Does sugar reduction have a direct impact on consumer pockets?


Sugar reduction and low sugar alternatives, remain key purchasing trends among UK consumers. The recent publication of the UK Government’s Childhood Obesity Plan and a nationwide sugar levy are hoped will relieve stress on the NHS (National Health Service) –currently channelling some £5 billion each year to combat obesity.

The levy will hit companies that import or produce soft drinks with high sugar content. Manufacturers will have to pay one level of the tax for drinks containing at least 5g of sugar per 100ml and a higher rate for those with more than 8g per 100ml. Drinks producers are having to look to alternatives that reduce sugar content, without impacting the taste and mouthfeel that attracts consumers to their product in the first instance.


Sugar alternatives

At Tate & Lyle, taste remains key in our low sugar formulations and speciality food ingredients portfolio. At the recent Sugar Reduction Summit, at the Royal Society in London, UK, Dr Kavita Karnik, Principal Scientist for Global Nutrition, commented that consumers’ attitudes are also changing in relation to sugar content in their favourite products.

“What we found significant for the UK was that consumers were finding sugar free and reduced sugar claims quite important when making purchasing decisions. Overall, 60% of consumers are taking this in to consideration when it comes to sugary products” she outlined.

“We cannot ignore the fact that the taste still rules above everything else. People know what they should be eating but if the taste is not acceptable to the consumer, they are not likely to change their behaviour and that’s where the real challenge lies for ingredient companies.”

At Tate & Lyle, our sweetening solutions ensure that manufacturers remain on trend when it comes to product formulations, while maintaining the sensory experience that consumers demand. Removing sugar can affect mouthfeel, bulk, texture, browning, and more. Our portfolio of novel sugars, fibres, and low-sugar syrups help manufacturers counterbalance the removal of sugar and deliver delectable food experiences.

SPLENDA® Sucralose is a high potency sweetener that starts life as table sugar (sucrose) and is then processed to create sucralose – 600 times sweeter, but without the calories. Its ability to maintain sweetness, through a wide variety of food processing conditions, pH and over a long shelf life, makes SPLENDA® Sucralose a reliable partner in a huge range of products. The sugar-like taste makes it ideal for manufacturers, looking to create low calorie products that appeal to consumers.

Produced from aqueous extracts from the leaves of the stevia plant, through a proprietary process, stevia, contributes zero calories, does not raise blood sugar and is 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar. Tate & Lyle and Sweet Green Fields have partnered to present a full profile of stevia solutions suitable for any application, bringing to the table decades of stevia expertise, a unique sweetener formulation experience, thousands of recipes, supply security and a team of experts.

TASTEVA® Stevia Sweetener delivers a better-tasting solution that’s suitable for use in sugar-free, no-sugar-added and reduced-sugar beverages and foods. TASTEVA® Stevia Sweetener, a key element of our speciality sweetener portfolio, minimises the bitter aftertaste of stevia that 80% of the population can taste. It eliminates the need to use masking ingredients in reduced-sugar formulations.

PROMITOR® Soluble Fibre can be used in food and beverages to reduce fat, sugar and calories, increase fibre content, and maintain body, mouthfeel and desirable texture. It also offers a variety of nutritional benefits, including low glycaemic response, prebiotic benefits and increase of calcium absorption.

We can help you determine the ideal sweetener or combination of sweeteners and fibres to meet your specific product needs and/or desired health benefit claims.

Get in touch for help with your sugar reduction challenges