Share This Article

Sweetener Sweet Spot: Avoidance vs. Indulgence

Sweeteners Sweet Spot Infographic

Consumer interest in sugar avoidance can be traced to the eminent Sugar Blues by William Dufty. The book's central argument is that a small dietary change, eliminating refined sugar, can make a huge difference in how good one feels physically and mentally.

Today, as progressive health and wellness consumers rethink their sweet tooth, they seek lower-calorie natural sweeteners, such as stevia and agave to sweeten everyday habitual items such as beverages, but look to traditional natural sweeteners (e.g., local honey, pure maple syrup and Sucanat) when baking or on special occasions.

For generations of consumers, sugar has been an integral part of personal and social occasions centering on indulgence, celebration and reward. Starting in the 1970s, however, rising sentiment portraying sugar as a “demon” gained momentum culminating with the rise in popularity of the Atkins and South Beach Diets, both of which “taught” consumers to avoid refined white sugar and high fructose corn syrup.

Like all macro trends, the root causes here are complex and inter-related because of:

  • Concern with sugar.
  • Overall concern with health.
  • Desire to drink more water.
  • Desire for more interesting flavors.
  • Weight management.

So, let's begin understanding this great ingredient demon of the health and wellness arena with our infographic:

View our infographic »


Health & Wellness Consumer Package Goods Culture


As leaders in the study of American food culture, The Hartman Group has been tracking how Americans shop for food since the 1990s. From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, we continue to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits and relationships with food retailers. New to the 2017 report is a special section on the expansion of the discount grocery channel, the emerging fresh-format channel and smaller-footprint retail formats.


hartbeat subscribe