According to the American Heart Association, the average American consumes more than three times the recommended amount of sugar. The number for kids is even worse, as they are consuming 81g per day, equaling over 65 pounds of added sugar per year. American children are ingesting over 30 gallons of added sugars from beverages alone.

Finding ways to reduce intake without sacrificing on taste is key. When exploring alternatives to table sugar, the American Heart Association has stated that leaning on natural alternatives to sugar, like stevia, may be an option.

Here is a look at some of the ways processors are addressing sugar reduction concerns in the marketplace.

Sugar reduction's ultimate test: chocolate



With sugar reduction by far one of the biggest trends in the food and beverage industry, at once running parallel and at odds with the trend of indulgence and comfort. Yet until recently, the promises were as empty as the calories when it came to flavor and overall eating experience. It took a while, but ingredient technology and craftsmanship finally came together to change the paradigm and make healthful indulgence more than just marketing ploy. 

Proof is in the products made by companies like GoodSam Foods, a B-Corp maker of vegan, direct-trade, keto-friendly products ranging from nuts and coffee to cake and brownie mixes...and, specially, sugar-free chocolate bars and confections.

Heather Terry, entrepreneur and CEO of GoodSam Foods, shares a look into her journey bringing together “good tasting” and “good for you.”

Listen to the podcast.

Sugar-free hard candy sees growth

Sales of sugar-free diet candy, an IRI category that does not include sugar-free chocolate, showed growth as well. The category was up 13.8% compared to a year ago with $103.2 million in dollar sales. Here too the average price per unit was up compared to a year ago, reaching to $2.79, up $0.29 compared to a year ago.

Sugar-free Storck led the top brands in the sector, with $48.9 million in sales, up 5.2% compared to a year ago. 

Coming in second was Mars Wrigley's sugar-free Lifesavers, with $18 million in sales, up 30.6%. 

Next was The Hershey Co.'s sugar-free Jolly Ranchers, with $12.6 million in sales, up a whopping 85.2% compared to a year ago. The brand also had the largest increase in its price per unit among the Top 5 sugar-free candies, with an increase of $0.68 to $3.38. 

Coming in fourth was the Ferrara Candy Co.'s sugar-free Brach’s, which had $6 million in sales, down 8.7% compared to a year ago. The decrease happened despite the brand's price per unit increasing $0.42 to $2.79.

While it’s not classified as a hard candy, rounding out the Top 5 non-chocolate sugar-free brands was The Hershey Co.'s sugar-free Twizzlers, with $3 million in sales, up a massive 534% compared to a year ago. While a price per unit increase likely contributed to the growth, it was only a modest increase comparatively. IRI data shows sugar-free Twizzlers price per unit was up $0.15 to $2.38

New shelf-stable juice box line contains zero added sugars, and is sweetened with stevia

Uncle Matt's Organic® announced the launch of two new offerings for kids: No Sugar Added Lemonade Juice Boxes and No Sugar Added Strawberry Lemonade Juice Boxes. The shelf-stable line contains zero added sugars, is sweetened with stevia and boosted with 150% DV Vitamin C, plus 25% DV Vitamin D and Zinc for immune support. 

With the addition of Uncle Matt's Organic® No Sugar Added Lemonade Juice Boxes and No Sugar Added Strawberry Lemonade Juice Boxes, there is a functional Uncle Matt's Organic® offering for families, including: Matt50™ Orange Juice Beverage, Ultimate Immune® Organic Orange Juice, Ultimate Defense® Orange Juice with Turmeric and Probiotics, Ultimate Wellness Juice Shots and Organic Orange Juice with Calcium & Vitamin D in addition to its core Organic Orange Juice, Organic Grapefruit Juice and line of No Sugar Added Lemonades. 

Learn more.

Tamalitoz debuts spicy, low-sugar chewy candy


Tamalitoz by Sugarox launched ChewLows, for those who want a sweet treat without added sugars.

ChewLows features the brand's signature chili lime seasoning mixed in the low-sugar formulaiton. Flavors include Divine Watermelon and Pineapple Galore. The candy is also Non-GMO, made with all organic ingredients, and vegan, and does not include artificial sweeteners, sugar alcohols, or high-fructose corn syrup.

KOHLER introduces Sugar Free Chocolate


PHOTO COURTESY OF: KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates

KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates introduced Sugar Free Chocolate, handcrafted pieces featuring high cacao content and high quality ingredients. 

Sugar Free Chocolate is a testament to the brand's dedication to flavor, quality and attention to detail. Every piece is crafted by melding a ganache blend of KOHLER Original Recipe sugar-free chocolate and craft sugar-free vanilla syrup, enveloped in a shell of 65% cacao imported sugar-free chocolate. The team at KOHLER Original Recipe Chocolates garnishes each piece by hand with a sugar-free chocolate drizzle.

New Products from Mission Foods offer zero net carbs and zero sugar

Mission Foods introduced Zero Net Carbs Tortillas, which are not only zero net carbs and zero sugar, but also Keto-certified, high fiber and low in calories.

Made with quality ingredients, Mission® Zero Net Carbs tortillas are available in stores across the US. They will be offered in two flavors: Original — the flavor Mission customers know, and Sundried Tomato Basil — packed with sundried tomatoes and fresh basil flavors.

Learn more.

New better-for-you hard candy delivers 4g of sugar, and contains 0g of sugar alcohol

From the makers of HI-CHEW™, Morinaga America Inc. presents FI-BEING™, a new brand founded on the principles of creating better-for-you candy options. FI-BEING™ comes in the form of a hard candy that maintains the flavor experience of Morinaga products. Each serving of FI-BEING™ provides 39% of the daily recommended dietary fiber intake. 

The brand name FI-BEING™ consists of two keywords that define the product's primary attributes: Fiber and Being. Each serving of FI-BEING™ delivers 11g of dietary fiber, 4g of sugar, and contains 0g of sugar alcohol.

Instead of using sugar alcohol, which may cause negative digestive impacts or affect taste, FI-BEING™ uses dietary fiber, called Inulin, and other unique formulations, to partially replace the candy's sugar content.

Learn more.