As sugar becomes more central to the obesity debate, its reduction is becoming a major dietary target for many consumers. This is manifesting itself most in the Baby Boomer demographic (born 1946-1964). Innova Market Insights research shows that 1 in 2 US Boomers have been reducing their sugar intake or buying more reduced sugar products, while 2 in 5 are cutting back on their consumption of sweet snacks.

This trend is supported by research into the typical shopping basket. “Boomers are below-average purchasers of certain sweet products such as chocolate, desserts & ice cream and snack bars,” says Lu Ann Williams, Director of Innovation of Innova Market Insights. “In contrast, they are markedly more important in the yogurt, sweet baked goods and breakfast cereals categories, so these could offer opportunities for sugar reduction,” she adds.

The US yogurt category is already seeing high levels of low/no sugar development, with 20% of all launches in 2018 carrying such claims, up from just 4% in 2013. Breakfast cereals and sweet baked goods have not followed suit, however, with just 2% penetration for reduced sugar products in 2018.

At the IFT Food Expo 2019 in New Orleans (3-5 June), Innova Market Insights will outline several platforms related to sugar reduction:

•    Sugar Substitution: 2 in 5 US consumers use sweeteners “because they like sweet things but want to reduce the calories.”
•    Sugar Reduction: 3 in 5 US consumers would “rather cut back on sugar than consume alternative sweeteners.”
•    Beyond Sweetness: 1 in 2 US consumers prefer savory to sweet taste in an afternoon snack.
•    Sweet Science: Patent activity is thriving in natural sweeteners.