Traditional sweeteners preferred by consumers, survey finds

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25th July 2018 15:00 - Chemicals

Traditional sweeteners preferred by consumers: An online survey into the use of sweetening products has revealed the majority of people prefer natural sweeteners rather than artificial alternatives.   
The poll of 720 US consumers also found that 71 percent pay close attention to food labels when undertaking their shopping, while  55 percent would like reduced-sugar products to taste the same as their favourite full-sugar food and drink items.
Conducted by Kerry, The Taste & Nutrition Co, the survey found consumers' ‘awareness’ and ‘preference’ of certain sweeteners differed considerably.  
In terms of awareness of sweetening products, honey and sugar were the most recognised, with 82 percent  saying they had knowledge of it, followed by maple syrup (71percent), molasses (66 percent), high-fructose corn syrup (63 percent), stevia (58 percent), agave (50 percent) and aspartame (46 percent). 
When it came to what consumers ‘preferred’, 64 percent said honey, with 59 percent listing sugar, followed by maple syrup (31 percent), stevia (22 percent), agave (13 percent), molasses (9 percent), high-fructose corn syrup (7 percent) and aspartame (6 percent)
There was confusion among respondents as to whether stevia is natural or artificially-produced, however, the figures show it was the fourth most preferred sweetener. 
The initial findings were presented in Chicago during IFT18 – The Institute of Food Technologists annual meeting in July, where Kerry also unveiled its TasteSense Sweet system designed to help bake products using less sugar, but without compromising the taste. 
Although the survey asked respondents about 17 different sweeteners, only the results for the top eight have been published, with more to be released at a later date in 2018. 

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