Consumers want “clean label” soft drinks, Canadean finds

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 9th December 2013

Sugar and sweetener consumption are changing across many markets globally, driven by governmental taxations, health concerns and a shift in consumer sentiment, according to global market research organisation Canadean Ingredients.

According to Canadean, today’s consumers are more aware of health and safety than ever before, an while government taxations may be an overall industry driver, increasing positive sentiments towards “all natural” sweetness and “clean label” products has been the strongest incentive for the fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry.

Aspartame is losing dominance to Stevia and Sucralose

Canadean said that recent research showed that Aspartame was rapidly losing its dominance in soft drink formulations to Stevia, Sucralose, Erythritol and Acesulfame Potassium. Within the next five years, the sweetener is forecasted to face negative growth rates between 0.1 to -1.7 per cent (about 8,500 tonnes in 2018). Its main market will be powdered soft drinks in Asia, Latin America and Africa, according to Canadean.

Sucralose consumption in soft drinks is forecasted to grow between 1.9 to 6.6 per cent (about 1,600 tonnes in 2018) and across most soft drink categories. Standardised Stevia sweeteners consumption has a steep growth of 12.3 per cent, with an estimated volume sale of 8,000 tonnes in 2018.

Soft drink products with reduced sugar and natural sweeteners are witnessing increasing growth in the Western markets among leading brands, according to Canadean. The “middle calorie” segment has become a new mainstream market.

“At Canadean Ingredients we believe that all-natural and less sugar is an important focus for the ingredient industry, as evidenced in our consumer sentiment studies,” said Karin Nielsen, Director Canadean Ingredients. “This is the case not just for soft drinks but in all food and beverage categories,” she said.

“The ingredient and food industry need to consider the current sweeteners marketing mix and how they present their products for this new important segment,” Ms Nielsen said.

Honey perceived as “healthiest” choice

According to Canadean research, honey as “all natural” is perceived to be the healthiest choice of sugars/sweeteners, followed by Stevia and cane sugar.

More women than men believed that Stevia is the healthiest choice, suggesting that more women are more up-to-date on this natural sweetener. More men had the non-caloric Sucralose on the radar as an indicator of the healthier choice.

Canadean Ingredients presented its key findings in Sweeteners and Flavours at the 2013 Food and Natural Ingredients Exhibition in Frankfurt, Germany, held 19 November 2013 to 21 November 2013.

Consumer want "clean label" soft drinks