As a result, in 2016, Mintel found manufacturers were responding to this pressure by launching more products with low/no/reduced sugar claims. Specifically, 6% of new products launched that year bore sugar-reduction claims, up from 4% in 2012.
Unfortunately, these efforts largely went unrewarded by consumers, according to Mintel. It explains that 35% of US consumers said they think products labeled as ‘reduced sugar’ often contain artificial sweeteners, which 43% of consumers in 2016 told Mintel they were trying to avoid.
At the same time many consumers are shunning so-called artificial sweeteners, 26% told Mintel they are receptive to naturally sourced sugar substitutes, like stevia and monk fruit. However, this is countered by the fact only 16% of US consumers are willing to pay more for food and drinks using naturally sourced sugar substitutes.
So, where does this leave manufacturers? What options are available to them, and how do these choices resonate with consumers?
We will explore the answers to these questions during FoodNavigator-USA’s upcoming Sweeteners and Sugar Reduction Live Forum. The free online event is April 18 from 11:30 to 12:30 Eastern Time, and those interested in registering can do so HERE.
The event also will take a closer look at how the sugar-reduction trend developed, and where it is heading – including the potential impact of upcoming changes to the Nutrition Facts Panel that will call out added sugar. It also will attempt to separate fact from fiction when it comes to consumer perceptions of sugar and sweeteners.
To help attendees navigate these issues, the forum will feature a great line-up of experts, including Jay Klein, the founder and CEO of better-for-you confection company The PUR Company; Dr. Stewart Townsend, the vice president of research and development for Dairy and Danone North America; Katherine Allmandinger, the manager of strategic insights at Nielsen Health and Wellness; Laura Dembitzer, the marketing director of the drink think tank Imbibe and Julie Miller Jones, an adjunct professor in the Department of food and science and Nutrition at the University of Minnesota.
The forum is made possible thanks to our sponsors: Sensus, Cargill, Pyure and Ingredion – all of which are working hard to help brands navigate the changing landscape around sugar reduction and sweeteners.
To register for the free one-hour online event, simply click HERE.