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Log In / Register | Jul 21, 2018

Americans Concerned over Sugar, although They Love It

A spoon full of sugar
Photo by Gunilla G

Over half of American adults and teens say they are trying to consume less sugar in their diet. With the average person daily consuming almost three times the recommended dietary allowance of sugar, in what amounts to 66 pounds of sugar per person per year*, devouring sugar is not an easy habit to break, according to a recent report by researcher The NPD Group.  The workaround for many consumers is to decide what they are really willing to give up, and yet keep some sweet choices in their diets.
The decision on what to keep and what not to keep eating in terms of sugary foods varies by generations, with some acting on their concern and others just saying they're concerned, but not acting on it, according to NPD’s Impact of Sugar Concern on Consumption Behavior: What We Say vs. What We Do report.
When deciding which sugary foods to keep in or out of their diets, consumers tend to separate them into categories, like more healthful versus indulgent sugary foods, finds the NPD study of the impact of consumer choice on 40 different sweet foods and beverages. Cola drinks and fruit juices both contain a fair amount of sugar.  Consumers are more likely to cut back on cola drinks than fruit juices because they feel that juice has more nutritional benefits and the sugar occurs naturally.
“The key takeaway for food and beverage marketers is that ‘yes’ consumers are concerned with the amount of sugar in their diets, but they are still leaving room in their diets for some sweet indulgence,” says David Portalatin, NPD’s vice president, food industry analyst, and author of Eating Patterns in America. “If there are nutritional benefits to a more sugary product, call that out. If not, appeal to the consumer who wants more indulgence. The point is, it’s not a one-size-fits-all marketplace. It’s a matter of finding the consumers who are the right fit.”

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Don Sniegowski is editor of Blue MauMau, the daily news journal for franchise & small business owners. Call him at +1 (270) 321-1268, tweet @bluemaumau or email