In an ongoing shift, consumers are increasingly more cognizant of the amount and type of sugar and other sweeteners in their products. According to results from the 2018 IFIC “Health & Wellness” survey, 77 percent of consumers are trying to limit or avoid sugars. While the 2015–2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends an intake of added sugar of less than 10 percent of daily calories, only 42 percent of Americans are meeting this guideline. On average, those that met the guideline consumed 6.7 teaspoons equivalents of added sugar, while those who did not consumed 25.1 teaspoons equivalents of added sugar. The CDC includes desserts like cake and cookies on its list of leading sources of added sugar.
Consequently, snack and bakery companies are making commitments to reduce sugar in their products, especially with impending new labelling guidelines that will require information on “added sugar” to be added to the label by January 2020. But reducing or replacing sugar is not an easy task, since sugar contributes taste, sweetness and provides a multitude of functional benefits.