A study revealed by ingredient manufacturer Kerry presents new insights into consumer perceptions of sugar and other sweetening agents.
Almost a half of the American consumers (46%) strongly want to reduce their sugar intake, while 27% want products to taste less sweet, the study shows.
On the other hand, half of consumers seek out the type of sweetening agent on the nutrition panel and ingredient deck.
Honey (with 94%), sugar (with 82%), maple syrup (with 82%), stevia (with 46%) and agave (with 71%) are perceived by most of the consumers as natural sweetening agents.
On the other hand, honey stays in the top preferences of alternative sweeteners – with 64%, followed by maple syrup (with 31%), stevia (with 22%) and agave (with 13%). Sugar is preferred by 59% of the American consumers.
Regarding the awareness of these sweetening agents, honey and sugar each met 82% of the consumers’ answers, while maple syrup reunited 71% of the answer, stevia – 58% and agave – 50%.
Bottom five sweetening agents by preference, as Kerry research points out, are monk fruit (77%), acesulfame k and sorbitol (each with 21%), erythritol (20%) and xylitol (19%). They are found in small percentage in consumers’ preferences, between 1 and 3%.
From them, xylitol is best known by consumers (21%), while 20% of consumers are aware sorbitol, 15% of monk fruit, 10% of erythitol and 9% of acesulfame k.