As sugar prices near a three-year low, companies around the globe are minimizing the amount of sugar used in their products. But why are people eating less sugar? Consumer health. This trend is a result of consumers becoming more concerned about obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. This is resulting in a movement away from refined sugars and artificial sweeteners.

Industry Survey

A new study released by the Consumer Goods Forum surveyed 102 companies, ranging from Walmart to Nestle. The findings show that these companies are reformulating more than 180,000 of their products to “support healthier diets and lifestyles and address public health priorities.” That’s an increase from just 84,000 products in 2015 and 22,500 in 2014. People are ditching your average soda and high caloric drinks to drink things like Kombucha and cold-pressed juice.

In an effort to adapt to consumer demands, companies are removing sugar, which makes up around $1.8 trillion in 2015 revenue. To really enforce the removal of sugar, some cities have implemented taxes on sugary drinks. Furthermore, the FDA will start requiring companies to reveal the amount of added sugars on product packaging.

A shift in food consciousness 

The movement to reduce sugar shows how the food industry is becoming more health conscious. Research firm NPD Group has found that sugar is the main substance that consumers are now trying to eliminate from their diets. Health-focused food restaurants and companies are increasing their market share relative to some legacy CPG brands. To remain competitive, larger brands are having to evolve to remain competitive. 

As David Turner, a global food and drink analyst from Mintel, stated, “Sugar is the new tobacco” in the minds of the public. However, despite the shift, sweets are still being consumed in massive quantity. Americans now eat a total of 76 pounds of various sugars every year, up 8% from 1970. To read more about the shift of sugar, head on over to this sweet read.

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