The survey also explored consumer perceptions of artificial sweeteners and natural alternatives to sugar, such as chicory root fibre, to decrease the sugar content of foods
A new survey commissioned by Sensus has revealed that reducing sugar intake is emerging as a key concern amongst many European consumers: more than 60% of those surveyed monitor their dietary sugar intake and 25% actively search for low sugar food products.
The survey also explored consumer perceptions of artificial sweeteners and natural alternatives to sugar, such as chicory root fibre, to decrease the sugar content of foods.
The MSI-ACI European Consumer Perceptions Survey 2015 is the latest research by Sensus to explore the attitudes of consumers towards healthy eating. The survey canvassed the opinions of more than 2500 adults in France, Germany, Italy, Sweden and the United Kingdom (UK) in June 2015 to gain insight into their perceptions on the need for healthier foods.
More than 500 online interviews per country were done with men and women aged between 18-75 years old, and partly or completely responsible for grocery shopping.
As well as a clear concern about sugar intake, more than half (55%) of those surveyed claimed that the type of sweetener used in reduced sugar food products influences their buying choice and the survey showed that European citizens prefer natural alternatives to many artificial sweeteners.
Those who participated were given a short introduction to chicory root fibre — a natural, prebiotic, functional fibre food ingredient, which is sourced from natural chicory roots and has significant, scientifically proven health benefits. More than 70% of those surveyed expressed an interest in the ingredient after reading a short introduction about it, despite a general scepticism about health claims on functional food products.
‘Combining the high levels of interest in healthier eating and specific concerns identified in our survey and growing interest in chicory root fibre, the widespread uptake of healthier, tasty products with lower sugar content could contribute towards lowering the incidence of diabetes and obesity in Europe,’ said Elaine Vaughan, Chief Science Officer at Sensus. ‘Although already available in selected food products, we hope that the results of this survey will encourage food manufacturers to develop an even wider range of products that contain chicory root fibre to support the efforts of European citizens who are trying to improve their diet.’