A survey by Innova indicates consumers are avoiding sugar intake by relying on natural sweeteners or cutting the sweetness out completely.
Four in 10 consumers in Innova’s global health and nutrition survey in 2020 claimed to have decreased their sugar consumption over a 12-month period.
The prevention of health conditions was the leading reason given for this reduction, ahead of weight management and followed by dental health.
The demand for natural sweeteners like stevia, monk fruit and erythritol is rising in response to consumer demand for clean products and a clean label. Companies responded by detailing exact ingredients and origins along with production processes.
Sweeteners currently include non-nutritive, bulk, reduced-calorie sugars and rare sugars, but ongoing research is likely to discover forms of sugar that can be marketed as natural and offer both formulation and metabolic benefits while targeting the high taste expectations of consumers.
Efforts to reduce sugar levels are well established and ongoing, reflecting the well-documented link to dental issues, as well as the widely held view that high sugar consumption is a causative factor for a range of conditions including weight gain, diabetes and hyperactivity in children.
Government intervention in this regard has become more widespread globally, including the use of sugar taxes and the regulation of advertising targeting children.
Lu Ann Williams, global insights director at Innova Market Insights, said, “In recent years ingredient innovations have enabled manufacturers to better replicate the multiple sensory and functional properties of sugar, including sweetness, mouthfeel, bulk, browning and moisture retention while lowering the amounts of sugar and calories.”