How to Navigate a Changing Ingredient Landscape
The way consumers view sweeteners is changing. Discover smart strategies for what lies ahead in The Changing Ingredient Game, the comprehensive business case that equips you with the facts you need on sweeteners to make the best choices for their business.
Developed by the New England Consulting Group, The Changing Ingredient Game brings together expert, third-party research from the scientific community and industry leaders, including Mintel Research Consultancy and The Nielsen Company.
Discover how to survive and thrive in the new ingredient environment, as the business case covers:
Mintel Consumer Research Findings
When it comes to consumer attitudes toward HFCS, there is a gap between perception and reality. In late 2012, Mintel, a global provider of market intelligence, conducted research on attitudes toward HFCS among a sample of 2,400 primary household grocery shoppers. The survey examined consumer awareness, avoidance of HFCS, food product label-reading habits, message recall about HFCS and purchase decisions. The unaided responses clearly showed these findings:
Fewer than 3% of consumers are avoiding or reducing their consumption of HFCS.
Fewer than 5% read food and beverage labels to check for the presence of HFCS.
Nearly 80% of consumers are concerned about total sugars, not a specific type.
Consumers are 7x more likely to looks for calories than HFCS.
Nielsen Shopper Data
For food and beverage manufacturers considering switching to sugar, it is important to see how HFCS-free marketing strategies play out in the marketplace. A comprehensive review in September 2012 of Nielsen shopper data covering the performance of 25 leading brands and more than 3,200 SKUs in beverages, baked goods and prepared foods confirmed that an HFCS-free strategy, regardless of execution, has not been effective in driving sales.
The Real Science of Sweeteners
Despite all the misinformation about HFCS that is in the media and the marketplace, the scientific facts about HFCS are these:
Is similar in composition to sugar. (American Medical Association)
Has the same calories as sugar. (Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics)
Once absorbed into the bloodstream, is indistinguishable from sugar. (Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics)
Has been shown in clinical studies in humans to have no meaningful differences from table sugar.
There is no scientific justification for switching to table sugar.
New Ingredient Strategies
The ingredient game is changing. There are new rules. New moves. It is time for food and beverage marketers to rethink their sweetener ingredient strategy. As the focus shifts away from individual ingredients to overall nutrition, building and sustaining a product's total brand value proposition is going to be a key factor for success.
Marketers have the opportunity to come out ahead through a rigorous reassessment of HFCS in their brand portfolios that considers:
Food Fads: Here We Go Again
In the past, other ingredients, such as salt, carbohydrates and caffeine, have come under fire. Yet, today they are all viewed as having a rightful place in a healthy diet. And in these instances, history has shown that businesses that took a proactive approach to their ingredient strategy, rather than a reactive one, came out ahead.
In recent years, HFCS has attracted a small but vocal group of detractors. Now, some of the biggest critics of HFCS are reversing their positions. As history repeats itself with HFCS, will following food fads prove to be the right course for food and beverage marketers?
New Government Policies and Industry Initiatives
Due to recent industry and government initiatives, individual ingredients are moving out of the spotlight as the focus shifts to overall caloric intake and nutrition.
Changes happening now: