DSM’s Global Insight Series surveyed 5,000 no/ low sugar product users from across France, US, Argentina, Mexico and Australia about their beliefs and behaviors around these popular products.
In every category, except soft drinks, consumers are slightly more likely to have bought a low-sugar option than a sugar-free option. The three most frequently cited reasons for choosing low or no-sugar options were all related to weight and health. Almost half (49%) of people surveyed said they chose lower no-sugar options to lose or maintain weight. Globally, 42% said they made these choices because they were concerned about diabetes and 39% because they were concerned about a threat to their health. Interestingly, just 20% of respondents said that they preferred the taste of low/no sugar products.
The survey data suggest that consumers seeking to limit sugar intake do not take a one-size-fits-all approach to purchasing decisions for the different foods and beverages they consume. More than twice as many (41% vs 20%) have opted for a sugar-free carbonated soft drink versus a sugar-free juice and, while 40% have chosen a low-sugar yogurt, just 20% have opted for a sugar-free version of the flavored yogurt. Understanding what drives this aspect of different decision making per category may hold promise for manufacturers launching products that offer no-sugar options in low-sugar strongholds and vice versa.
Consumer interest in low- and no-sugar products is high in all markets surveyed and the awareness of the health implications of too much sugar is significant and increasing, especially in the emerging consumer markets. The popularity of low- and no-sugar options demonstrates that consumers still want to be able to enjoy sweet-tasting drinks and snacks although their perceived buying behavior varies quite substantially per category.
Of those surveyed, 69% agree/strongly agree that they are concerned about the impact of excess sugar consumption on weight.
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10 May 2019