Something sweet for everyone

Photograph: The J.M. Smucker Co.

Young. Naturalist. Calorie-Conscious. Classic. The kind of sweetener a consumer looks for largely depends on the kind of person they are. According to recent research, consumer demographics play a key role in determining the brand and type of sweetener a guest is likely to reach for.

Take a look at some of the ways sweetener preferences vary and some important things all consumers are looking for at the beverage counter.

Age and gender divides

Consumer preference for sweeteners varies by age & gender. Older demographics look to both all-natural offerings and substitutes, while younger audiences tend to look for offerings like plant-based alternatives (e.g., stevia) and honey.[1] Diets are a leading reason for why consumers choose what they choose, and men follow those diets more often than women.[1]

Natural tendencies

Overall, consumers say they are seeking more all-natural, organic and plant-forward products this year.[1] More than half of consumers ages 55+ are seeking all-natural offerings, while more than 30% of younger consumers want organic and plant-based offerings.  Low-sugar and low-calorie top the types of diets that consumers follow.[1]Natural sugar packetsaccount for the most volume in the sweetener packet category and grew 10% last year (most likely as restaurant traffic picked up again).[1]

Top choices

When it comes to preferred brands away from home, InThe Raw® and Sweet’N Low® sweeteners are top consumer preferences.[1] More than half (58%) of consumers say they would have a more favorable impression of an operation offering their preferred sweetener brand.[1]

But all of this comes down to a bigger question: do preferences really make a difference to  sales? Consider that most consumers like to sweeten their drinks.[1] Of that majority, different types of consumers have different preferences—and those preferences can have a significant impact on how they perceive a foodservice operation.

See what sweetener preferences guests are most likely to have based on who they are, how they live and what they love by clicking here.

[1] Technomic, Sweeteners Proprietary Study, 2022

This post is sponsored by The J.M. Smucker Co.