Sugar reduction is the new normal: Rethinking sugar labeling strategies

Sugar content in the food we eat — and efforts by governments, NGOs, and the food industry to reduce sugar consumption — has become big news, and it’s having an impact on public opinion.

According to DSM consumer research in eight countries (the US, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Spain, Germany, Vietnam, and Japan), 47% of consumers say they are more concerned about their sugar consumption than they were three years ago. At the same time, food producers know reformulation can be tricky because many consumers are unwilling to give up on the sweet taste they love.

Things are packaged so they look organic or natural, but you have no idea until you look at the ingredients - New Zealand Tourist

Growth of the global sugar market is slowing due to changing preferences, product reformulations, and government pressure, and it’s likely to stay that way. Of the new soft drinks produced over the past five years, a huge 50% contain either sweeteners in place of sugar, or no sugar at all. While consumers are keeping an eye on the sugar content of their food and beverages, they are also checking the label for more natural sweetener options.

More people checking the label

More than 50% of consumers are checking the label of the foods they buy for sugar content. We spoke to consumers at London's Camden Market to find out why. Watch the video to find out more.


Food Facts

  • More consumers are concerned about their sugar intake, and it's changing their purchasing decisions. More than half of the people we surveyed say they check the sugar content of products before they buy.

  • Consumers between ages 26-35 are most likely to check the label for sugar content; 59% of people in this age group check sugar content versus 55% for the general population.

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Published on

17 February 2019