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Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners - US - May 2015

The sugar and alternative sweeteners category reached almost $5 billion in 2014, representing growth of only 3% from 2009-14. Sugar’s negative impact on health has impaired growth; however, honey represents the category sweet spot and is indicative of the future natural direction of the market. At the same time consumers are demanding more natural sweeteners, they remain confused about which sweeteners truly are natural and the differences between types. This confusion creates opportunity for manufacturers to be proactive with this type of information, especially as some consumers are actively researching sweeteners before they make a purchase.

This report looks at the following issues:

  • Negative health perceptions impacting sales
  • Difficult to identify natural sugar substitutes
  • Sweetener types causing consumer confusion

The sugar and alternative sweeteners category continues to struggle, especially due to consumer concerns about the impact of sugar on their health. Future growth may stem from sweeteners viewed as more natural, which consumers are demanding, while innovation related to plant-based sweeteners and other low-calorie alternatives may also help boost sales.

However, the category also is laden with consumer confusion. Consumers are demanding more product information including how sugar substitutes are made, the differences between types, and which products are truly natural. Many are doing their own research before making a purchase, so it’s important for manufacturers to be proactive with this information.

 

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
      • Executive Summary

        • The issues
          • Negative health perceptions impacting sales
            • Figure 1: Total US retail sales of Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners, by segment, 2009-14
          • Difficult to identify natural sugar substitutes
            • Figure 2: Sugar substitutes considered natural, by gender, February 2015
          • Sweetener types causing consumer confusion
            • Figure 3: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, February 2015
          • The opportunities
            • Natural positioning can help boost sales
              • Figure 4: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by generation, February 2015
            • Hispanics, households with children key demographic groups
              • Figure 5: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by Hispanic origin, February 2015
            • Make product information easily accessible
              • Figure 6: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, February 2015
            • What it means
            • The Market – What You Need to Know

              • Honey is the category sweet spot
                • Opportunity for further private label growth
                  • Health concerns, lack of product information hurting sales
                  • Market Size and Forecast

                    • Sugar and sweetener sales to remain relatively stable
                      • Figure 7: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Figure 8: Total US sales and forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Figure 9: Total US sales and forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                  • Market Breakdown

                    • Sugar fueling majority of category declines
                      • Figure 10: Total US retail sales of Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners, by segment share, 2014
                      • Figure 11: Total US retail sales of Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners, by segment, 2009- 14
                    • Private label options can help retailers grow sales
                      • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2009-14
                    • Natural sales driven by products with agave, stevia
                      • Figure 13: Natural supermarket sales of selected products* with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending 2/24/13 and 2/22/15
                  • Market Factors

                    • Sugar and honey production, prices on the rise
                      • Figure 14: US honey production and imports, 2001-14
                    • Impact on consumer health
                      • Figure 15: Percent of people aged 20 or older who are healthy weight, overweight, or obese, 2009-12
                    • Sugar substitutes’ household usage on the decline
                      • Figure 16: Use of sugar and sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, October 2009 – December 2014
                      • Figure 17: Use of sugar and sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, November 2013 – December 2014
                  • Key Players – What You Need to Know

                    • Nearly all companies experience sales declines
                      • Natural, low-calorie positioning resonates with consumers
                        • Additional natural alternatives go mainstream
                        • Manufacturer Sales of Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners

                          • Category leaders struggle to grow sales
                            • Manufacturer sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners
                              • Figure 18: MULO sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                          • What’s Working?

                            • Skinny, natural resonating with consumers
                              • Figure 19: MULO sales of Stevia in the Raw, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                              • Figure 20: MULO sales of Truvia, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                              • Figure 21: MULO sales of other sugar substitutes, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                            • Honey sees sweet success
                                • Figure 22: MULO sales of Aunt Sue Honey, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                                • Figure 23: MULO sales of Busy Bee Honey, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                            • What’s Struggling?

                              • Several sugar substitutes face declines
                                • Figure 24: MULO sales of Sweet’N Low, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                                • Figure 25: MULO sales of Equal, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                              • Sugar declines across the board
                                • Figure 26: MULO sales of C&H sugar, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                                • Figure 27: MULO sales of private label sugar, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                              • Focus on tradition not enough to boost syrup sales
                                • Figure 28: MULO sales of Karo, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                                • Figure 29: MULO sales of Mrs. Butterworth’s, 52 weeks ending Jan. 25, 2015
                            • What’s Next?

                              • More natural alternatives go mainstream
                                • Raw is the new natural?
                                  • Figure 30: Percentage of Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners product launches with a raw claim, 2010-14
                              • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                • Sugar use not slowing
                                  • More natural sweeteners needed
                                    • Households with children shifting away from sugar substitutes
                                      • Confusion about sweetener types, need for more product information
                                      • Sugar Types Used

                                        • Despite health concerns, sugar is top sweetener
                                          • Figure 31: Sugar types used in past month, by generation, February 2015
                                          • Figure 32: Sugar types used in past month, by generation, February 2015
                                      • Sugar Substitutes Used or Seen

                                        • Baseline awareness of newer sugar substitutes
                                            • Figure 33: Sugar substitutes used or seen in past month, February 2015
                                            • Figure 34: Sugar substitutes used or seen in past month, Any use, by generation, February 2015
                                        • Sugar Substitutes Considered Natural

                                          • Agave considered most natural
                                              • Figure 35: Sugar substitutes considered natural, by gender, February 2015
                                          • Sweetened Products

                                            • Consumers paying more attention to food and beverages sugar content
                                              • Figure 36: Attention paid to sugar/sweeteners as an ingredient, February 2015
                                              • Figure 37: Pepsi True, TV ad, November 2014
                                            • Older generations less likely to look at sugar content
                                              • Figure 38: Attention paid to sugar/sweetener as an ingredient, select products, by generation, February 2015
                                          • Purchase Factors

                                            • Calorie content most important for sugar substitute purchases
                                              • Figure 39: Factors when purchasing sugar/sugar substitutes, February 2015
                                            • Millennials look for organic claims, added nutrition
                                                • Figure 40: Select factors when purchasing sugar substitutes, by Millennials, February 2015
                                            • Behaviors Related to Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

                                              • Households with children limiting sugar substitute use
                                                • Figure 41: Select Sugar/Sugar Substitutes Behaviors, by presence of children in household, February 2015
                                              • Households with children see value in natural positioning
                                                • Figure 42: Select Sugar/Sugar Substitutes Behaviors, by presence of children in household, February 2015
                                                • Figure 43: Select Sugar/Sugar Substitutes Behaviors, by generation, February 2015
                                            • Attitudes toward Sugar and Sugar Substitutes

                                              • Consumer confusion, lack of information about sweeteners
                                                • Figure 44: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by Hispanic origin, February 2015
                                              • Universal health concerns impacting perceptions
                                                  • Figure 45: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by generations, February 2015
                                                • Packaging color nearly as influential as brand
                                                    • Figure 46: Select Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by presence of children in household, February 2015
                                                • Consumer Segmentation

                                                      • Figure 47: Sugar and alternative sweetener clusters, February, 2015
                                                    • Group one: Super Sweet
                                                      • Group two: Naturally Sweet
                                                        • Group three: Simply Sweet
                                                          • Cluster methodology
                                                          • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                            • Data sources
                                                              • Sales data
                                                                • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Consumer survey data
                                                                    • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                      • Abbreviations
                                                                      • Appendix – Market

                                                                          • Figure 48: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by segment, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Figure 49: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by segment, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                          • Figure 50: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Figure 51: Total US retail sales and forecast of syrups and molasses, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar substitutes, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of honey, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                          • Figure 54: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                          • Figure 55: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                          • Figure 56: US supermarket sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                          • Figure 57: US sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners through other retail channels, at current prices, 2009-14
                                                                          • Figure 58: Natural supermarket sales of candy and individual snacks with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 59: Natural supermarket sales of carbonated beverages with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 60: Natural supermarket sales of cold cereals with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 61: Natural supermarket sales of energy bars and gels with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 62: Natural supermarket sales of frozen desserts with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 63: Natural supermarket sales of RTD tea and coffee, with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 64: Natural supermarket sales of refrigerated juices and functional beverages with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 65: Natural supermarket sales of shelf-stable functional beverages with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                          • Figure 66: Natural supermarket sales of refrigerated juices and functional beverages with alternative sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks ending Feb. 24, 2013 and Feb. 22, 2015
                                                                      • Appendix – Key Players

                                                                          • Figure 67: MULO sales of sugar, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                          • Figure 68: MULO sales of syrups and molasses, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                          • Figure 69: MULO sales of sugar substitutes, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015
                                                                          • Figure 70: MULO sales of honey, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2014 and 2015

                                                                      Companies Covered

                                                                      • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                      Sugar and Alternative Sweeteners - US - May 2015

                                                                      £3,199.84 (Excl.Tax)