Six Out of Ten Swedish Consumers Want to Lower Their Sugar Intake

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Six Out of Ten Swedish Consumers Want to Lower Their Sugar Intake

Six Out of Ten Swedish Consumers Want to Lower Their Sugar Intake
October 19
09:59 2015

Over half of all Swedes (60%) would like to reduce their intake of sugar, while the majority (86%) of them thinks that it is challenging to accomplish. This is according to a new study by the Novus institute on behalf of The Real Stevia Company, a Swedish-based stevia producer.

The most common challenge noticed by consumers is that it is simply too difficult to completely stop eating sugar (42%). Two other big challenges are the lack of knowledge of which food products contain excess amounts of sugar and finding products that are completely free of them. More than one-third reports this as a problem.

“We think these numbers are important for food producers and national governments to embrace, as consumers today clearly want to make a change,” says Sophia Horn af Rantzien, Managing Director at The Real Stevia Company.

There is no difference between women’s and men’s desire to reduce sugar intake in the study. Nor does the level of education, or where in the country you live, impact the desire to lower the amount of sugar in food. However there is a difference when it comes to the different age groups. Those within the 30-49 year old age bracket are primarily the ones who want to reduce their sugar intake, as reported by 65% in this demographic.

“It’s interesting but not that surprising since this is usually a very knowledgeable age group with high awareness. Many in this demographic also have children which often increases a demand for nutritional changes,” comments Sophia Horn af Rantzien.”There is of course a large commercial opportunity for food producers to create more sugar-free options to this desirable audience”.

Today there are several sugar alternatives to get a sweet taste in products. The most well known among artificial sweeteners is aspartame, which is reflected in the survey. ”Natural origin” is reported to be a very important aspect (as asked for by 44%) when selecting sweeteners, the survey further states. Stevia is a newcomer to natural sweeteners and has quickly gained the favour of consumers, despite it only being approved for use in EU (under the name steviol glycosides) as late as December 2011. In the study almost half (47%) report that they have at some point bought a product containing stevia.

“Sugar will most likely not be completely removed from most products, however reducing sugar content by mixing it with stevia is a much simpler process and they pair very well,” says Sophia Horn af Rantzien. “Our hope is that the industry will work together with local governments to take further steps in order to allow more sugar-reduced alternatives in the grocery aisle”.

Product examples with stevia today include ice cream, chocolate, functional beverages such as vitamin- and energy drinks, soda, candy, table sweeteners, ketchup and granulated stevia sugar.

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