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Dispatches from Vitafoods

Sweeteners on the up but global preferences vary, Mintel

11-May-2011

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Use of high intensity sweeteners is growing around the globe, but different sweeteners are more popular in different markets. Mintel’s David Jago explains the subtleties of all things sweet.

Talking to FoodNavigator.com from the Vitafoods tradeshow in Geneva, Jago explains that in the European market aspartame and acesulfame K are the most popular ingredients, with stevia gaining interest, whereas sucralose rules in the North American market.

According to Jago, there is a variety of positionings of products using high intensity sweeteners, including low sugar and sugar reduction. There is also great focus on sweeteners that can be described as natural, fitting in with the no-additive message.

As for stevia sweeteners, which have received an early outing in France before full EU approval, Jago expects there will be more of a focus on blends with sugar than on zero calories, and this ties in well European arguments about rebalancing diets.

As for important categories going forward, non alcoholic beverages still account for 40 per cent of high intensity sweetener use, but it’s not just about the carbonates. Alternative beverage formats, teas, and beverage concentrates are exploring sweeteners – as are some alcoholic beverages. The market is also growing for better-for-you desserts and ice cream.

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