Manufacturers have rushed to reformulate to qualify for, “no added sugar” or “_% less sugar” claims. Yet replacing nutritive sweeteners with artificial sweeteners conflicts with consumer desire for clean-label “healthy” and “natural” ingredients. The demand for alternative sweeteners is such that, according to a report by the Freedonia Group, annual sales will hit $1.6 billion by 2020, or roughly a third higher than in 2010.
This trend opened the doors to fruit sweeteners, and they continue to gain ground in product development, especially in bakery items as well as sauces and condiments. Apple sauce and prune purée have been touted for years as natural replacements to both sugar and some of the fat in some bakery formulations. While these continue to help manufacturers boost the health profile of baked goods, raisin and fig syrups, too, continue to intrigue formulators.