Which sweeteners do consumers prefer? Kerry reveals new survey findings.

Which sweeteners do consumers prefer? Kerry reveals new survey findings.

A new white paper draws insights into which sweetening agents consumers prefer, according to a survey of 760 American consumers. Kerry (Beloit, WI), a taste and nutrition company, commissioned the survey. Preference for sweetening agents depended on perceptions of how natural the ingredient is as well as consumers’ awareness of the ingredient. Kerry surveyed consumers about 17 sweetening agents. Honey was the most preferred sweetening agent, with the highest perception of naturalness. Sugar and maple syrup were tied for natural perception, though sugar was more preferred. Interestingly, respondents also had negative perceptions of some popular natural sweeteners due to perceived artificiality or poor awareness. For example, stevia was only perceived as natural by 46% of surveyed consumers, while 54% of respondents said it is artificial. However, stevia also had a high level of awareness (58%), thereby placing it in the top four preferred sweetening agents. By contrast, monk fruit was among the bottom three preferred sweeteners, suffering from 15% awareness—but, interestingly, 77% of those aware of monk fruit perceive it as natural.

The most-preferred sweeteners:

  • Honey (64%), Sugar (59%), Maple syrup (31%), Stevia (22%), Agave (13%)

The least-preferred sweeteners:

  • Erythritol (1%), Acesulfame K (2%), Monk fruit (3%), Sorbitol (3%), Xylitol (3%)

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