Based on changing consumer behaviour, sugar reduction has become one of the major topics of the food and beverage industry, leading to a rising demand for reformulated products.
Growing market relevance of sugar reduction
According to market data almost 90% of global consumers pay attention to sugar, sweeteners or related claims when choosing food and drinks. Growing aspirations for healthy food varieties and increasing concerns on sugar intake are driving the food and beverage industry to respond with the reformulation of products or new developments based on less or low sugar. At the same time, governments have set up taxes on sugar-sweetened products, making reformulation inevitable in many Western European countries. The industry is therefore facing challenges, as successful products need to be adapted using less sugar, while still meeting high expectations regarding naturalness, indulgence and sensory attributes.
Furthermore, consumers are looking for natural ingredients and the substitution of artificial sweeteners. They are highly attentive towards the type of sugar substitution used in reformulated products and are very likely to accept a combination of less sugar and natural sweeteners over a sugar free, but artificially sweetened formula.
Sugar reduction and the effect of high sugar consumption on the body have become very prominent in consumers’ minds. Equally, consumers are driven by a variety of decision criteria and influences, when choosing sugar-reduced products.
Natural taste solutions for reducing sugar in food and beverage products
With political restrictions applying in more and more Western European markets, efforts by manufacturers to reduce the sugar content in their products is growing. Equally, the increasing health awareness of consumers and the aspiration of the industry to respond with healthier and more natural products is encouraging reformulations across a wide range of product categories. This leads to a rising demand for sugar-reduced varieties, especially within the beverage, dairy and ice cream segments, but also within the category of baked goods.
Sugar is an active ingredient, that is not only responsible for the sweetness-perception, but also impacts other major sensory attributes within the product’s formulation. Additionally, consumers are not willing to compromise on taste. The reduction of sugar in food and beverage products therefore represents a major challenge for manufacturers, as not only technical product properties within the production process are affected, but above all taste, mouthfeel and texture.
Based on its capabilities to understand current market challenges and provide functional solutions, Bell Flavors & Fragrances EMEA therefore pays special attention to delivering solutions to keep the products’ taste and appeal when reducing the sugar content in a certain formulation. A dedicated team of flavourists, creation application technologists and sensory experts therefore has developed a range of natural flavours that is in line with consumers' clean labelling expectations.
Combining its expertise in delivering intense, high-quality and satisfying product properties, Bell introduces its “REDsugar” flavour range, which was designed to close the “sugar gap” and to maintain mouthfeel, taste and texture, while delivering a positive impact on the sweet perception of a product. As a result, the sugar content can be decreased by at least 30%, depending on the application. Based on natural raw materials, the range maintains a natural flavouring declaration.
Bell’s “REDsugar” taste profiles answer current market needs caused by changing consumer behaviour and political frameworks and therefore provide functional solutions to reformulate food and beverage products based on less or low sugar while meeting naturalness, indulgence and sensory attributes:
- Bell’s REDsugar product line comprises natural flavour molecules, delivering a positive impact on the sweet perception in beverages, dairy applications, ice cream and bakery products.
- REDsugar flavours comprise compositions of complex molecules delivering a positive impact on taste, texture and mouthfeel.
- The sweet enhancing profile of Bell`s REDsugar solutions can help to achieve at least 30% of sugar reduction in certain applications.
- Natural flavouring declaration compliant with today’s consumer expectations and clean label restrictions.
- Functional solutions for reformulating food and beverage products to meet the political frameworks in Western European markets.
- All products are designed to fulfil high-quality industry standards and are intensively tested in a variety of applications that are among the most affected categories for sugar reduction efforts.
Technical solutions for various product categories
Among other categories, soft drinks represent a major focus for sugar reduction, as this segment is directly affected by sugar taxes in some of the markets. However, growing concerns about sugar intake are currently expanding into other categories, such as dairy products, ice cream and desserts, confectionery and bakery. Within these categories, better-for-you attributes and nutritional advantages are highly appreciated, while major compromises on taste are not very well accepted.
Bell has applied its REDsugar taste solutions in a variety of product categories, and is therefore able to deliver functional flavours for soft drinks, near water and flavoured water, dairy products such as yogurt, ice cream, but also bakery products such as shortbread.
We understand that every application requires different approaches in keeping the taste and the product appeal when reducing sugar. Bell’s tailormade flavour solutions therefore can be individually adapted to the specific needs of manufacturers, delivering intense, high-quality and satisfying product properties.
Future outlook on sugar-reduced products
Based on market data provided by Mintel GNPD, “Low/no/reduced sugar” claims are growing in all regions and across a variety of segments.. At the same time, naturalness is key, with products emphasizing the use of natural ingredients, only.
This trend indicates that market dynamics are not expected to slow down and the industry needs to adapt to new requirements set by consumers and political frameworks.