How To Select The Right Natural Sweetener
Diet trends and health concerns come and go, but they can have a major effect on food brands while they last. Currently, sugar reduction has the spotlight among health officials and consumers alike.
Several municipalities across the country have introduced taxes on soda and sugary drinks, largely with the aim of reducing consumption of added sugars. Additionally, recent FDA updates to the nutrition label require brands to disclose added sugars.
The taxes and labeling changes position sugar consumption as a significant health problem, and consumers largely seem to agree. Consider the following data from recent surveys:
84% of adults in the US report limiting their sugar consumption
51% of consumers say a healthy diet should be low in sugar
81% of consumers check food and drink labels for the amount of sugar
76% of consumers buy items labeled low, no, or reduced sugar
63% of consumers purchase food and drink with natural sugar substitutes (e.g. monk fruit, stevia)
These figures suggest that brands need to be developing more applications using alternative sweeteners to reduce or eliminate conventional added sugars. Though sugar reduction may be a health trend, legislative shifts and the intensity of consumer feeling in this regard should maintain the need for solutions well into the future.