NETHERLANDS – DSM has published a new report in its Global Insight Series focusing on consumer attitudes and behaviour around the labeling of sugar content and its consumption.

The report, based on an international survey, showed that concern about sugar is on the rise globally, with nearly half of all consumers saying they are more concerned about overall sugar consumption than they were three years ago.

The survey, conducted in July 2017 with 8,000 consumers in the US, Mexico, Brazil, UK, Germany, Spain, Vietnam and Japan, showed these trends were strongest among women, consumers under 35, and people with children.

The survey finds that 50% of women were more concerned about their sugar intake than three years ago (versus 44% of men).

It also revealed that 59% of consumers aged 26-35 always or almost always check the label for sugar content, versus 55% of the general population, and that 64% of people with children have researched the health risks of sugar (versus 55% of people without children).

“This report on labelling is the first in a mini-series we are publishing the results of our very extensive study, which also looks at consumer perceptions of different sweeteners and where consumers get information about sugar and its alternatives.

These reports will be published in the coming months,” said Merel Roes, Global Business Line Manager Dairy Enzymes and DSM, while speaking to FoodIngredientsFirst.

“We see significant demand for sugar reduction within sugar-sweetened beverages and dairy products.

There are many reasons for this. These are products people consume regularly and believe to be healthy, but which can contain added sugars.

They are also the focus for sugar reduction at many food manufacturers and retailers.

Especially within the dairy category, 61% of respondents to our survey say they are trying to reduce their sugar intake in dairy by reducing their portion sizes, switching to plain products, or switching to reduced-sugar or no-added-sugar varieties.”

“The focus on sugar-reduction dovetails with a move toward cleaner and clearer labels,” Roes explains.

“Some consumers are moving away from artificial sweeteners and want more natural-sounding ingredients that they can understand.

Making these naturally-occurring ingredients available to a larger number of people is the task of the ingredients industry now.”