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The tiger economies of Asia invariably are the fastest-growing sweet spread markets in percentage terms, often the growth is from a small base, as sweet spreads are still seen as a “western” food and their consumption often is not embedded in local culinary traditions. In terms of tonnage, China aside, the fastest growing markets come from Latin America (Brazil and Mexico) or Europe (Russia, Italy and France). However, it is notable that in many European and Latin American markets the traditional core category of fruit spreads is often struggling and growth comes from a mixture of nut- and chocolate- spread segments.

The relative health of European sweet spreads markets is reflected in the region’s dominance of new product activity, accounting for three of the top five most active markets. The other active markets include Brazil, where a raft of low-sugar products has boosted market activity, and the US, where a new wave of artisanal nut spread producers is helping energize market sales.

Though concern over sugar content remains a considerable obstacle for fruit spread sales, this hasn’t prevented the development of other highly sugared spread segments, most notably premium chocolate and even biscuit spreads (also known as cookie butter in the US).

It is likely that chocolate and biscuit spreads are seen as more occasional permissible luxuries, whereas fruit spreads sales suffer thanks to a reduction in already established, and relatively high, consumption habits.

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