20 November 2014

Euromonitor survey uncovers a new food villain: sugar

Euromonitor International has noticed a backlash against sugar as consumer attitudes change around the world. 

The negative attitude towards sugar is driving changes in food trends as people make a conscious effort to either reduce their sweet food and drink intake, or avoid sugar completely. Euromonitor’s Global Consumer Trends Survey revealed that 42% of consumers seek out food labels with limited or no added sugar.

“Sugar is now seen as a health risk by most, and as toxic as tobacco by some,” says Gina Westbrook, Director of Strategy Briefings at Euromonitor International. “Sugar has endured a tide of negative public opinion as the amount of scientific research linking the rise in sugar intake with obesity has increased, leading the government to become increasingly concerned about the rising cost of illnesses such as diabetes and cancer.”

The World Health Organisation recently said that cutting the recommended daily sugar limit in half to 5% would have ‘additional benefits’ and consequently, manufacturers are being forced to reduce sugar content and develop natural alternatives to artificial sweeteners.

Added Westbrook, “Companies will continue to work with ingredients suppliers to develop new alternatives, with natural sweeteners like stevia holding the greatest growth potential.”
The report covers 34 global markets, including Australia and China. All 34 markets have seen a five-year rise in obesity, and 27 markets have also experienced an increase in diabetes.