Sweeteners, sugar
Consumers are seeking less sugar in their sweet choices.

Emphasis on sugar reduction increases

People may like a sweet taste, but they are seeking less sugar in their sweet choices, as surveys point out.

The 2017 Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council Foundation, Washington, showed 76% of respondents said they were trying to avoid or limit sugars.

The report “Sweetness and Lite” from Rabobank, New York, indicates a combination of changing preferences, product reformulations and government pressure have caused structural changes in the way sugar is perceived globally. Many consumers adopt low-sugar diets instead of ones that focus just on fats because they see sugar and refined carbohydrates as the main culprits in obesity, according to the report written by Andy Duff, global strategist for Rabobank, and Nick Fereday, senior analyst for Rabobank.

“The consumer shift away from sugar has become a global trend,” Mr. Fereday said. “This is a big deal for the sugar industry and cannot be dismissed as a passing fad or wished away.”

Growing concerns over the health impact of excess sugar consumption in the average U.S. diet will fuel demand for alternative sweeteners, according to The Freedonia Group, Cleveland. Growth for natural alternative sweeteners is expected to expand at a double-digit pace through 2021 because of consumer interest in “all natural” and “clean label” foods and beverages. Stevia is forecast to account for over one-quarter of demand for natural alternative sweeteners in 2021.