This month we’re celebrating the mighty soybean in all its high quality, plant powered, heart healthy, lean protein glory. It’s because of these health benefits that demand for soy food has increased in recent years. In fact, analysts forecast the global soy food market will grow at a CAGR of more than 6 percent between now and 2020.
Despite its rise in popularity, many myths about soy have cropped up over the years. From raising hormone levels to causing hypothyroidism to having less calcium than cow’s milk. Fortunately, all are untrue (says the Soyfoods Association of North America). But at Label Insight we don’t deal in myths. We deal in data. And lots of it. So we revved up our product data engine and took a look at all the grocery products containing soy (all 48,582 of them to be exact).
With soy consumption on the rise, we were especially curious to know what categories include the greatest number of soy-containing products. Any guesses? If you guessed chocolate bars and confections (1,281), mixed nuts and trail mix (573), or protein and recovery bars (569), then you’d be correct. (And super in the know about soy.)
Given the health benefits of soy, we also wanted to know how the products in these three categories stack up. This is where it can get tricky. Nutritive attributes like “cholesterol free” or “low sodium” may or may not be written on product packaging. Luckily, Label Insight’s technology uses nutrition panel information and its knowledge of FDA regulations to determine an item’s nutritive attributes -- regardless of whether or not a manufacturer includes the claim on its packaging.
Here’s what we learned about the products in the chocolate bars and confections, mixed nuts and trail mix and protein and recovery bars categories:
95 percent of the products qualify as trans fat free
51 percent qualify as cholesterol free
16 percent of the products qualify as as excellent or good source of protein
The takeaway? Many of the soy-containing products in these categories have an opportunity to tout their good-for-you attributes. And if demand for soy increases as expected, brands will want to ensure their products stand out from the competition.
Whether you’re celebrating National Soyfoods Month or not, we’re ready to party with your product data. That’s because at Label Insight we spend our days (and some nights) helping brands and retailers get smart about their product information. Want to learn how?