DSM report highlights changing consumer attitudes to sugar

19 Oct 2017

DSM has published a new report focusing on consumer attitudes and behaviour around the labelling of sugar content, which reveals that 50% of consumers check the sugar content of what they buy.

DSM report highlights changing consumer attitudes to sugar

DSM has published a new report in its Global Insight Series focusing on consumer attitudes and behaviour around the labelling of sugar content. The report, based on an international survey, is said to show that concern about sugar is on the rise globally, with nearly half of all consumers saying they are more concerned about overall sugar consumption than they were three years ago. In most countries, label reading has become the norm with more than 50% of global consumers saying they check the sugar content of foods before they buy.

DSM’s survey, conducted in July 2017 with 8,000 consumers in the US, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Germany, Spain, Vietnam and Japan, shows these trends are strongest among women, consumers under 35, and people with children. The survey finds that 50% of women are more concerned about their sugar intake than three years ago (versus 44% of men); that 59% of consumers ages 26-35 always or almost always check the label for sugar content (versus 55% for the general population); and that 64% of people with children have researched the health risks of sugar (versus 55% of people without children).

Despite a growing concern for sugar content, consumers are also actively avoiding artificial sweeteners, DSM claims. The majority prefer to see products that claim they are sweetened with “only natural sweeteners” followed by a preference for “no sugar added products.” When it comes to paying more for healthier options, natural is key as 50% of consumers say they are willing to pay more for products that claim “only natural sweeteners” are used, and 45% are willing to pay more for “no artificial sweeteners.”

Further findings of the research show that consumers want to be in control of their sugar intake, and expect food manufacturers and retailers to play a key role. More than 60% of respondents agreed that manufacturers and retailers should do more to reduce sugar or create less sugared versions of their products, which shows a clear market opportunity for continued new product development and reformulations of existing products.

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