It’s a fact — consumers want to reduce sugar intake. It could just be another food pivot like the low-fat movement of the eighties or the low-carb trend of the nineties. Regardless, they are voting with their feet and opting for low-sugar food alternatives.
And that has food manufacturers looking for ways to reduce sugar in their foods while maintaining the sweet flavor their customers love.
Here’s what’s happening so far…
With the recent shift in consumers’ lower sugar preferences, some companies are going with straight-up sugar reduction in their products.
Take the beverage industry for example:
- Coca-Cola has some two hundred initiatives in the works to reduce sugar in its drinks around the world. In the UK, they’ve already cut the sugar content in Sprite and Fanta by 30 percent.
- And rival PepsiCo is looking to cut the amount of sugar in its beverages. Their goal is to have two-thirds of their single-servings under one hundred calories by 2025.
Even confectioners are decreasing sugar
The confectionery giant Nestlé is looking to reduce the amount of sugar in its products.
It’s using several approaches (none of which include substituting sugar for artificial sweeteners).
Nestlé plans to:
- Decrease the amount of sugar by replacing it with existing natural ingredients.
- Reduce the size of some of their products (e.g. chocolate bars) by around 20 percent.
Additionally, Nestlé is looking to implement a scientific breakthrough that allows it to “structure sugar differently.”
The Swiss-based food company announced in late 2016 that it’s developing a new sugar structure. The “hollow” sugar molecule will allow the manufacturer to decrease the sugar volume, while maintaining an “almost identical sweetness.”
For Nestlé, this new food science could lead to an approximate 40 percent sugar reduction in its confectionery products.
How to reduce sugar, start-up style
While Nestlé is keeping this innovative food science under wraps, it’s not alone in the scientific search for reducing sugar in foods.
The Israeli start-up company DouxMatok is working on a new sugar delivery system or “enhanced sugar.” At the molecular level, it plans to coat an inert particle (a food-safe silica) with sugar.
Consumers will get the taste of sugar but not the quantity (and the body will simply eliminate the silica particles). With this technology, they anticipate a 20-40 percent sugar reduction.
Consumers ask, and the food industry answers
Consumer tastes continue to change. And sugar is currently the ingredient consumers are looking to decrease.
So, for food industry businesses that want to keep their sugar-added products in the market and in consumers’ carts, they may have to think about replacing, reducing or reformulating their sugar content.
Do you know of other methods for reducing sugar in food products? Let us know in the comments.
Also, are customers asking you to reduce the amount of sugar in your food products? At Ingredient Exchange, we can help. Please feel free to contact us here.