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Study: Sweetener concerns don't affect purchase decisions

Consumer concerns about sweeteners are important, but they do not affect purchase decisions, according to research commissioned by the Corn Refiners Association, Washington, and based on data from Nielsen and Mintel Consulting. The research includes a segmentation analysis of 10,000 consumers.


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“Consumers say they avoid specific ingredients, but purchase behavior shows they do not,” Martin Concannon, founder and managing director of consulting firm Lafayette Associates, Alexandria, Va., said Wednesday during the SN webinar “Sweetener 360: An Unprecedented Look at How Consumers Feel about Sweeteners and Why.” It was sponsored by CRA. 

Rather, consumers are influenced more by taste and price, he said.

As a result, “beverage companies would do well to focus on products that satisfy the true needs of their broad base of heavy buyers, rather than stigmatize any type of sweetener as a strategy to build brand loyalty,” Concannon said.

The analysis reveals shoppers who consume sweeteners are divided into six distinct demographic lifestyle segments. Across segments, spending time on sweetened food and beverage products is relatively consistent.

Sara Martens, VP of research firm MSR Group, Omaha, Neb., also presented research findings during the webinar. An archived version of the webinar will be available at within the next week.

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