Sugar Industry Must Change as Boomers Cut Back
Baby Boomers are losing interest in sugar as more and more research is piling up about its health impacts. It is also becoming easier to find excellent replacements as the low-cal and calorie-free markets continue to expand. According to a recent report, two in five Boomers are cutting out sweet snacks. Overall, half of Americans are cutting sugar consumption, and seventy percent of us are reading labels! As the Neuliven Health team’s primary goal is to have happy, healthy customers, we’re thrilled to hear about this shift in attitude. We love sweets! If you read our recipes, you know that we enjoy good food — including dessert. But we lean toward the health side of the spectrum, and having so many people interested in healthy living means those great, sweet treat recipes are becoming easier and easier to come by!
Food companies are having to scramble to catch up with the trend. The words “treat yourself to decadents” might once have moved products off the shelf and into your kitchen. Now, the market is all about health, organic, better-for-you foods. Well established brands like Danone and Chobani have introduced lower sugar versions of their products. New companies are taking up supermarket space with healthier alternatives to the snacks we love. Halo Top is taking over the ice cream market. Ben and Jerry’s, once marketed as the wholesome ice cream made from organic sources, has had to branch out and make light versions of their biggest sellers. Companies that offer products that are similar to what we like but low in sugar are doing well. For instance, sparkling water, like LaCroix’s canned flavored beverages, is taking over the market share left open as we begin to shun sodas.
This climate is breeding the contentious customer, and companies are becoming further imperiled by the currency of virtue. Companies like SodaStream fall prey to boycotts over policy. LaCroix is being sued because of the company’s claims about BPA. Although they have made moves to become healthy, they must also watch their actions for whiffs of moral impropriety as seem to be as damaging to a brand as high fructose corn syrup.
We’re excited at this consumer-led push for healthier food and more transparency in our labels. But, as always, we encourage cautiousness in life changes. Switching to a product that is lower in sugar is great. It’s terrific that so many more of those types of products are hitting the shelves of normal supermarkets instead of specialty stores. But, be sure to keep reading labels, companies may tout their health benefits with wholesome looking branding while hiding sugar and calories in the small print. Be sure to continue reading labels, even as we all celebrate healthier options being widely available!