A ‘sweet’ innovation

Over the past few years sugar has been increasingly criminalised by health experts. As popular opinion follows that of the experts, brands that sell products high in sugar have found themselves in a situation that is far from sweet as they face pressure from governments and consumers to act and reduce their sugar content.

The issue is that without lots of sugar in them, our favourite sweet treats just don’t taste as nice (at least that is what the big brands claim). Consequently companies have focused their resources on huge marketing campaigns and half hearted low sugar alternatives, to distract attention from the high sugar levels in their existing products.

The incompetence of many larger brands to adapt and change in accordance with this new health trend has created a feeling of distrust amongst consumers. This has opened up a window of opportunity for flexible start-ups, whom position themselves as not just healthier options, but also as morally superior – changing the way we emotionally connect with indulgent brands.

However, it seems like one mainstream brand has finally gotten their act together as Nestlé announces a new innovative method that changes the structure of sugar so that it dissolves more quickly. This means that the tongue perceives an identical level of sweetness even when less sugar is used. This will allow Nestlé to cut the amount of sugar in their products by 40% without affecting the taste – Chocolate lovers rejoice!

Learning from the success of healthy start-ups, Nestlé has shown that they have listened to public health concerns and that they are working towards being more socially responsible.

This demonstrates the increasing need for brands to have some sort of moral compass in order to keep ahead in today’s market and we should expect to see more brands following Nestlé’s example.  If successful, this method will also strip other brands of their ‘great taste’ excuse – giving the mainstream confectionary industry a much needed kick up the back-side.

Maddie Webb

05.12.16