Sweetener Strategies for 2018

 In Natural Products Insider, Press

Achieving the optimal nutritional and taste profile in food and beverage while aligning with consumer values is the holy grail for all product developers and brand owners. Since one of the top priorities of the day is sugar reduction, I’m sure your innovation team is trying to figure out the sweet spot for calories, grams of sugars and the right sweetener for the 2018 consumer.

You may have even read about Coca Cola’s $1M sweetener challenge—a pursuit to identify a new (naturally sourced, safe, low or no-calorie) compound that “creates the taste sensation of sugar when used in beverages and foods.” So far, this unicorn compound (which would probably be worth much more than $1M), doesn’t exist. There are a few sweet strategies, however, that you can employ to capture consumer attention in 2018 and beyond.

Route No. 1—Go Unsweetened

This declaration works better for certain categories, namely water (still and sparkling), milk (dairy and non-dairy), coffee and tea, and attracts consumers across demographics. Developing robust flavors in unsweetened products should be a priority for brands trying to position their products as natural or better-for-you. It’s important to note that unsweetened products can contain naturally occurring sugars, so they may still impart a sweetness that some consumers find desirable (or desire). Some brands worth checking out for their products that bear the unsweetened claim include Califia Farms and Spindrift.

Read the full story on Natural Products Insider.