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Consumer Trends

Consumers are less sweet on sugar

The courts may have challenged Mayor Bloomberg's ban on oversized sugary soft drinks in New York, but public opinion appears to be on Hizzoner's side. A new study from Mintel Research Consultancy revealed that Americans support reducing total sugars in 12 food and beverage categories. In fact, concern about total sugars in products outweighs concern about high fructose corn syrup content.

  • Of 2,000 consumers surveyed about their overall food and beverage decisions, 21% expressed concern about taking in fewer total sugars
  • About 3% of consumers expressed concern about high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) when considering baked goods, beverages, dairy products and condiments
  • More consumers are reading labels for total sugar (31%) than for HFCS (4%)
  • Calories are the information most looked for when reading food and beverage labels, according to 41% of respondents

"This data suggests that manufacturers would realize a stronger sales increase by reducing overall sugar content than by reformulating [food and beverage products] without HFCS," stated Sara Martens, vice president of Mintel's MSR group.

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