2021
9
UK Attitudes towards Sugar and Sweeteners Market Report 2021
2022-01-06T03:06:15+00:00
OX1092751
2195
146626
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Report
en_GB
“Having exacerbated the obesity crisis and spurred the government to double down on HFSS products, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for the food/drink industry to cut sugar. A…

UK Attitudes towards Sugar and Sweeteners Market Report 2021

£ 2,195 (Excl.Tax)

Description

The UK Attitudes Towards Sugar and Sweeteners consumer report identifies consumer attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners, sugar intake, and launch activity in the UK. This market report covers the market size, market forecast, market segmentation and industry trends for the Attitudes Towards Sugar and Sweeteners market in the UK. 

Current Market Landscape

The emotional role of eating/drinking came to the fore as the turmoil of the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll. This desire for quick-fix emotional rewards saw high-sugar products in particular become all the more alluring. This has exacerbated the obesity crisis and spurred the government to double down on HFSS products, accelerating the need for the food/drink industry to cut sugar

  • Many confectionery and cake products that meet the 30% reduction threshold required to make a reduced-sugar claim will still be classified as HFSS.
  • The majority of adults (57%) are actively taking steps to limit/reduce their sugar intake, reflecting widespread concerns over this ingredient.
  • 53% of females and 45% of males who take steps to reduce/limit sugar opt for food/drink with reduced/no sugar content over standard products.

Belying the inescapable fact that the nation is consuming far too much sugar, only a quarter of adults believe they consume more than the recommended amount of sugar. This misplaced confidence puts a huge obstacle in the way of reducing obesity and points to a need for more education and for helping people keep track of their daily consumption.

 

Future Market Trends in Attitudes Towards Sugar and Sweeteners

Getting yourself used to less sweet flavours is widely seen to be the best way to reduce sugar consumption. However, this sentiment is failing to translate into action as effectively as it could. Less sweet flavour profiles hold compelling potential within the L/N/R sugar space and there is scope for brands to build engagement by helping people to train their palates.

Consumers’ wariness of sweeteners presents a major stumbling block within L/N/R sugar innovation. Demystifying these ingredients and exploring those with other nutritional benefits can help to boost their appeal. For example, some varieties of fibres, most notably inulin, are gaining traction as sugar replacements.

Read on to discover more details or take a look at all of our UK Food and Foodservice market research.

Quickly understand

  • The impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners.
  • Consumers’ perceptions of their sugar intake and steps taken to limit/reduce the amount of sugar in their diet.
  • Consumers’ behaviours and attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners.
  • Consumers’ preferred approaches for companies to implement for sweet treats to reduce sugar consumption.
  • Recent trends in L/N/R sugar launch activity across food and non-alcoholic drinks.

Covered in this report

Brands: Naked, Tropicana, Innocent, Nestlé, Yeo Valley, Fage, Fibre, Harvest Morn, Guylian, Mr Kipling, The Skinny Cookie Co, Sharwood’s, Blue Dragon, Bio & Me, Graze, Zveetz, Stacks of Goodness, Cawston Dry, Cupsmith, Xweet.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

This report, written by Emma Clifford, a leading analyst in the Food and Drink sector, delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Having exacerbated the obesity crisis and spurred the government to double down on HFSS products, the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the need for the food/drink industry to cut sugar. A focus on less sweet flavour profiles remains a missed opportunity. Meanwhile, demystifying sweeteners and exploring those with other nutritional benefits can boost their appeal.

Emma Clifford
Associate Director – Food and Drink Research

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • Key issues covered in this Report
    • COVID-19: market context
    • Economic and other assumptions
    • Products covered in this Report
  2. Executive Summary

    • Impact of COVID-19 on attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners
      • Figure 1: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on consumers’ attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners in food and drink, 2020-25
    • The market
    • Restrictions on HFSS food advertising and promotions loom
    • Sugar intake remains far above recommended levels
    • Mixed results in sugar reduction
    • Companies and brands
    • A fall back in L/N/R sugar activity in food in 2020
      • Figure 2: Share of product launches in the UK retail food market making a L/N/R sugar claim, 2016-21
    • L/N/R sugar NPD in sweet treats remains limited
    • The use of inulin increases
    • The consumer
    • Only 25% of adults believe they consume too much sugar
      • Figure 3: Consumers’ perceptions of their own sugar intake, 2019 and 2021
    • Most adults take steps to limit/reduce sugar in their diets
      • Figure 4: Whether consumers are taking steps to limit/reduce the amount of sugar in their diet, 2019 and 2021
    • Cooking from scratch is the top way to reduce/limit sugar; a sizeable audience for L/N/R sugar products
      • Figure 5: Steps taken to limit/reduce the amount of sugar in the diet, 2021
    • A desire to know more about how sweeteners are made; sweeteners with other nutritional benefits can boost appeal
      • Figure 6: Behaviours relating to sugar and sweeteners, 2021
    • Changing palates is seen as the best way to reduce sugar consumption; involving consumers in sugar reduction resonates
      • Figure 7: Attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners, 2021
    • Artificial sweeteners associated with a range of negative attributes; uncertainty around plant-based sweeteners
      • Figure 8: Qualities associated with artificial sweeteners and plant-based sweeteners, 2021
    • Only 14% of adults think companies should do nothing on sugar reduction; a stealth approach is most popular
      • Figure 9: Preferred approaches for companies to implement for sweet treats to reduce sugar consumption, 2021
  3. Issues and Insights

    • Taking action on sugar is essential
    • Help people train their palates
    • Demystify sweeteners to boost their appeal
    • Help people keep track of their sugar intake
  4. Market Drivers

    • Comfort-seeking consumers turned to sugary foods during the pandemic…
    • …exacerbating the obesity crisis
    • Sugar intake remains far above recommended levels
      • Figure 10: Maximum recommended and actual daily sugar consumption, UK, 2016-19
    • Impressive sugar reduction achieved in response to Soft Drinks Industry Levy
    • Mixed results in sugar reduction
      • Figure 11: Percentage of sugar reduction achieved across selected categories within PHE’s sugar reduction and reformulation programme, 2015-19
    • Government emphasis on health intensifies under COVID-19
    • Out-of-home calorie labelling to be required; on-pack nutrition label consultation proposed
    • HFSS food promotion and store location restrictions to come into place in 2022
    • Advertising for HFSS food and drink to face new rules from end of 2022
    • Many reduced sugar treats will still face restrictions
    • Government-commissioned report advocates ‘sugar tax’ on processed foods
    • A stronger focus on healthy eating set to be a lasting legacy of COVID-19
      • Figure 12: Top factors when shopping for food, 2021
    • Recent research into artificial sweeteners will add to concerns
    • A hike in sugar prices due to tighter supplies
  5. Launch Activity and Innovation

    • A fall back in L/N/R sugar activity in food in 2020
      • Figure 13: Share of product launches in the UK retail food market making a L/N/R sugar claim, 2016-21
    • L/N/R innovation picks up again in non-alcoholic drinks in 2021
      • Figure 14: Share of product launches in the UK retail non-alcoholic drinks market making a L/N/R sugar claim, 2016-21
    • High-profile reduced sugar launches in smoothies
    • Naked and Tropicana unveil Lean lines
    • Innocent introduces two lower sugar Super Smoothies
      • Figure 15: Launches of low/reduced sugar juice drinks/smoothies from leading brands, 2020-21
      • Figure 16: Share of product launches in each category making a L/N/R sugar claim^ in the UK retail non-alcoholic drinks market, 2016-21
    • Big increases in lower sugar activity in breakfast cereals and yogurts
      • Figure 17: Launch of Nestlé Shreddies The Simple One Whole Grain Cereal, 2021
      • Figure 18: Launches of low/reduced sugar yogurts, 2020
      • Figure 19: Share of product launches in each category making a L/N/R sugar claim^ in the UK retail food market, 2016-21
    • Limited innovation in sweet treats
    • Smaller brands lead activity in L/N/R sugar innovation
    • Healthier doughnut brand Urban Legend could be a game changer
    • NPD in sweet treats continues to combine high protein with low/reduced sugar
      • Figure 20: Examples of high protein, low sugar launches, 2020-21
    • Guylian, Mr Kipling, Fibre One and Burton’s Biscuits offer high-profile examples
      • Figure 21: Launch of Guylian chocolate bars with sweeteners from stevia, 2021
      • Figure 22: L/N/R sugar launches from mainstream brands, 2020-21
    • NPD addresses ‘hidden sugars’ in savoury products
    • Sharwood’s and Blue Dragon reduce sugar
      • Figure 23: L/N/R sugar launches in cooking sauces, 2020
    • The use of inulin continues to increase
    • Gut health brand Bio & Me forays into yogurt
      • Figure 24: Launches from Bio & Me, 2021
    • Graze explores chicory root fibre in snacks
      • Figure 25: Launch of Graze Cherry Bakewell Oat Boosts, 2021
      • Figure 26: Share of product launches containing inulin, in the total food and non-alcoholic drink market and within L/N/R sugar launches, 2016-2021
      • Figure 27: Share of product launches in the food and non-alcoholic drink market containing selected sweeteners, 2016-2021
    • Plant-based Zveetz adopts educational role
      • Figure 28: Zveetz Peanut Butter Mousse, 2021
  6. Consumers’ Perceptions of Their Own Sugar Intake

    • Only a quarter of adults believe they consume too much sugar
      • Figure 29: Consumers’ perceptions of their own sugar intake, 2019 and 2021
    • Confidence over healthy sugar consumption increases with age
      • Figure 30: Consumers’ perceptions of their own sugar intake, by age, 2021
    • Perceptions stand in stark contrast to the reality
    • A need to help people keep track of their sugar intake
    • Digital tracking of grocery shopping offers marked potential
  7. Steps Taken to Limit/Reduce Sugar in the Diet

    • Most adults take steps to limit/reduce sugar in their diets
      • Figure 31: Whether consumers are taking steps to limit/reduce the amount of sugar in their diet, 2019 and 2021
    • Cooking from scratch is the top step taken to reduce/limit sugar
      • Figure 32: Steps taken to limit/reduce the amount of sugar in the diet, 2021
    • Baking from scratch is also popular
      • Figure 33: Stacks of Goodness Vanilla and Blueberry Protein Pancake Mix, 2020
    • A minority check the sugar content on food/drink labels
      • Figure 34: Steps taken to limit/reduce the amount of sugar in the diet, 2019 and 2021
    • Half choose products with reduced/no sugar content
    • Certain products can appeal while delivering ‘incidental’ sugar reductions
  8. Behaviours Relating to Sugar and Sweeteners

    • A desire to know more about how sweeteners are made
      • Figure 35: Behaviours relating to sugar and sweeteners, 2021
    • Sweeteners with other nutritional benefits appeal to two fifths of adults
    • Functional fibre starts to take off
    • Other potential angles can be explored in this space
    • Widespread openness to reduced sugar versions of favourite treats
  9. Attitudes Towards Sugar and Sweeteners

    • Changing palates is seen as the way best to reduce sugar consumption
      • Figure 36: Attitudes towards sugar and sweeteners, 2021
    • Unsweet flavour profiles remain underexplored
      • Figure 37: Examples of products calling out less sweet proposition, 2020
    • Asking consumers to vote for the level of sugar reduction resonates
  10. Qualities Associated with Sweeteners

    • Artificial sweeteners associated with a range of negative attributes
      • Figure 38: Qualities associated with artificial sweeteners and plant-based sweeteners, 2021
    • Allaying concerns over dental health could boost appeal among under-25s
      • Figure 39: Xweet Veganes Getränkepulver (Organic Vegan Chai Sin Latte), Germany, 2021
    • Concerns over links to cancer point to a wider need to reassure consumers of food safety standards
    • Uncertainty around plant-based sweeteners
    • The taste issue is being addressed in the development of next-generation stevia
    • Almost half of adults think plant-based sweeteners should be used more widely
  11. Preferred Approaches from Companies to Reduce Sugar Consumption

    • Only 14% of adults think companies should do nothing
      • Figure 40: Preferred approaches for companies to implement for sweet treats to reduce sugar consumption, 2021
    • A stealth approach to sugar reduction is most popular
    • Reducing portion sizes allows people to enjoy the real thing
  12. Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

    • Abbreviations
    • Consumer research methodology

About the report

This market report provides in-depth analysis and insight supported by a range of data. At the same time, introductory and top-level content is provided to give you an overview of the issues covered.

Market

Mintel provides a range of market information, frequently through the category level, including market size and forecasting, complete with market drivers that illustrate the forces that shape a category or market.

Consumer

Mintel’s proprietary consumer research provides our analysts with the attitudinal and behavioral data used to provide valuable insight to topical issues.

Brand/Company

Mintel provides overviews of the top brands and manufacturers, and uses consumer research to explore attitudes and reactions to brands, as well as insight into what will resonate with consumers.

Data

Market reports provide appendices of data to support the research and insight produced. Our databooks* are easily manipulated and downloadable to support your research needs and covers factors from consumer attitudes to market forecasts.

*databooks not available with UK B2B Industry reports.

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