42% of consumers not aware how much sugar they consume, reveals poll

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28th August 2019 12:20 - Food

42% of consumers not aware how much sugar they consume: A survey of consumers has revealed that more than four in ten have no idea how much sugar they have consumed in the last 24 hours. It also revealed that when it comes to dieting, avoiding sugar is the third most popular method of trying to lose weight, with 48% saying this was their chosen strategy, after exercising more and trying to eat more fresh foods. 

Forty-six percent (46%) of consumers said they were trying to make a ‘conscious attempt’ to avoid products with a high sugar content.

The survey also revealed that four in ten people said they thought products that claimed to have ‘zero sugar’ were a healthy choice.

The research by FMCG Gurus polled 25,000 consumers across 25 countries and revealed 39% were on a diet to shed the pounds. 

Looking for alternatives to sugar, the survey revealed 62% believe that natural sweeteners are a healthier option, however, despite this, only 28% are actually searching for alternative products.

According to the research, women are more likely to look for products that offer an alternative to sugar - with a third (32%) saying they have, compared to a quarter of men (24%). 

Stevia, a natural sweetener derived from the Stevia rebaudiana plant, (native to Brazil and Paraguay), has been tried by 72% of consumers according to the research, and is one of the leading natural alternatives to sugar. However, when sampling carbonated drinks containing stevia, just 22% said it tasted better than products made with sugar, while 24% said the same for chocolate - suggesting that despite it offering them a natural, healthier alternative to sugar, consumers are not as convinced by stevia when it comes to taste. 

According to the FMCG Gurus the research highlights the barriers to consumers actively seeking out alternative products. 

Head of research and insight ay FMCG Gurus, Mike Hughes, said: “Even if consumers express negative sentiment towards sugar, they are not necessarily making fundamental changes to their lifestyles. 

“The reality is that unless brands address taste perceptions, stevia will be something that continues to offer little appeal to consumers.” 

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