizing value by choosing simpler meals while shopping and dining. This dichotomy reinforces that many are defining protein “value” on their own terms and it’s no longer a one-size-fits-all approach.

“As a fundamental nutrient in our diets, protein’s power to nourish our bodies can’t be overlooked,” said Hans Kabat, President, Cargill’s North American Protein Business. “‘The Protein Profile” leverages our decades of expertise across the North American CPG footprint to identify compelling consumer demands, technology innovations, and proprietary category insights that are shaping protein today and tomorrow. I’m so excited about the potential for our customers and partners to utilize these findings to inform their businesses and create new products and menus and they will debut to consumers.”

To read and download the full “The Protein Profile” report with additional findings visit

About Cargill

Cargill is committed to providing food, ingredients, agricultural solutions, and industrial products to nourish the world in a safe, responsible, and sustainable way. Sitting at the heart of the supply chain, we partner with farmers and customers to source, make and deliver products that are vital for living.

Our 160,000 team members innovate with purpose, providing customers with life’s essentials so businesses can grow, communities prosper, and consumers live well. With 159 years of experience as a family company, we look ahead while remaining true to our values. We put people first. We reach higher. We do the right thing—today and for generations to come. For more information, visit and our News Center.

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