Findings from a recent ADM study suggest that the processed food industry is focusing less on engineering products to meet labels claims and more on the ingredients list of existing products.
ADM’s Amy Williams highlighted that packaging claims such as “reduced sugar” or “diet” can lead consumers to assume that products are lacking in taste or include undesirable ingredient substitutes.
The study broke the consumer market into several categories based on sugar and sweetener preference. Two smaller groups within the consumer base include “Dependocrats” and “Free Spirits.” The former makes up a mere 7 percent of the market and are indifferent about sugar intake relative to other consumer groups, while the latter are accepting of higher sugar intake or artificial sweeteners and represent 13 percent of the overall consumer base.
Much like alcohol prohibitionists a century ago, “Prohibitionist” consumers are concerned about one specific ingredient: Sugar. This group, which makes up around 16 percent of consumers, would pay more for products that maintain appetizing flavors without sugary ingredients, natural or not.
Lastly, “Moderationists” and “Naturalists” each make up about 30 percent of consumers. These groups are less concerned about sugar than Prohibitionists but still show interest in limiting intake. The key difference between Naturalists and Moderationists is that Naturalists like to source their sugar from honey or fruit, while Moderationists show little preference as to source.