As health concerns mount over children’s diets and their sugar intake, stevia is taking a lead role in sugar reduction efforts for confectionery products.
Sugary products can have an irresistible charm with children, but rising trends in tooth decay, weight gain, and chronic metabolic diseases such as diabetes have been alarming many parents and consumers. Thus, it comes as no surprise that food manufacturers have been looking at ways to reduce sugar in candies and snack foods marketed towards children.
In addition, the issue has caught the attention of policymakers, who have proposed regulations such as restricting the sale of sugary drinks and snacks in primary and secondary schools as well as other childcare institutions. Similarly, canteens and cafeterias are implementing measures to reduce the amount of sugar in lunches and meals provided by schools.
Reducing sugar is a top concern for consumers
The concerns around children’s diets is part of a larger trend — consumers of all ages are taking greater care with managing sugar in their diets. This need for health-promoting ingredients and nutritional foods is changing the face of product innovation for the confectionery industry in particular. In recent years, many of the newest product launches in confections have embraced the use of sugar substitutes such as stevia. As confectionery manufacturers are pressured and compelled to innovate, they are finding, however, that reducing the need for added sugars in such products can come with some formulation challenges.
The full article can be found on Food & Beverage Asia’s October/November issue here.