Sweetener Wars: Refining the Treat
Today, it is not uncommon for the media to be on a sugar high with stories focused on the dozens of pounds of sugar that Americans consume on an annual basis. And, while few studies have definitively linked sugar to obesity, many diverse stakeholders ranging from federal agencies to health authorities to public interest groups agree that changes in lifestyle that include high consumption of sweetened foods and beverages have contributed to what is broadly considered an epidemic of overweight Americans.
Over the years, our own research has borne out the fact that, when consumers are asked what they are doing to improve their health and wellness, a common refrain is "I'm watching my sugar intake."
How Americans "manage" sweetness is becoming increasingly a divided issue whereby, on one hand, consumers view sweetened products as an important part of their lifestyle while, on the other hand, they view it as a potential threat to their health.