In Adaptogens, Diet Trends, Holistic Health & Wellbeing, Ingredient Trends, Innovation Trends, Market Trends, Natural Sweeteners, Organic, Quick Bites, Sugar Vilified

Sugar: the supervillian as you’ve never seen it before

As consumers have tried to thwart white sugar and high fructose corn syrup over the past few years, many have turned to less-processed sugars from natural sources like coconut sugar, agave and maple syrup, to name a few. While many of these sweeteners claim health benefits (such as maple syrup’s trace mineral content), the latest scientific research suggests that any benefits are outweighed by sugar’s definitive role in obesity, heart disease and other highly prevalent chronic conditions.

As a result, the latest FDA regulations seek to spotlight sugar consumption by expanding sugar content reporting on the Nutritional Facts Panel and codifying a recommended daily value limit on added sugars – grouping the refined villains of the past with the newer less-processed darlings. In practice, this separates naturally occurring sugar in whole foods like fruit and dairy from sugars with any degree of processing – likely casting a darker shadow on the latter.

NEXT‘s research suggests consumers welcome these changes. More than three-fourths of consumers reported taking specific measures to modify and reduce sugar and sweetener consumption before the regulations took effect, and the number will likely increase with the increased transparency and dietary guidelines on Nutrition Facts Panels. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

These requirements went into effect for large manufacturers (>$10M in annual sales) at the beginning of this year. Expect this sugary spotlight to intensify in 2021 when the labeling requirements extend to small manufacturers – many of whom staked their brand identities on better-for-you claims around less-refined sugars.

To find out more about the newest dietary guidelines around sugar, check out the upcoming New Hope Network Learning Lounge free webinar Sugar Reduction Strategies in the Modern World on October 14th, sponsored by Lily’s Sweets. While the Learning Lounge is primarily a continuing education portal for credentialed health and nutrition professionals, all are welcome to attend!

Don’t miss the NEXT team take the virtual stage on Wednesday, October 7th during Natural Products Expo’s Spark Change Modern Health Community Event, where we’ll be presenting insights into the modern health trends shaping the growth of the natural products industry. Register today!

Plus, don’t forget to download your copy of the NEXT Trend Guidebook 2020 and check out companies innovating around the sweetest trends of 2020, only $99!