Survey reveals poor consumer awareness of sugars
A major survey commissioned by Cargill sweetening solutions has revealed that consumers’ awareness of sugars remains limited.
The company, which is focusing on Glucose-Fructose syrups used in the confectionery industry, commissioned the IPSOS study institute to conduct a consumer survey in key European markets.
Its key goal was to gain a better understanding of the public’s awareness, attitudes and behaviours towards the different types of sugars in food and beverages.
Over 1,000 consumers, aged between 18 to 65 years, from each of the representative European countries were surveyed, including the UK, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Poland. Data from the survey was then reviewed as a whole and on a country-by-country basis.
The study comes amid significant changes to EU sugar legislation. Under present rules, sugar grown within Europe for human consumption is limited to 13.5 million tonnes, which will be lifted from October. This has coincided with as the confectionery industry coming under greater Government scrutiny for its use of sugars.
According to the IPSOS study, when asked to identify different types of sugars and sweeteners up to one third of consumers were unable to recall any type of sugar or sweetener.
Only 1% of consumers’ specifically named Glucose-fructose syrup as type of sugar. Results show that if consumers were prompted, honey, cane, white sugar, fructose and stevia were in the top five most recognised sugars and sweeteners.
The survey demonstrates that among consumers Glucose-Fructose syrups are still relatively unknown. However, a third of all consumers spontaneously mentioned they actively reduce the amount of sugars in their diet, when compared to other ingredients such as fat and salt.
When it comes to complete avoidance, sugars are mentioned less often.
However, it is still the ingredient most consumers indicate they are seeking to reduce when buying food and beverages.