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IFT19 Take Aways: Real Sugar, Less Sugar, No Sugar, Clean Sugar

The IFT Food Expo held recently in New Orleans offered an abundance of market research data to the attendees. As food companies and developers are trying to predict the effects of the mandatory added sugar labels and importance of non-GMO foods, the IFT was rich in the offering of actual data from consumer studies.

But do consumers do as they say?

The consumption of sugar in the US has NOT shown significant declines, yet a nationwide consumer survey from FONA International, Geneva, Ill., found 63% of 300 respondents said they would rethink purchasing a product based on knowing the amount of added sugars, and 18% said they no longer would purchase the product if the amount of added sugars were too high.

So what’s going on?

When asked what was more important, 52% said price was more important than grams of sugar per serving and 59% said taste was more important than grams of sugar per serving. AND 60% believe artificial sweeteners are bad for your health.

In other words, the bottom line is that flavor and experience, how a product tastes and the pleasure it provides, count more than the grams of sugar or types of sweeteners. Additionally, category makes a difference. Consumers seem more sensitive to sugar content in some categories more than others. They still want that sweet indulgent treat, and they want it to taste good.

Clean Labels and Non-GMO

Natural non-GMO cane sugar is the preferred option for optimal sweetness AND it is the optimal option for “Clean Label”, another on-going topic among food companies.

According to Mintel, natural products are evolving to more 'clean label' products, emphasizing free-from claims, minimal processing and simple ingredient statements without artificial ingredients. In 2017 62% of ‍US consumers agreed the fewer ingredients a food has, the healthier it is, up from 55% in 2016. ‍ Brands should opt for recognizable terms in on-pack messaging, such as no artificial ingredients, handmade or limited ingredients, instead of vague terms like "clean”.

Consumers increasingly want ingredient transparency. Clean has evolved from "safe" ingredients to consumers expecting brands to provide a view of ingredient sourcing and processing. Brands will need to show how, where and by whom the products are being created. Be sure to consider sustainability in the equation. That may be where you can push the envelope in this whole conversation around what is clean, clean eating and clean label.

Provide proof. Today's consumer is better equipped to both track and report issues than ever before, so next-generation clean label products will need to address these consumer concerns with facts.

Sugaright is the preferred supplier for non-GMO, minimally processed liquid cane sugar for all sweet indulgences. Non-GMO Project Verified, Bonsucro and Fairtrade certifications offer proof of transparent, sustainable sourcing required by the consumers of today.

Contact us to find out more.

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