Attitudes toward Beverage Sweeteners - US - March 2012
Consumer health concerns are the top factor in shaping their attitudes toward sweeteners. Although obesity rates have nearly stabilized in the past five years at 68%, they still remain high. As a result, more than half of U.S. adults aged 18+ watch their diets and around 60% of these diet-watching adults, which translates into 72 million people, do so to lose weight. During 2005-11, there has also been a significant rise in the number of people who watch their diet to monitor blood sugar. Therefore, the demand for non-diet beverages is likely to decline in the next five years.
As consumers deal with obesity and related diseases, low/no-sugar beverages should find greater acceptance among diet-watching consumers. However, the biggest diet non-alcoholic beverage (NAB) category (i.e., diet soda) has shown signs of stagnation in consumer penetration. One of the reasons is the growing consumer skepticism toward the safety of non-nutritive sweeteners, often termed as artificial. Taste is another big issue with diet sweeteners; according to Mintel’s research findings, 58% of all diet beverage buyers say that diet beverages taste worse than non-diet beverages.
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