Description

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Sugars and Alternative Sweeteners US  market including the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

 

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What are the key challenges facing the industry? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this report

More consumers eating, cooking and drinking at home led to sugar/sweetener sales growth of nearly 20%. This boosted the category over the $5 billion mark, led by growth in honey, syrup and sugar, and even 11% growth in the much-maligned sugar substitutes segment. Going forward, the impact of the pandemic will likely motivate consumers to factor health even more into their dietary choices, benefiting the expansion of natural sugar alternatives and more-nutritive sweetening options in the coming years. Growing interest in cleaner sweeteners and distrust of artificial sweeteners will likely accelerate this shift.

Read on to discover more, or check out this related report covering Ice Cream in the U.S.

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Billy Roberts, a leading analyst in the Food & Drink sector, his extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Like many food and drink categories, after years of weakening sales, the sugars and alternative sweeteners category was the recipient of a significant tailwind from COVID-19 as a result of the dramatic increase in at-home consumption occasions. Consumers are turning to a diverse array of sweeteners, especially those with a natural and perceived BFY promise. These behaviors (like increased cooking, baking, making coffees at home) will abate as the pandemic and economic uncertainties that came along with it get further in the rearview mirror. Consumers are already adapting to new routines, which will result in category sales slipping significantly from their strong growth seen in 2020.
Billy Roberts
Senior Food and Drink Analyst

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Key issues covered in this Report
        • Definition
          • COVID-19: Market context
            • Economic and other assumptions
            • Executive Summary

                • Top takeaways
                  • Market overview
                    • Slide to follow 2020 sales jump
                      • Figure 1: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2015-25
                    • Impact of COVID-19 on sugar and alternative sweeteners
                      • Figure 2: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on sugar and alternative sweeteners, December 2020
                    • Opportunities and Challenges
                      • Focus messaging on sweetener applications and attributes
                        • Figure 3: Nutritional differences in sweeteners, October 2020
                      • Nurture nutrition
                        • Figure 4: Attitudes toward nutritive sweeteners, October 2020
                      • Clear up sugar-reduction confusion
                        • Figure 5: Attitudes toward sugar reduction in food/drinks, October 2020
                      • Alternatives eat into sugar’s market
                        • Leading syrup brands face a reckoning
                        • The Market – Key Takeaways

                          • 2020’s surge to be followed by considerable slip in sales
                            • Alternatives can provide natural competition
                              • Large syrup brands wrestle with racial sensitivity
                                • Nutritive sweeteners resonate
                                • Market Size and Forecast

                                  • Surging sales to return to pre-pandemic slide
                                    • Figure 6: Total US sales and fan chart forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2015-25
                                    • Figure 7: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2015-25
                                  • Macroeconomic factors
                                    • At-home food preparation to decline with pandemic’s end
                                      • Figure 8: Expected US unemployment, 2019-25
                                    • Focus beyond families
                                      • Figure 9: Households, by presence of related children, 2009-19
                                    • Impact of COVID-19 on sugar and alternative sweeteners
                                      • Figure 10: Short-, medium- and long-term impact of COVID-19 on sugar and alternative sweeteners, December 2020
                                    • Lockdown
                                      • Reemergence
                                        • Recovery
                                          • COVID-19: US context
                                            • Learnings from the last recession
                                              • Figure 11: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, 2007-12
                                          • Segment Performance

                                            • Alternatives erode sugar’s market share lead
                                              • Figure 12: Sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by segment, 2015-25
                                            • Sugar’s sales surge across retail channels
                                              • Figure 13: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
                                          • Market Factors

                                            • Capitalizing on increased cooking at home
                                              • Figure 14: Mealtime behaviors compared to last year – cooking and baking in general, October 2020
                                            • Post-COVID consumers will be encouraged to live healthier
                                              • Figure 15: Age-adjusted prevalence of diagnosed, undiagnosed and total diabetes among adults aged
                                            • Awareness of social awareness
                                              • Heart disease and sugar/artificial sweeteners
                                              • Market Opportunities

                                                • Home in on honey
                                                  • Boost health perceptions with more-functional sweeteners
                                                    • Figure 16: Attitudes toward nutritive sweeteners, October 2020
                                                  • Assuage concerns about sugar reduction in food/drinks
                                                    • Figure 17: Attitudes toward sugar reduction in food/drinks, October 2020
                                                • Companies and Brands – Key Takeaways

                                                  • Private label capitalizes on commodity perception
                                                    • Nutritional attributes could help overcome substitutes’ stigma
                                                    • Market Share

                                                      • Sugar sales lead private label to dominate market share
                                                        • Sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners by company
                                                          • Figure 18: Multi-outlet sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                        • Nutritional boost to alternative sweeteners
                                                          • Sweeteners merge natural with keto-friendly
                                                            • Honey brands go to the source
                                                              • Figure 19: US launches of honey, by claim, 2015-20
                                                          • The Consumer – Key Takeaways

                                                            • Multiple methods used to evaluate sugar content
                                                              • Sugar alternatives appeal to younger consumers
                                                                • Sugar watchers more likely to use natural sweeteners
                                                                  • Alternative sweeteners prove problematic
                                                                  • Consumer Perceptions of Their Sugar Intake

                                                                    • Only a quarter say they exceed daily recommendations for sugar
                                                                        • Figure 20: Consumer perceptions of their sugar intake, October 2020
                                                                      • Young people overconsume sugar
                                                                        • Figure 21: Consumer perceptions of their sugar intake, by age, October 2020
                                                                      • Dads much more likely to overconsume – and know it
                                                                        • Figure 22: Consumer perceptions of their sugar intake, by parental status, by gender, October 2020
                                                                      • Motivating those who eat too much sugar to eat less
                                                                        • Figure 23: Evaluating food/drink sugar content, by consumer perceptions of their sugar intake, October 2020
                                                                      • Underconsumers make efforts to avoid sugar content
                                                                        • Figure 24: Sugar/sweetener content on shopping behavior, by consumer perceptions of their sugar intake, October 2020
                                                                      • Overconsumers wary of efforts to modify sweetener content
                                                                        • Figure 25: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners, by consumer perceptions of their sugar intake, October 2020
                                                                    • Evaluating Food/Drink Sugar Content

                                                                      • Go beyond label requirements to guide consumers
                                                                        • Figure 26: Evaluating food/drink sugar content, October 2020
                                                                      • Activity equivalents resonate strongly with parents and younger consumers
                                                                        • Figure 27: Evaluating food/drink sugar content, by age, October 2020
                                                                        • Figure 28: Evaluating food/drink sugar content, by parental status, by gender, October 2020
                                                                      • Consumers want to know the impact of the sugar content
                                                                        • Figure 29: TURF Analysis – evaluating food/drink sugar content, October 2020
                                                                    • Sweeteners Used

                                                                      • Sugar remains most popular, but honey closes the gap
                                                                        • Figure 30: Sweeteners used, October 2020
                                                                      • Sweeteners for specific applications could resonate
                                                                        • Figure 31: Sweeteners used, by age, October 2020
                                                                      • Honey’s natural appeal resonates with parents
                                                                        • Figure 32: Sweeteners used, by parental status, October 2020
                                                                    • Usage of Sweeteners

                                                                      • Hot drinks, recipes lead sweetener usage
                                                                        • Figure 33: Usage of sweeteners, October 2020
                                                                      • Room to increase usage in recipes
                                                                        • Figure 34: Usage of sweeteners, by Hispanic origin, October 2020
                                                                    • Sugar/Sweetener Content and Shopping Behavior

                                                                      • Just under half of consumers check food labels for sugar
                                                                        • Figure 35: Sugar/sweetener content and shopping behavior, October 2020
                                                                      • Alternative sweetener users prone to check labels for sugar content
                                                                        • Figure 36: Sugar/sweetener content and shopping behavior, by Hispanic origin, October 2020
                                                                    • Reasons for Limiting Sugar

                                                                      • Consumers taking a long view when it comes to sugar’s health concerns
                                                                        • Figure 37: Reasons for limiting sugar, October 2020
                                                                      • Sugar alternatives with a BFY claim appeal to younger consumers
                                                                        • Figure 38: Reasons for limiting sugar, by age, October 2020
                                                                    • Perceptions of Select Types of Sugars and Sweeteners

                                                                      • “Plant-derived” sweeteners resonating
                                                                        • Figure 39: Correspondence analysis – Perceptions of select types of sugars and sweeteners, October 2020
                                                                        • Figure 40: Correspondence analysis – Perceptions of select types of sugars and sweeteners, October 2020
                                                                    • Sweetener Concern by Category

                                                                      • Natural, BFY sweeteners may improve consumers’ negative perceptions of sweetened beverages
                                                                        • Figure 41: Sweetener concern by category, October 2020
                                                                      • Young people’s sweetener concern notably in juice, energy drinks
                                                                        • Figure 42: Sweetener concern by category, by age, October 2020
                                                                    • Attitudes toward Sugar/Sweeteners

                                                                      • Consumers look to avoid sweeteners, particularly artificial ones
                                                                        • Figure 43: Attitudes toward sugar/sweeteners, October 2020
                                                                      • Dads much more likely to accept “natural sugars”
                                                                        • Figure 44: Attitudes toward health and sugar/sweeteners, by parental status, by gender, October 2020
                                                                      • Natural alternatives will face price sensitivity challenges in the recession
                                                                        • Figure 45: Attitudes toward use of sugar alternatives, by household income, October 2020
                                                                    • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                      • Data sources
                                                                        • Sales data
                                                                          • Forecast
                                                                            • Consumer survey data
                                                                              • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                • Appendix – The Market

                                                                                    • Figure 46: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 47: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by segment, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 48: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 49: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 50: Total US retail sales and forecast of syrup and molasses, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 51: Total US retail sales and forecast of syrup and molasses, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 52: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar substitutes, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 53: Total US retail sales and forecast of sugar substitutes, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 54: Total US retail sales and forecast of honey, at current prices, 2015-25
                                                                                    • Figure 55: Total US retail sales and forecast of honey, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2015-25
                                                                                • Appendix – Companies and Brands

                                                                                    • Figure 56: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                                    • Figure 57: Total US retail sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2018 and 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 58: US supermarket sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                                    • Figure 59: US sales of sugar and alternative sweeteners through other retail channels, at current prices, 2015-20
                                                                                • Appendix – Companies and Brands

                                                                                    • Figure 60: Multi-outlet sales of sugar, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 61: Multi-outlet sales of syrup and molasses, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 62: Multi-outlet sales of sugar substitutes, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 63: Multi-outlet sales of honey, by leading companies and brands, rolling 52 weeks 2019 and 2020
                                                                                • Appendix – Correspondence Analysis Methodology

                                                                                    • Figure 64: Correspondence analysis – Perceptions of select types of sugars and sweeteners, October 2020
                                                                                • TURF Analysis – Methodology

                                                                                    • Figure 65: TURF Analysis – evaluating food/drink sugar content, October 2020
                                                                                    • Figure 66: Table – TURF Analysis – evaluating food/drink sugar content, October 2020

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