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Whey Protein Powder Prices Will Be Anticipated to Double as A Result of the Supply Chain Crisis, Becoming One of the Worst-Hit Product

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The rising costs of protein powder, a result of the cost-of-living crisis, are impacting bodybuilders and fitness freaks as prices have more than doubled in the duration of twelve months. Bulk Nutrients, a leading online supplement store, cautioned consumers about the effect of global supply chain issues that led to the rise in prices of whey protein, making the situation worse than it has been since 2019, with no hope of recovery in the near future.

A whey protein bag weighing around 1 kg currently stands at a price of USD 43 from Bulk Nutrients and around USD 73 at another retailer, True Protein. The founder of Bulk Nutrients, Ben Crowley, stated the key concern was the astonishing five times increase in shipping costs globally since 2018, which worsened during the pandemic. Whey protein has borne the brutal brunt of raw material price rises as natural whey protein concentrate (WPC), and whey protein isolate (WPI) prices more than doubled within the period of 12 months.

To aggravate the situation, in contrast to baby formula (in which whey protein has a small share of the product), their WPI and WPC products incorporate 94-100 percent of whey protein; hence significant gains equal high price rises in production. The primary matter of concern is that demand is the highest; it's been caused by the effects of COVID – 19 (for example, shutdowns) and other events like droughts leading to a product shortage. Another reason was the lesser availability of cheese.

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Even if there is a decline in droughts and farms attempt to restock, the prices of grain and fertilisers have soared as a result of the Ukraine war; hence their raw material prices are way higher. Therefore, it is clear why some companies are choosing to offer no stock whatsoever, with the ones able to get stock raising their prices significantly.

In a warning by Mr. Crowley, it was mentioned that some supplement companies were switching suppliers but were not communicating the changes (changes in supply and country of origin) to their consumers. Some companies are inevitably using a WPI containing approximately 5 percent carbohydrates; however, their labels have not been updated, so the consumer is not aware of the product that they are consuming.

As prices are anticipated to remain high in 2023, people are barely able to keep up with whey protein prices and could shift to plant alternatives like pea or rice-based powders. While the product prices have risen, the margins are way less consequential than witnessed in the dairy industry. Many people are shifting to a ‘flexitarian’ lifestyle even before any increases are seen.

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It is clear that companies are not hoping to wait for supply chain problems to resolve but are shifting to new procurement processes and asset management. Some businesses are also focusing on making the life of current equipment longer or deriving cheaper brands and products not considered typically to overcome supply chain problems.

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