Healthy sweets special edition

Spoonshot report on sugar reduction looks at consumer sweet spots

By Anthony Myers

- Last updated on GMT

Pic: Spoonshot
Pic: Spoonshot

Related tags healthy diet Sugar

A new report from Spoonshot, ‘Sugar Reduction: A Bittersweet Pill’ includes must-haves for food and beverage manufacturers responding to growing consumer demand for reduced sugar and sugar replacements.

The company, which delivers food and beverage innovation intelligence by leveraging AI and food science, looks in detail at the history of sugar; the role of sugar in different food and beverage categories and top sugar variants, nutritive/caloric sweeteners and non-nutritive/low-calorie sweeteners used by home chefs

Based on Spoonshot’s research​, both consumers and businesses have demonstrated a growing interest in reducing sugar.

Businesses are showing nearly twice as much interest compared to consumers. The company attributes this divide not only because of consumer pressure but also because governments are intervening with various health directives.

Most of us love sugar​,” said Spoonshot Co-Founder and CEO Kishan Vasani. “It’s a key ingredient in many of our most indulgent treats linked to good times as well as a popular go-to when we’re feeling low. It’s an affordable and easily accessible source of energy, but sugar can be potentially dangerous.”

According to Spoonshot’s findings, this presents food and beverage manufacturers with both opportunities and challenges. “For years, manufacturers have been able to rely on taste to attract consumer demand​,” said Vasani. “Today, these companies need to keep health and wellness as well as taste top of mind. Removing sugar from certain foods like chocolate just isn’t that simple. For many foods, sugar is not only a flavour carrier but adds to texture, appearance, and mouthfeel among other attributes​.”

Environmental impact

When sugar, both cheap and readily available, is removed from a product that adds layers of complexity to the entire production process in terms of functionality, economics and safety. Sugar reduction has an environmental impact as well.

Sugar crops are increasingly becoming unviable in an era when environmental and climate issues are at the forefront of everyone’s minds​,” said Vasani.  

Sustainability has stopped being a nice-to-have buzzword and is increasingly becoming an important measurable metric for consumers. Not surprisingly more and more companies across the food and drink sectors are pledging to go carbon neutral or even carbon negative. That, along with consumer demand for healthier foods is giving sugar alternatives a real leg up in promoting companies’ sustainability credentials by reducing their carbon footprints​.”