The sweetener industry continues to evolve more by consumption than invention. Just as sugar was transformed from a luxury item to a standard on the American table, and then made huge inroads into processed foods, new high-intensity sweeteners are carving out solid ground in the sweetener tool chest.
During the last third of the 20th century, ingredient makers and product processors began taking a less passive and more proactive approach to making foods and beverages sweet. Thanks to consumer concerns about diet, health, and natural products, innovation and invention started to generate big shifts in consumption of the amounts and types of sweetened products. In addition, consumers began to focus on what specific ingredients were used to sweeten those products.