Consumer Attitudes toward Sugar and Sweeteners - UK - January 2015
“‘Naturalness’ appears to have become almost synonymous with healthiness and elicits trust from consumers, while anything artificial people tend to be wary of. This creates opportunities for manufacturers to move away from refined sugar and towards those with strong natural connotations in their recipe formulations.”
– Emma Clifford, Senior Food Analyst
This report looks at the following issues:
- Companies that set the bar in terms of reducing sugar content will be seen in a positive light
- Tapping into consumers’ positive perceptions of ‘naturalness’ can boost the health credentials of products
- Openly communicating about ingredients will win the trust of shoppers
Sugar and the dangers attached to consuming too much of this ingredient became the major food issue of 2014. The increase in media coverage was noticed by over two fifths of consumers. Highlighting a direct link between this and consumer behaviour, over six in 10 people who were aware of the “sugar scare” in the media upped.
People remain wary of artificial sweeteners, with half of the population expressing concern about these ingredients. Meanwhile, with “naturalness” commonly eliciting trust from consumers, naturally sourced sweeteners such as stevia are met with far less resistance. A sizeable one in three (35%) adults would welcome more food products which use naturally sourced sweeteners. This suggests opportunities are ripe for NPD (New Product Development) involving these ingredients, within the technical and regulatory boundaries for this.
This report focuses on sugar and sweeteners in all types of food and non-alcoholic drink that consumers buy, in terms of consumer attitudes and NPD. The market size refers to the retail sales of “table-top” sugar and sweeteners market, which are bought as sweetening ingredients, for example in baking or adding to food/drink.
Sweeteners are defined by the EU as ‘substances used to impart a sweet taste to foods or in table-top sweeteners’. Sweeteners can broadly be split into two types: artificial sweeteners and naturally derived sweeteners.
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