The Future Of…. No Added Sugar
Sugar is on everyone’s radar here in the UK. Whether because of the recent ‘sugar tax’, or because you’re convinced that cutting down on sugar is the key to a healthy gut, or just think that your colleague’s 3 sugars in their brew is ridiculous, it is a growing health topic and concern.
It has always been a health concern, but for years, lower sugar products had been targeted almost exclusively at diabetes sufferers; then came the teeth scares, and suddenly it was all about avoiding tooth decay. Now, with research connecting sugar and obesity, it is of wider general interest. As a result, ‘lower sugar’ is now for everyone, and it’s no longer relegated to the supermarket side-lines.
One of the most important developments in lower sugar/no added sugar food and beverages (F&B) is the move towards products whose whole raison d’être is lower sugar. They shout it from the rooftops and rejoice in their sugar freedom, aligning with a strong cultural shift towards celebrating everyone’s individual F&B preferences (and lifestyle in general).
This is a big move on from the light blue ‘Sugar free’ labels that we’ve traditionally seen on any and all mainstream foods.
What do these labels tell us? What are they signalling? Well, if they could speak, they’d say something like: “I play second fiddle to the original full-sugar product, and, to tell you the truth, I just don’t taste as good.” There are many reasons for this, one of which being that light blue on packs – traditionally seen on diet/weight-management products that use ingredient replacements to reduce calories – makes us think of something as a replacement, not an original.
Cue the new loud and proud, ‘born this way’ products and brands. Here are some examples of ones that we’ve seen that are really flying the flag for that lower sugar autonomy:
Aqua Libra’s name literally means “free water” – implying freedom, no constraints. With descriptors like “Crisp, clean, unsweetened” it’s telling us that “unsweetened” is a flavour note akin to “crisp” (and with the sophistication of a “crisp” white wine). Altogether, a liberated and sophisticated offering.
Bam: The name is an exclamation in itself, and the carton claims that no refined sugar equates to “ALL THE RIGHT INGREDIENTS”. No compromises there.
Kaakao sweeten their “illegal” vegan chocolate with dates and claim boldly that it’s “original, not plain” (word play on the “plain chocolate” industry standard). Not only this, but the Instagram account tells us it’s “INSANELY TASTY”, part of a generally very sassy, confident TOV.
From here in the UK to Spain, the US and further afield, lower sugar is becoming higher profile. What is crucial is that being/going low sugar is all about bold confidence, not compromise.