Around the world, consumers are continuing to demand products with less sugar, associating it with negative health consequences such as tooth decay, obesity, high blood pressure, and diabetes. COVID-19 has made the quest for reduced sugar more relevant than ever, with the number of health-conscious consumers increasing.
Globally, government health departments are also forcing food manufacturers to do more to reduce sugar in food and drink through sugar taxes and consumer education campaigns.
Food manufacturers are responding to these demands, with reduced sugar claims increasing by over 90 percent in Australia and New Zealand between 2017 and 2019. In particular, the beverage, snack, dairy and cereal categories have seen the most significant growth in this area (Mintel, 2020).
Sugar reduction is not going away any time soon, and to make it trickier, consumers still want a product that tastes good and is budget-friendly.
As food formulators, we know that reducing sugar affects more than just sweetness. Sugar also plays a functional role in the food matrix, such as in texture (including mouthfeel and viscosity), colour, flavour delivery and more.
While natural high-intensity sweeteners such as Stevia and Monk Fruit have offered the promise of replacing sugar and a clean label solution, one of the biggest hurdles to overcome has been their bitter and metallic after taste. Other issues which need to be addressed are formulation stability, increased food safety risk and mouthfeel changes.
Hawkins Watts approaches sugar replacement holistically, using its formulation expertise with flavours, textures, colours and more to re-engineer products so that they are as close as possible to the benchmarks and microbiologically safe. Our laboratories have all of the food processing equipment necessary to ensure that the new formulations will work commercially.
If your business is looking to reduce sugar in its formulations, get in touch firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information on sugar reduction trends, check out the latest ‘trend watch’ report here.