Consumers are more health conscience than ever, and this shift is having a huge impact on the beverage market.
Products that are high in sugar are coming under increasing scrutiny from consumers and the media as a growing number of the population adopt healthier lifestyles. As a result, sugar alternatives such as honey, agave syrup and natural sweeteners have flooded the market.
Even fizzy drinks giant Coca-Cola is looking to get in on the action, and recently announced that it will test a recipe sweetened with stevia instead of sugar for launch outside of the U.S. market next year.
This is a clear sign they are reacting to the shift in consumer preferences. We are now more conscious of our sugar intake than ever before, and better understand the affect it can have on our health. A growing number of people are even trying to remove it from their diets completely. The new wave of trendy diets such as ‘paleo’ and ‘ketogenic’ are encouraging our nation to put down sugar and pick up the healthier alternatives.
But what are these sugar alternatives, and are they actually good for us. Take stevia, for example. It is derived from a natural plant from South America. It contains no calories and is sweeter than sugar, which means consumers and manufacturers can use less of it. It is being used by a number of food and beverage manufactures looking to sweeten the taste of products without the added calories.
As our health conscience society demands healthier products, food and beverage manufacturers are under pressure to incorporate more ingredients such as stevia as alternatives to their calorific counterparts. It is likely this trend will continue for some time, evidenced by the likes of Coca Cola changing tack.
Manufacturers are having to keep up with the demands from customers for healthier alternatives. Either they innovate and create new healthier versions, or face potentially losing customers to a rival company who does offer a wider range of sugar substitutes.