Consumers say they want more protein in their diets but 71 percent of them don’t know the recommended daily amount they should be eating, reports The NPD Group global information company. The high interest in protein coupled with lack of knowledge about what is healthy could add up to an opportunity for marketers, according to the report, Protein Perceptions and Needs.

While the majority of consumers are unsure of the actual daily amount of protein recommended, nearly two-thirds of them believe they meet or exceed the recommended daily amount of protein, finds the NPD report. Of the 29 percent of consumers who say they do know the recommendation, the average amount cited is 66g of protein a day. The actual recommended daily amount of protein is 46g for adult females and 56g for adult males, based on the USDA guidelines.

Many consumers (64 percent) say they measure their protein intake by eyeing it or they are unsure of how to measure it. Consumers cite health websites, doctors, and food labels as the top sources of information for recommended daily intake of protein.

“Consumers say that they want more protein in their diets, but it’s clear that they lack an understanding of how much they actually need,” says Darren Seifer, NPD food industry analyst. “This is an opportunity for food marketers to educate consumers on the recommended daily allowance and, at the same time, promote the protein in their products.”