Massive growth in use of low kilojoule sweeteners

The number of new products containing low kilojoule sweeteners has grown globally by 40 percent in the last five years, reports Mintel, the global supplier of consumer, product and media intelligence.

The International Sweeteners Association (ISA) has welcomed this information that demonstrates significant growth in the global use of all low kilojoule sweeteners. This figure was provided by Mintel in a presentation: “Stevia: Where are we now, where next?” at the recent Vitafoods Tradeshow 2012.

Commenting on this year-on-year 40 percent increase in the number of new products containing low kilojoule sweeteners which have been launched to markets around the world since 2007, Hans Heezen, chairman of the ISA said: “This is extremely encouraging and show that around the world, food and drink manufacturers are responding to consumer demands for more lower calorie options. Using low calorie sweeteners to provide people with greater choice and healthier options is very positive. It is also encouraging to see that across the board, all types of low calorie sweeteners are being used more frequently – showing that light and low sugar options are growing in popularity.”

The ISA says the growth in global use of low calorie sweeteners signals positive steps by the food and drinks industry to providing more low calorie product choices to consumers, which can help people to reduce their daily calorie intake and manage their weight. The growth of these new products also provides a wider range of safe, sweet options for people with diabetes.

Professor Mike Lean, Chairman of Human Nutrition (School of medicine), University of Glasgow, notes: “These figures demonstrate how the industry is responding to a global obesity epidemic and soaring levels of type 2 diabetes. With more low calorie options, people have wider options to satisfy a preference for sweetness.  But maintaining a ‘sweet tooth’ may not be the best plan if they have weight problems, as they must also restrict total calorie intakes.”

Low calorie sweeteners have no impact on insulin or blood glucose levels and do not provide any calories. As such, all low calorie sweeteners may have a role for people with type 2 diabetes and for women with gestational diabetes. Low calorie sweeteners offer people with diabetes the pleasure of sweet tastes without the negative side effects. They can also be beneficial for people who are overweight and wish to reduce their calorie intake.

Source: The International Sweeteners Association (ISA)