Australian consumers watching their sweet tooth

Posted by Nicole Eckersley on 15th June 2010

New research by Datamonitor shows that consumers in Australia are more concerned with their high sugar intake, with nearly 40% of those surveyed keeping a close eye on sugar consumption.

“Given the growing focus around ‘healthy’ eating, and improved knowledge of food preparation and nutrition thanks to shows like Masterchef, it is not surprising that our figures show growing concern over sugar consumption,” said Katrina Diamonon, consumer analyst at Datamonitor.

“As a source of energy our love affair with anything sweet continues as we rely heavily on sugar and sweeteners.  In fact, 60% more of our energy comes from sugar and sweeteners than the global average.  We are a nation dependent upon sugar to keep us going rather than more nutritious foods such as cereals,” added Diamonon.

Low-calorie alternatives to sugar are growing in popularity, with negative publicity around artificial sweeteners like Aspartame sending consumers towards ‘natural’ sweeteners such as stevia.

“With a high proportion of Australian diets made up of sweeteners and sugars, shoppers are leading the push for healthier alternatives to regular sugar.  Natural sweeteners which are calorie free will continue to gain ground, but products such as Stevia need to overcome hurdles surrounding taste and price before it achieves mainstream adoption,” said Diamonon.

Australian’s aren’t the only ones watching their sugar: in the Asia-Pacific region, concern was even higher. Results suggest nearly half (49%) of Chinese consumers and 45% of South Korean consumers paid a high amount of attention to this area of nutrition.