Sugar and other sweeteners, both natural and chemical, are widely used not just in the food and beverage industry but in products such as toothpaste, mouthwash, gum and breath fresheners. Marketers and product developers, as well as consumers, have a growing menu of sweetening agents to choose from, many of them recent arrivals - and some with lingering questions about safety. Demand for no- and low-calorie sweeteners continues to grow in a climate of concerns about obesity, diabetes and tooth decay, but at the same time, some research suggests that the body is better able to maintain normal weight with sugar.
This report examines the outlook for natural and processed nutritive (caloric) sweeteners such as sugar, honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, and high-fructose corn syrup; non-nutritive high-intensity sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame, neotame, acesulfame and sucralose; sugar alcohols such as erythritol, sorbitol and xylitrol; and the plant-derived low-calorie sweetener stevia, currently sold in the United States as a dietary supplement but with manufacturers chomping at the bit as the market pushes for food-use approval.
Packaged Facts predicts that sugar sales are likely to remain relatively stable while sales of low- and no-calorie sweeteners will rise (though sales of saccharin, one of five FDA-approved no-calorie sugar substitutes, will continue to decline in favor of safer alternatives). But various health, consumer and market trends will affect the market. A focus on low-glycemic-index foods supports growth for high-intensity non-nutritive sweeteners; concerns about health effects of high-fructose corn syrup may slow its sales as marketers switch to alternatives; continued trending toward natural ingredients will drive growth for natural and organic sugar and sweeteners including honey, cane juice, organic erythritrol, agave nectar, and stevia products. Market shifts will certainly take place if stevia and/or its derivatives are approved for food and beverage use in the United States. Some manufacturing patent protections for Splenda (brand name for sucralose) are set to expire in 2009, creating a competitive framework for this popular additive.
These are just some of the dynamics explored in this report and expected to shape the sugar and sweetener market in the second half of 2008 and beyond.
The information in this report was obtained from both primary and secondary research. Primary research entailed in-depth, on-site examinations of supermarkets, drugstores, mass merchandisers, convenience stores, health/natural foods stores, specialty stores and club stores. Company, distributor and retail interviews were conducted to obtain information on new products and packaging trends, marketing programs, distribution methods, and technological breakthroughs. Secondary research entailed data gathering from relevant sources. Included were consumer and industry publications, newspapers, government reports, financial reports, company literature and corporate annual reports.
Information Resources, Inc.’s InfoScan Review data and data from Simmons Market Research Bureau were also used in preparing the report.