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Sugar Reduction

12th December 2019

12th December 2019

Sugar Reduction


Research from the FMCG Gurus Global Active Nutrition study (2019 – 26,000 respondents) shows that 44% of consumers say that they are aware or very aware of the amount of sugar that they have eaten in the past 24 hours, higher than the 41% who track calories and the 39% who track fat. This suggests that sugar has overtaken other concerns as the main dietary evil, and avoiding it has become a priority for health-conscious consumers.

FMCG Gurus-The war on sugar

Despite these concerns, though, consumers are not always as motivated as they might like. 33% of consumers who say that they planned to cut down on sugar a year ago failed to do so, suggesting that it is hard to avoid: unsurprising, considering how frequently it is used. A major barrier to cutting down on sugar can be negative feelings towards alternative sweeteners: using the FMCG Gurus UK Country Profile Survey as an example, we can see that only 11% of consumers thought that consuming artificial sweeteners would be good for their health, compared to the 51% that thought it would have negative effects. Natural sweeteners are better regarded but have their own issues. Looking back to the global report we can see that 66% of consumers believe natural sweeteners to be healthier than sugar, but they face an awareness issue. Only 43% say that they have consumed food and drinks with stevia as a sweetener, and those numbers drop significantly looking at agave (29%) and molasses (26%).

Although consumers have positive feelings towards natural sweeteners in general, there seems to be a disconnect between this and specific ingredients. This suggests that consumer education is a priority, and brands should be aware of the skepticism towards artificial options: using this sort of insight is important to position products to consumer’s needs.


This article is based on our Global Active Nutrition Survey 2019 and the UK Country Profile Survey 2019

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