Sweetness And Lite

Author:Ms Rosalyn Newsome
Profession:Barker Brettell LLP

The news is full of criticism for convenience food and drinks containing too much sugar or an equally undesirable mixture of E numbers and additives in the "light" and "diet" offerings. In response, confectionery and soft drink manufacturers are looking at alternatives to meet the increasing consumer demand for healthier products without sacrificing taste. Many soft drinks manufacturers have been experimenting with stevia for example but this has not generally performed well in consumer testing given to a prominent after taste. In 2013, Sprite famously suffered a 20% slump in volume sales following the reformulation to introduce stevia (Source: The Grocer 28 February 2015). Similarly fruit juices - offered by parents as an alternative to a classic sugary drink - have also been hitting the headlines, due to the high fructose and natural sugar content, and so are also seen as out of vogue.

It's clear that product innovation is going to be vital for FMCG companies to survive the pressure to reduce sugar content and yet preserve the original flavour experience. The need to innovate has already lead to a host of weird and wonderful flavour concoctions; coconut water is...

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