Protein is Popping

Take a look at the growth numbers for weight control and nutritional drinks – the domain of protein-ehanced products like Muscle Milk and Slim-Fast and it’s not hard to see why Coca-Cola made a deal for Core Power, the protein-enhanced milk made by Select Milk Producers, Inc. The product allows the company to try to draft off of Muscle Milk’s ongoing growth – despite word the company faced legal and regulatory challenges concerning its use of the word “Milk,” it continued to grow like a fungus last year, topping $250 million in charted channels (to say nothing of up-and-down-the-street accounts, where it has always been strong.) More puzzling, however, is the lack of investment behind Hershey-owned Mix1, which shut its doors in January despite having a strong natural channel footprint. This category nevertheless has fuel to burn.