Reformulate, Rebrand: Companies Respond to Demand for Sugar Reduction
FDA’s mandate that requires the amount of added sugar to be stated on the Nutrition Facts panel will go into effect in July 2018. This change is top of mind for many brand owners who will try to integrate the new recommendation (that calories from sugar should not exceed 10 percent of daily calories or 200 calories from sugar) into their food and beverage products. In response, companies are reformulating and implementing changes to their marketing language to clearly communicate low sugar content and position their products as better-for-you in order to stay relevant to consumers.
Coca-Cola pledged to cut calories 10 percent across its beverage portfolio by 2020. PepsiCo is also working toward reducing calories from added sugar in conjunction with growing its “naturally nutritious” portfolio. They announced in October 2016 that by 2025 at least 66 percent of their drinks will have 100 calories or fewer from added sugar per 12-ounce serving, up from the current 40 percent.
In addition to Coke and Pepsi, Nestlé is prioritizing sugar reduction across products and is hoping to implement a 40-percent sugar reduction in its chocolate. The company is currently seeking a patent for a sugar reduction process that produces sugar crystals that have been described as “hollow,” and they plan to use this technology as early as 2018. Brands that successfully develop products with less sugar and/or fewer calories, but that yield the same experience (taste, sweetness impact, mouthfeel, etc.) will be the most successful.
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