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No longer sweet young things: Boomers drive sugar replacement

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 one in two US Boomers have been reducing their sugar intake or buying more reduced sugar products, while two in five 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 percent of all launches in 2018 carrying such claims, up from just four percent in 2013. Breakfast cereals and sweet baked goods have not followed suit, however, with just two percent penetration for reduced sugar products in 2018.

Innova Market Insights statistics on sugar reduction in the US:

  • 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
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