IFT PREVIEW: More baby boomers are trying to reduce their sugar intake, finds Innova Market Insights

By Mary Ellen Shoup contact

- Last updated on GMT

©GettyImages / Hero Images
©GettyImages / Hero Images

Related tags: IFT show, sugar reduction, Baby boomers, Innova market insights

One in two US baby boomers (generally classified as individuals born between 1946 and 1964) say sugar reduction is a primary dietary concern, driving sales and consumer interest in low- to no-sugar sugar products, according to Innova Market Insights research.

Innova Market Insights found that half of US baby boomers have been reducing their sugar intake and are buying more reduced sugar products. Two in five boomers said they are actively cutting back on their consumption of sweet snacks.

“Boomers are below-average purchasers of certain sweet products such as chocolate, desserts & ice cream and snack bars,”​ said Lu Ann Williams, director of Innovation of Innova Market Insights. When it comes to snack time, one in two baby boomers consumers said they prefer a savory snack compared to a sweet product.

According to Williams, boomers are looking for more reduced- or low-sugar options in specific food categories. 

​[Sugar reduction is] markedly more important in the yogurt, sweet baked goods and breakfast cereals categories, so these could offer opportunities for sugar reduction.”

The US yogurt category has seen a lot of low- and no-sugar development in recent years with 20% of all 2018 launches carrying such claims, up from 4% in 2013, according to Innova. Reduced sugar formulations have been less frequent in the breakfast cereals and sweet baked goods category, accounting for 2% of launches in 2018.

More interest in reducing sugar than consuming alternative sweeteners

Development in the sweetener alternatives space continues to ramp up with expanded options for food and beverage formulators such as stevia using the most sugar-like glycoside compounds of the plant and the FDA's exclusion of allulose​ (an ultra low-calorie sugar found naturally in jackfruit and figs with 70% of the sweetness of sucrose) from the total and added sugars declarations of the Nutrition Facts panel. 

According to Innova, three in five baby boomers would rather cut back on regular sugar than consume alternative sweeteners, while two in five US baby boomers said they use sweeteners because they like sweet things but want to reduce their calories. 

Catch more of Innova Market Insights sugar reduction research at booth #5051 during the upcoming IFT Food Expo in New Orleans, June 2-5.

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