Introducing CPG Formulations For Innovative Meal Replacement Beverages


meal replacement shakes in cpg industry
As meal replacement beverages become increasingly popular, food researchers can find innovative formulations that appeal to a wide range of consumers. Image credit: Flickr user Infinity Studio

In the past, food and beverage companies have primarily pitched their meal replacement beverages to dieters and bodybuilders, but today, these shakes are becoming more popular with a broad range of consumers. In fact, one study showed that in 2015, about 17% of US consumers purchased meal replacement beverages.1 In order to appeal to this growing customer base and outperform competitors, food researchers can use formulations software to create innovative meal replacement beverages that can meet a wide range of consumer needs.

Nutritional Value of Meal Replacement Beverages

Consumers today are increasingly concerned about healthy eating, but most people are simply too busy to calculate whether they are getting enough of each individual nutrient, much less prepare the meals that would make up for any deficits, so consumers rely on food researchers to provide meal replacement beverages that are chock full of nutrition. Market research indicates that the most common ingredient that consumers are looking for in meal replacement shakes is protein, but other nutrients, including fiber, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats, are also necessary to fully replace meals or supplement unbalanced meals. Using modern software, scientists can figure out which ingredients to use, in which ratios, in order to optimize the nutritional value of the shake. This makes it easy for on-the-go consumers to meet their health goals without dedicating their lives to meal planning.

In addition to their concerns about healthy eating, many of today’s consumers have opted to pursue specialty diets or more sustainable eating practices. To cater to these groups, CPG companies can offer meal replacement shakes that are gluten free, soy free, vegan, organic, or non-GMO. People adhering to gluten- and dairy-free diets often have a hard time finding nutrient-rich, readymade meals that meet their dietary needs, so meal replacement shakes that exclude these ingredients are a great option. Even customers who aren’t lactose intolerant, gluten sensitive, or strictly dedicated to clean eating often feel better about drinking shakes that don’t include these increasingly unpopular ingredients.2 Using modern software, food researchers can locate and source the high quality ingredients that consumers demand.

Helping Consumers Reduce Spending on Food

Cost is another reason more consumers are choosing meal replacement beverages for their daily nutrition. While superfoods like kale and quinoa do offer significant nutritional benefits, they are financially out of reach for many. That leaves them with the choice between breaking the bank on nutrient-dense foods or just eating cheaper options that aren’t as healthy. Meal replacement beverages offer an appealing alternative because they provide a low-cost way for consumers to get all the nutrition they need.3 As food scientists test different ingredients to include in the formulation, they can try to find the least expensive blends so that the company can out-price its competitors.

Unique Flavor Options for Meal Replacement Beverages

Flavor is one of the of the most common consumer complaints about the meal replacement beverages that are are currently on the market. Some are too bland, while others only come in a few standard flavors, such as chocolate, vanilla and strawberry. In order to stay ahead of the curve, food scientists can explore unique flavors, ranging from dessert options like peanut butter and cheesecake to savory alternatives that taste like creamy tomato or carrot soup. By sourcing high quality ingredients, food scientists can also reduce the likelihood that the meal replacement beverages will have an odd aftertaste.

BIOVIA Formulations supports the development of high quality meal replacement beverages. With this software, researchers at CPG companies can source high quality ingredients and optimize ingredient ratios in order to provide customers with products that are healthy, inexpensive and delicious. Contact us today to learn more about how this innovative software.

  1. “A Thriving Market for High-Quality Meal Replacement Beverages,” January 5, 2016,
  2. “Gluten-Free Diet: Benefits and Risks,” December 10, 2015,
  3. “How Soylent’s Meal-Replacement Competitors Got a Not-So-Bland Taste of Success,” June 12, 2015,