Progressive Grocer

MAR 2017

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For more information, visit www.mintel.com or call 800-932-0400. Mintel Global New Products Database Category Insights Product innovation within the category has led to the introduction of natural sugar alternatives as consumers are gravitating toward more natural alternatives. Consumers are confused about different types of sweeteners, how they are produced and the best applications. Sweetener manufacturers can help consumers during the purchase process by narrowing choices or directing them to the best sweetener for their needs. Sweeteners and Sugar 22 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | March 2017 Market Overview Sugar's negative health image has had an effect on growth in the United States and Canada. Both markets have developed a negative average value growth (CAGR) over the past five years. Moving forward, Mintel predicts that the category is expected to remain fairly flat as declines in sweeteners and sugar are offset by growth in honey, and emerging plant-based and other low-calorie sweeteners. k ey iSS ue S Growing consumer concern about the healthfulness of sugar means that the category is struggling for growth. More focus is being given to the natural qualities of sugar alternatives. Recent growth has therefore stemmed from brands focusing on the natural qualities of sugar alternatives, with 70 percent of the total new product launches in the "other natural sweetener" category positioned with some kind of natural claim in the 12 months to September 2016. Competition in "natural" sugar alternatives is becoming more intense. According to Mintel research, there's only a marginal difference in the number of consumers who consider agave, coconut sugar or stevia "natural," and although monkfruit's natural credentials are less established, this is likely a result of the product's relative novelty. Although plant-based syrups such as agave, coconut and honey aren't necessarily lower-calorie alternatives to sugar, they're often perceived as healthier options, as consumers believe that they're naturally produced and, as such, are less, or even minimally, processed.

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