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Sugar and Sweeteners - US - September 2014

“The success of the honey segment is likely tied to the high perception of health it holds among US consumers. Some 60% of respondents to Mintel’s custom consumer survey say honey is good for health, compared to 10% who say granulated sugar is good for health.”
- Beth Bloom, Food and Drink Analyst
This report answers the following questions:

  • How can the category combat negative perceptions of health?
  • How closely do consumers pay attention to sweeteners in packaged food?
  • How can brands compete with the strength of private label?
Turnaround in the sugar and sweeteners market will come from an added emphasis on BFY positioning, including natural claims where applicable. Moving products out of the shadows of being generic added ingredients will also help drive change here.
 
Innovation in the form of added flavors, product provenance as a form of premiumization, and packaging introductions that contribute to both practicality and convenience will help attract attention to the category and boost sales.
 
Brands should also play a role in enabling consumers to make healthy life choices, including developing product education efforts and portion-control technology, in order to combat negative perceptions of health.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                • Executive Summary

                    • The market
                      • Dollar sales losses in category could slow in coming years
                        • Figure 1: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-19
                      • Leading companies
                        • Category highly fragmented, Domino leads with 13% of MULO sales
                          • Figure 2: MULO sales of sugar and sweeteners at retail (and percentage change), by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                        • Segment performance
                          • Honey gains with sugar’s losses
                            • Figure 3: Total US retail sales of sugar and sweeteners (and percentage change) ($ millions), by segment, at current prices, 2009-14
                          • The consumer
                            • Honey leads perception of health
                              • Figure 4: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners, correspondence analysis, September 2014
                            • Consumers keep an eye on sweetener use in juice, carbonated soft drinks
                              • Figure 5: Paying attention to sugar/sweetener as an ingredient (top five), June 2014
                            • What we think
                            • Issues and Insights

                                • How can the category combat negative perceptions of health?
                                  • Issue
                                    • Insight: The category needs to promote its strengths
                                      • How closely do consumers pay attention to sweeteners in packaged food?
                                        • Issue
                                          • Insight: Arming shoppers with information about what’s inside should find appeal
                                            • How can brands compete with the strength of private label?
                                              • Issue
                                                • Insight: Bring products out of the generic shadow
                                                • Trend Applications

                                                    • Trend: FSTR HYPR
                                                      • Trend: Life Hacking
                                                        • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners
                                                              • Figure 6: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                              • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Dollar sales losses in category could slow in coming years
                                                              • Figure 8: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-19
                                                            • Forecast methodology
                                                            • Market Factors

                                                              • Health woes hurt and help category
                                                                • Sugar consumption on the decline, but still exceeds recommendations
                                                                  • Figure 9: U.S. per capita sweetener availability, 1966-2012
                                                                  • Figure 10: Per capita sugar consumption in the United States: Actual versus Recommended, 1970-2010
                                                                • General interest in healthy eating grows
                                                                  • Sugar substitutes should benefit, but find challenges of their own
                                                                    • Figure 11: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, February 2008-March 2014
                                                                  • Industry must promote its strengths and play a role in healthy eating
                                                                    • Reduction of added sugars appears as cause célèbre
                                                                      • Category players would do well to stay ahead of regulation
                                                                        • Proposed Nutrition Facts label change looms large
                                                                        • Segment Performance

                                                                          • Key points
                                                                            • Honey is the only segment to see positive two-year movement
                                                                              • Figure 12: Total US retail sales of sugar and sweeteners, by segment, at current prices, 2012 and 2014
                                                                            • Sugar sales take a dive
                                                                              • US retail sales of sugar
                                                                                • Figure 13: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                • Figure 14: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                              • Syrup and molasses sales are stuck at $1 billion
                                                                                • US retail sales of syrup and molasses
                                                                                  • Figure 15: Total US retail sales and forecast of syrup and molasses at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                  • Figure 16: Total US retail sales and forecast of syrup and molasses at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                                • Sugar substitutes experienced the largest percentage declines
                                                                                  • US retail sales of sugar substitutes
                                                                                    • Figure 17: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar substitutes at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                    • Figure 18: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar substitutes at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                                  • Honey is the only segment to post gains
                                                                                    • US retail sales of honey
                                                                                      • Figure 19: Total US retail sales and forecast of honey at current prices, 2009-19
                                                                                      • Figure 20: Total US retail sales and forecast of honey at inflation-adjusted prices, 2009-19
                                                                                  • Spotlight: Sweeteners as Ingredient in Packaged Food and Drink

                                                                                      • Sorbitol leads in sales of products with added sweeteners
                                                                                        • Figure 21: Sales* of products with added sweeteners, by type of sweetener, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Stevia/stevia blends most prevalent in enhanced/flavored water despite declines
                                                                                        • Figure 22: Sales* of products sweetened with stevia/stevia blend, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Frozen desserts and juices and functional beverages lead agave use
                                                                                        • Figure 23: Sales* of products sweetened with agave, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Coconut/palm sweetener finds success in candy, cereal
                                                                                        • Figure 24: Sales* of products sweetened with coconut/palm sweetener, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Monk fruit growth seen in energy bars/gels
                                                                                        • Figure 25: Sales* of products sweetened with Lo Han, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Sugar alcohols used in widest range of products measured in this report
                                                                                        • Figure 26: Sales* of products sweetened with sugar alcohols**, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Cookies and snack bars hold largest share of products sweetened with other natural alternative single sweeteners
                                                                                        • Figure 27: Sales* of products sweetened with other natural alternative single sweeteners**, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Sales of products sweetened with other artificial alternative sweeteners down slightly
                                                                                        • Figure 28: Sales* of products sweetened with other artificial alternative sweeteners, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                      • Natural/artificial blends find most success in candy products
                                                                                        • Figure 29: Sales* of products sweetened with natural and artificial sweetener blends, by product category, at current prices, rolling 52 weeks 2012 and 2014
                                                                                    • Retail Channels

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Supermarkets hold only slight dominance over other retail channels
                                                                                          • Retailers can lead shoppers to purchase through product positioning, health help
                                                                                            • Figure 30: Total US retail sales of sugar and sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2012-14
                                                                                          • Private label represents nearly half of MULO sales in category
                                                                                            • Private label sugar expands to natural, added flavor
                                                                                              • Store brand honey offers thrifty shoppers different formats, provenance, organic
                                                                                                • Private label sugar substitutes innovate, threaten brand dominance
                                                                                                  • Store brand syrup and molasses seeps across retail channels
                                                                                                  • Leading Companies and Brand Analysis

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Category highly fragmented, Domino leads with 13% of MULO sales
                                                                                                        • MULO sales of sugar and sweeteners
                                                                                                          • Figure 31: MULO sales of sugar and sweeteners at retail, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                        • Domino controls 21% of MULO sugar sales, but is dwarfed by private label
                                                                                                          • MULO sales of sugar
                                                                                                            • Figure 32: MULO sales of sugar at retail, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                          • Private label sugar loyalty points to need for differentiation
                                                                                                            • Figure 33: Key purchase measures for the top sugar brands, by household penetration, 52 weeks ending Dec. 30, 2012 (year ago) and Dec. 29, 2013 (current)
                                                                                                          • Maple syrup brands lead MULO segment sales
                                                                                                            • MULO sales of syrup and molasses
                                                                                                              • Figure 34: MULO sales of syrup and molasses at retail, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                            • Expanding usage occasions can help syrup segment to grow
                                                                                                              • Figure 35: Key purchase measures for the top syrup brands, by household penetration, 52 weeks ending Dec. 30, 2012 (year ago) and Dec. 29, 2013 (current)
                                                                                                            • Splenda dominates sugar substitute sales at MULO
                                                                                                              • Figure 36: Splenda, “For Anywhere You Use Sugar,” TV Ad, 2014
                                                                                                              • Figure 37: In the Raw, “Cupcake,” TV Ad, 2014
                                                                                                              • Figure 38: In the Raw, “Handshake,” TV Ad, 2014
                                                                                                              • Figure 39: Truvia, “Kitchen Story,” TV Ad, 2014
                                                                                                            • MULO sales of sugar substitutes
                                                                                                              • Figure 40: MULO sales of sugar substitutes at retail, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                            • Equal has trouble competing with the others
                                                                                                              • Figure 41: Key purchase measures for the top sugar substitute brands, by household penetration, 52 weeks ending Dec. 30, 2012 (year ago) and Dec. 29, 2013 (current)
                                                                                                            • Private label represents 50% of MULO honey market, growing
                                                                                                              • MULO sales of honey
                                                                                                                • Figure 42: MULO sales of honey at retail, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2013 and 2014
                                                                                                              • Expansion of honey brand lines could boost purchase occasions
                                                                                                                • Figure 43: Key purchase measures for the top honey brands, by household penetration, 52 weeks ending Dec. 30, 2012 (year ago) and Dec. 29, 2013 (current)
                                                                                                            • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                              • New varieties surpass new product launches in 2014
                                                                                                                • Figure 44: Sugar and sweetener launches, by launch type, 2010-14*
                                                                                                              • Added flavors could spice up the category
                                                                                                                  • Figure 45: Sugar and sweetener launches (honey), by top 10 flavors, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Low calorie/low sugar claims on the rise
                                                                                                                  • Figure 46: Sugar and sweetener launches, by top 10 claims, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Convenient sugar packaging prioritized in 2014
                                                                                                                  • Figure 47: Sugar and sweetener launches (sugar), by top 10 claims, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Pourable sugar on the rise
                                                                                                                  • Figure 48: Sugar and sweetener launches (sugar), by package type, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Low calorie/sugar claims in syrup/molasses on the rise
                                                                                                                  • Figure 49: Sugar and sweetener launches (syrup and molasses), by top 10 claims, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Allergen claims growing in popularity among sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                  • Figure 50: Sugar and sweetener launches (sugar substitutes), by top 10 claims, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Organic honey sees strong growth
                                                                                                                  • Figure 51: Sugar and sweetener launches (honey), by top 10 claims, 2010-14*
                                                                                                                • Blends allow for familiarity, control
                                                                                                                  • Liquids lend to convenience, expand usage occasions
                                                                                                                    • Bring products out of the generic shadow
                                                                                                                      • Go premium
                                                                                                                        • Highlight heritage
                                                                                                                          • Emphasize provenance
                                                                                                                          • Use of Sweeteners

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • More than half of US households use white granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                • Figure 52: Use of sugar, by gender, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Younger consumers open to alternative sweeteners
                                                                                                                                • Figure 53: Use of sugar, by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 54: Use of sugar substitutes, by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Use of alternative sweeteners tied to income
                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Use of sugar, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Use of sugar substitutes, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                                                              • Natural aspect of sugar may appeal to Asian households
                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Sugar and sugar substitutes, by race/Hispanic origin, January 2013-March 2014
                                                                                                                            • Sweetened Products

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • HFCS most recognized non-sugar sweetener
                                                                                                                                  • Figure 58: Purchase of products that contain sugar substitutes, by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Sweeteners most evident in juice/carbonated soft drinks
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Pepsi NEXT, “Baby Tricks,” TV Ad, 2013
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Paying attention to sugar/sweetener as an ingredient, by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                • Healthfulness of Sweeteners

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Honey leads perception of health
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 61: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners, September 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 62: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners, correspondence analysis, September 2014
                                                                                                                                    • 25-44 year olds have strongest opinions on sweetener health
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 63: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Good, by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 64: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Respondents age 55+ look to control sugar intake
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (health), by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                    • High earners more likely than lower earners to see sweeteners as bad
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Consumers continue to use the sweeteners they consider bad for health
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by use of sugar, June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 68: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by use of sugar, June 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 69: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by use of sugar substitutes, June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 70: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by use of sugar substitutes, June 2014 (continued)
                                                                                                                                  • Purchase Decision

                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                      • While taste and natural lead purchase drivers, convenience provides an opportunity
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Purchase decision, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Young shoppers interested in added value
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (flavor/format), by age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • High earners particularly interested in natural
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Purchase decision, by household income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (price), by household income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Sugar alternatives may benefit from baking positioning
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Use of sugar, by purchase decision (1 of 2), June 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 76: Use of sugar, by purchase decision (2 of 2), June 2014
                                                                                                                                      • Familiar packets make their mark, pointing to the importance of packaging
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 77: Use of sugar substitutes, by purchase decision (1 of 2), June 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 78: Use of sugar substitutes, by purchase decision (2 of 2), June 2014
                                                                                                                                    • Custom Consumer Groups – Households with Children

                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                        • Households with children use more sweetener types than those without
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Use of sugar, by presence of children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 80: Use of sugar substitutes, by presence of children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                        • Dads are a good target for sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Use of sugar, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Figure 82: Use of sugar substitutes, by gender and presence of children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                          • HHs with children more likely to pay attention to sugar/sweeteners in products
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: Paying attention to sugar/sweetener as an ingredient, by presence of children in household, June 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Other Useful Tables

                                                                                                                                            • Use of sweeteners
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Use of sugar, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Use of sugar, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Use of sugar substitutes, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Use of sugar substitutes, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Sweetened products
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 88: Purchase of products that contain sugar substitutes, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 89: Purchase of products that contain sugar substitutes, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 90: Paying attention to sugar/sweetener as an ingredient, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Healthfulness of sugar/sweeteners
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 91: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Good, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 92: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Good, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 94: Healthfulness of sugars/sweeteners – Bad, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Purchase decision
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 95: Purchase decision, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                            • Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 96: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (health), by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 97: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (convenience), by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 98: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (price), by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 99: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners (flavor/format), by gender and age, June 2014
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 100: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners, by Hispanic origin and income, June 2014
                                                                                                                                          • Appendix – Information Resources Inc. Builders Panel Data Definitions

                                                                                                                                              • Information Resources Inc. Consumer Network Metrics
                                                                                                                                              • Appendix – SPINS categories covered in Spotlight: Sweeteners as Ingredient in Packaged Food and Drink

                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                  Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                  • B&G Foods Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Cargill Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                  • Country Kitchen International, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Cumberland Packing Corp.
                                                                                                                                                  • Imperial Sugar Company
                                                                                                                                                  • Johnson & Johnson
                                                                                                                                                  • Merisant
                                                                                                                                                  • PepsiCo Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • Pinnacle Foods Group Inc.
                                                                                                                                                  • Sioux Honey Association
                                                                                                                                                  • Specialty Brands Of America, Inc
                                                                                                                                                  • Walmart Stores (USA)

                                                                                                                                                  Sugar and Sweeteners - US - September 2014

                                                                                                                                                  US $3,995.00 (Excl.Tax)