America’s Complicated Love-Hate Relationship with Sugar!

When it comes to opinions about sugar, American consumers are divided.

Low-or no-calorie sweetener fans want to avoid sugar thinking it is the major cause of weight gain. But these alternatives are shunned by many who don’t trust low-calorie sweeteners. Their concerns relate to health, naturalness and taste. As more and more consumers are becoming aware of the health risks associated with obesity, both sides are uniting in the general agreement that sugar content needs to be reduced.

Manufacturers are listening.

Food manufacturers are listening and taking action. Organic yogurt maker Stonyfield, for example, has developed a formulation that reduces tartness and balances the sweetness of yogurt, requiring the use of less sugar. Coca-Cola has introduced a milk brand using a cold-filtration process that achieves a sweet taste but has 50% less sugar than traditional milk. Nestle scientists have studied the structure of sugar crystals and how they react on the tongue to produce crystals using much less sugar.

Low-sugar labels are increasingly viewed with suspicion!

Still, many consumers are leery of products labeled “low-sugar”, feeling the product is loaded with lots of artificial sweeteners. So their shopping involves not only avoiding products with high-fructose corn syrup and sugar itself but also artificial sweeteners. This applies to consumers in general, not just those watching their waste-line. Take, for instance, diet soda. About half of us think it’s as unhealthy as regular soda.

“Is it natural?”

As the American consumer practices label-reading more and more on food products they buy, there is a raised level of skepticism about just what constitutes natural regarding natural sweeteners. Organic stevia, non-nutritive sweeteners with a natural positioning such as monk fruit, xylitol and erythritol are growing in new product launches in the United States. Because consumers may be unfamiliar with these sweeteners, manufacturers are starting to talk about where these sugars came from. For example, a couple of products are linking the origin of xylitol back to birch.

As American consumers increasingly move toward a natural sweetener or low-sugar diet preference, manufacturers will need more flavorists and food scientists to meet this demand.

Key Corporate Services has earned a reputation as one of the country’s leading Food Ingredients, Additives & Nutraceuticals recruiters. Our experienced staff is ready to answer the call to help you find the perfect job for you in an industry ripe for growth and opportunity.

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