Ahead of Growing Global Trends: WISHH shares science to trailblaze for U.S. soy trade

May 11, 2021

•  From Spring 2021 American Soybean magazine

By 2030, consumer interest in protein-rich diets is predicted to grow to an $85 billion market, according Euromonitor International—and this increased global demand for protein is providing more opportunities for ASA/WISHH to highlight the science and benefits of U.S. soy protein.

“COVID-19 concerns give a boost to foods that deliver sought-after nutrients, so soy is well-positioned to deliver,” said Sloan Trends President A. Elizabeth Sloan. “People are buying foods for their health benefits, and global sales of naturally nutritious foods are increasing.”

From Africa to Asia and Latin America, WISHH is leading discussions with food and feed companies on the scientific research that supports U.S. soy’s nutrition and quality.

“When U.S. soybean growers founded WISHH 20 years ago, they recognized the important role that U.S. soy could take in meeting the nutritional needs of the world’s fastest-growing populations in developing and emerging economies,” said Kentucky soybean grower Gerry Hayden, who serves as ASA/WISHH chairman and on the ASA Board of Directors.

Hayden added, “WISHH is currently working with strategic partners in 20 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America that are making more protein available through soyfoods, breads and beverages, as well as fish, eggs and meat.”

WISHH’s work in Latin America exemplifies how WISHH conducts regional research to assist strategic partners in building their businesses with soy protein. Central America’s food and beverage industry is projected to grow nearly five times faster than in the United States between 2019 and 2023, according to

In many of the Central American countries, food processing plays a key role in the country’s economy and is one of the fastest growing sectors. In El Salvador alone, the food processing sector contributes more than 6% of the GDP and comprises 26% of the manufacturing sector.

WISHH’s own research found that Latin American consumers are looking at food packaging labels to gain health information. The assessment also identified training needs so that manufacturers will grow their businesses with new soy-containing products, such as convenient grab-and-go snacks.

In response, WISHH hosted webinars, including two particularly popular programs, which shared the new market research that highlights that the region’s consumers and retailers desire more soyfood choices. During those webinars, WISHH trained 83 food manufacturing executives, doctors and nutritionists from leading hospitals, university food scientists and other key decision makers. WISHH continues to build on this training with virtual programs and will execute in-person training when COVID-19 limitations end.

The release of the U.S. government’s “Dietary Guidelines for Americans, 2020-2025” brought yet another positive for WISHH to highlight. As a globally-respected, science-based reference, the report recognizes soy in core elements of healthy dietary patterns.

The U.S. Departments of Agriculture and Health and Human Services issued the 164-page report. It recognizes soy’s potential to contribute to a healthy dietary pattern and cites:

  • Protein foods, including lean meats, poultry and eggs; seafood; beans, peas and lentils; and nuts, seeds and soy products
  • Soy-fortified beverages and yogurts
  • Oils, including vegetable oils

Knowing that protein plays an essential role in human nutrition, visionary U.S. soybean growers founded WISHH in 2000 to serve as a catalyst in emerging markets. WISHH brings the power of strategic partnerships to our unique market-systems approach. Local business leaders, governmental and non-governmental organizations as well as academic institutions join WISHH in increasing demand and fueling economic growth for the sustained availability of nutritious and affordable human foods and livestock feeds.