Sweet Wake-Up Call:
How Consumers Are Taking Charge of Their Sugar Intake

by Louisa White, Senior Manager, Consumer Insights and Analytics

To achieve better health, many consumers look to reduce the amount of sugar in their diet. However, that often leaves them torn between lowering their sugar intake and maintaining an excellent taste experience.

It’s true, unfortunately, that sugar reduction continues to be a struggle for many food and beverage companies. While some categories, such as beverages, have made notable strides in reducing sugar content, there’s still room for improvement in many products. With consumers becoming more mindful of their sugar intake and demanding healthier options, companies that fail to adapt risk losing out on a growing market.

The Facts Behind the Demand for Reduced Sugar Products

But why is sugar reduction such a crucial issue? The statistics speak for themselves: Americans consume an excessive amount of added sugar, averaging 17 teaspoons per day, which adds up to around 60 pounds annually. This far exceeds the recommended amount for men and women1. Research suggests that 77% of Americans are striving for less sugar in their diets. As consumer demand for low-sugar products grows, companies must find effective ways to meet this challenge without sacrificing taste and texture.

As consumers become more health conscious, they are actively looking for ways to reduce their sugar intake. Almost half of consumers changed their sugar intake in the last year to help control their weight2, and seven in ten are willing to give up a favorite sugary product in favor of a healthier alternative.3 That last statistic speaks volumes about consumer commitment to sugar reduction.

To help them make informed decisions, front-of-pack labeling has been introduced to call consumers’ attention to sugar and other nutrient content. Three-quarters of US consumers read nutrition and ingredient labels at least some of the time. Among those referencing nutrition labels, total sugars rank second among the things consumers are looking for.2

Savvy brands are responding by innovating with products with no/low/reduced sugar/calorie claims. From 2017–2022, there was a 7% increase in new product launches featuring one of those claims.4 Sports & Energy drinks are the top category reducing their sugars.

Without question, reducing sugar intake is a recommended strategy for achieving better health. However, as mentioned previously, that often means choosing between less sugar and a truly enjoyable taste experience; 58% of consumers note that sweeteners have an unappealing aftertaste. Perhaps even worse is that 46% report alternative and artificial sweeteners can cause them digestive discomfort.3

So there’s the challenge: consumers want less sugar but are reluctant to compromise their enjoyment — they like sweet things because they taste so good. Fortunately, there are low- and no-calorie alternatives to sugar that can provide a similar taste experience without the associated health risks. Alternative sweeteners like stevia, erythritol, and sucralose can be incorporated into a wide range of food and beverage products to help reduce sugar content while maintaining the same level of sweetness.5

But what about taste?

Tate & Lyle Are Experts in Building Back Better Taste in Low- and No-Sugar Formulations

Tate & Lyle is a leading innovator in providing solutions to our customers and, ultimately, consumers for reducing their sugar intake. With our ingredients, expertise, and experience, we are able to:

  • Reduce sugar and calories without losing the sweetness that consumers crave.

  • Replace sugar while minimizing the impact on mouthfeel, bulk, texture, browning, and more.

  • Deliver on affordability, health and wellness and, most importantly, the taste experience.

  • Keep your label clean, using just a few recognizable ingredients without sacrificing taste or sensory experience.

To learn more about our sweetening ingredients and how we can help you meet consumer demand for reduced-sugar food and beverage products, contact us today.

Our Solutions


  • High potency sweeteners

  • Rare sugars

  • Bulking sweeteners

  • Flavors

Learn more about our sweeteners


  • Provide the mouthfeel and texture of sugar and promote a lower rise in post-meal blood glucose.

  • Add back the bulk and viscosity of nutritive sweeteners.

Learn more about our fiber

Stabilizers and Functional Systems:

  • Stabilizer ingredients and customized systems are designed to enhance body and mouthfeel when sugar and calories are removed from a food or beverage to deliver the taste and texture consumers demand while still providing consistent taste.

Learn more about our stabilizers and functional systems


  1. American Heart Association
  2. Tate & Lyle Proprietary Research, 2022 Global Consumer Ingredient Perception Research
  3. Mintel Sugars and alternative sweeteners, 2022
  4. Mintel GNPD launches 2017 – 2022 and claims with Sugar-Free Low/Reduced Sugar and No Added Sugar
  5. Global Data, Thematic Intelligence: Sugar Reduction, May 2023