Brit consumers are no longer so sweet

With sugar in the cross-hairs of food campaigners, new Mintel research reveals that 46% of Brits have taken action to monitor or reduce sugar intake in the last year.

The Mintel research says that over the last year, over a quarter (27%) of Brits said they have checked food labels for sugar content more often than they did 12 months previously. Meanwhile, 26% said they have limited the amount of sugar in their diet and 25% that they have cooked from scratch to control sugar intake more often over the same period.

In terms of why people are limiting their sugar intake, weight management stands out as the most common reason cited by people who limit their sugar intake (56%), followed by future health concerns (42%).

Furthermore, a sizeable 43% of the population have noticed an increase in media coverage on ‘how sugar affects your health’, with these consumers (62%) notably more likely to have taken action to cut down on how much sugar they eat, highlighting a direct link between this and consumer behaviour.

Michael Bennett of Pelican’s food and drink PR team commented: “With sugar in the headlines it’s not surprising that it’s becoming a bit of a bogey man for consumers. As with salt, many food businesses are already making major strides in reducing sugar, but it’s vital that they communicate this to consumers.”

Mintel also reveals that the majority of consumers (71%) believe that the food and drink industry should be doing more to reduce the amount of sugar in their products, and three-quarters of consumers (75%) think food and drink companies should make it easier to understand how much sugar is in their products. Some three-fifths (58%) of all those questioned feel cheated when a company isn’t clear about the high sugar content of its products, while over four in ten (44%) people think food or drink products should show more clearly if they contain sweeteners.

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