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Answering The Call For Reduced Sugar

With a growing societal emphasis on “better for you” products, sugar reduction is a hot topic. Consumers have it top of mind…and so does the FDA.

Regulatory demands

New FDA guidelines require labels to highlight both Added Sugars and Total Sugars. This includes a gram amount and a percent of the Recommended Daily Value. The distinction is meant to clarify how much sugar is naturally occurring and how much is due to the manufacturer’s formula.

Consumer preferences

The new labeling guidelines mean consumers are more cognizant of their sugar intake. While they are primarily focused on avoiding high amounts of Added Sugars, the guidelines also draw new attention to the Total Sugars. It adds up to an extremely high demand for products with a reduced sugar profile.


Bars with reduced sugar have a broad appeal. With that said, maintaining a desirable sensory profile has its challenges.

To a certain extent, the sweetness of added sugar can be replicated with other sweeteners. However, such alternatives may carry bitter off-notes or fail to achieve the subtleties of real sugar. It’s why we rely on an expansive network of raw material suppliers to find the best options in every circumstance.

Sugar also affects bulking and mouthfeel. Replacing the sweetness of sugar requires a relatively small amount of high-intensity sweeteners like sucralose or stevia. This can skew the bar’s ratio of ingredients. And while various fillers can replace sugar’s bulk, formulators must be careful to not to compromise the overall texture. Mouthfeel can then be adjusted with the use of certain fats and other ingredients.

Cost is the final hurdle. While sugar remains an affordable staple, alternatives range from fairly inexpensive to significantly more. We work closely with our customers to understand segment-specific preferences and find a solution.


Nutritional and functional powders featuring reduced sugar are in equally high demand. Unsurprisingly, many of the challenges are the same as with bars.

The most significant concern when formulating powders relates to flavor. Sucralose, stevia and sugar alcohols are all popular sugar replacements, but once again, steps must be taken to mask any off flavors or aftertaste.

Our team has extensive experience working on low sugar powders across multiple consumer segments. We are constantly working with vendors to stay up-to-date on the latest flavor innovations––both natural and artificial.

Find out more about how we work with you to overcome the sensory challenges associated with reducing sugars. Our experts can help you meet regulatory guidelines, develop a compliant label complete with serving size recommendations, and create a product that really sells.

Contact us today to start your sugar reduction project.

Category: Trends

Tags: reduced sugar, FDA guidelines, sugar, reformulate