Sugar replacement use, rising worldwide

New data reveals that functional fibre and next-gen Stevia as natural sweetening alternatives are rising globally. According to research company Mintel, functional fibres in low/reduced sugar food and drink launches are increasing globally from 11% in 2015 to 19% in 2020. Inulin is the most common functional fibre in low/reduced sugar products. Product launches containing inulin have tripled in the past five years, rising to 9% in 2020 from 3% in 2015.
Neha Srivastava, Food and Drink Patent Analyst at Mintel, said:
“Consumers are aware of the importance of fibres in maintaining gut health. Brands can leverage this awareness by repositioning them as a multifunctional health ingredient that helps reduce sugar content in food and drink whilst improving gut health.”
Mintel said Stevia's continued popularity in food and drink launches is due to its “naturalness and zero calorific value”. Still, its bitter and lingering aftertaste remains a significant barrier. Recent patent innovations to improve taste issues and physicochemical properties, like purity and solubility, to produce next-generation Stevia may help overcome the challenge.
“Innovators are looking for alternative approaches, such as the use of sweet flavouring agents and aromas as a promising option to reduce sugar content in new food and drink products especially in dairy desserts. This can be a promising option to reduce sugar content by providing sweet perception in brain cells,” Srivastava concluded. (Image from Unsplash)

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