Consumers Still Buy Sugary Items Despite Concerns

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Consumers Still Buy Sugary Items Despite Concerns

10/02/2017

CHICAGO — Even though U.S. adults and teens are trying to reduce the amount of sugar in their diets, The NPD Group found that more than half consume almost three times the recommended amount of sugar every day. That equates to 66 pounds of sugar per person annually.

According to Impact of Sugar Concern on Consumption Behavior: What We Say vs. What We Do, the decision on what to keep and what not to keep eating in terms of sugary foods varies by generation, with some acting out of concern and others saying they’re concerned, but not acting on it.

For example, older Baby Boomers and Silent Generation members may cut back out more sweet foods from their diets because they may be managing diabetes or other illnesses.

When deciding which sugary foods to keep in or out of their diets, consumers tend to separate them into categories, like more healthful vs. indulgent sugary foods, the study found, which looks at the impact of consumer choice on 40 different sweet foods and beverages.

Although cola drinks and fruit juices both contain a fair amount of sugar, consumers are more likely to cut back on cola than juice because they feel that the latter has more nutritional benefits and sugar is naturally occurring, NPD found.

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," said David Portalatin, NPD's vice president, food industry analyst.

"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," added Portalatin, author of "Eating Patterns in America."