The acceptance of the sweeteners increased especially by the drinks

  • 2017-02-01 00:00:00
  • Research

In Hungary, two-thirds of the adult population currently consume sweeteners in some form – as revealed in new, nationally representative research among the Hungarian adult population of Szinapszis Market Research and Consulting Ltd., with the participation of 500 respondents. The increase in the popularity and awareness of sweeteners is primarily due to drinks, in which they are mainly used. By comparison, there is not such a prevalence of sweeteners used in food products.

Last year, the rate of usage increased from 8% to 27% due to the sweetening of drinks. The use of sweetener is the main criterion when consumers purchase soft drinks and fruit juices and this is also important – albeit less so – in the cases of jams and marmalades, dairy products, or sweets.



We select on the basis of the sweetener’s flavour


Today we can purchase a huge number of sweeteners in different packaging and forms (e. g. pill, powder, liquid), to allow for ease and practicality of use. According to research, we tend to choose our sweetener primarily on the basis of its flavour, and this is also the primary reason for its rejection. A pleasing flavour is the main criterion, and, interestingly, a low-calorie content is only the fourth factor in making such a decision, although this would effectively be the topmost functional benefit of the sweeteners. Therefore, it would appear that the main motivation behind the use of sweeteners is to experience the sweet, aftertaste-free flavour of sugar. Such products which are able to provide us with this popular and traditional flavour stand at a great advantage.

On the other hand, it is also important to pay attention to the caloric content of sweeteners. In this regard, the alternatives of sugar can be divided into two main groups: sugar substitutes and calorie-free sweeteners. 


Sugar substitutes and calorie-free sweeteners – what’s the difference?


One of the most crucial differences between the two groups is that the sweeteners are practically calorie-free and have the potential to be a hundred times sweeter than sugar, and so only a very small amount is required to be effective. Saccharin, aspartame, stevia and acesulfame belong to this group, among others. Sugar substitutes, on the other hand, are not significantly sweeter and do not necessarily contain fewer calories than granulated sugar. Such substitutes include erythritol, xylitol and sorbitol.

Sweeteners - aside from aspartame - are completely calorie-free; do not raise blood sugar levels, and therefore diabetics and those on a weight-loss diet can use them without any risk. The vast majority (90%) of the respondents are already fully aware that the consumption of sweeteners is totally safe if kept within the recommended daily allowance, which can usually be found printed on the packaging. It is interesting to note that the most popular substitute for sugar is honey, which actually contains the same level of caloric content - a fact which many consumers are unaware of. According to research, xylitol, saccharin, fructose, stevia, and aspartame have recently gained in popularity. For example, the awareness of stevia increased significantly last year, with two-thirds of the respondents having heard of it and one-third having already tried it, mostly to flavour hot drinks such as coffee and tea. Forty percent of the respondents highlighted the natural origin of the stevia as an advantage.







Different types of sugar substitutions are becoming increasingly widespread, and the supply of products made with sweetener is expanding. Big soft drink corporations are producing increasing numbers of “zero” and “free from” products. These drinks are made without sugar and satisfy popular tastes with a variety of different kinds of sweeteners so that consumers who do not wish to consume sugar can still enjoy their favourite soft drinks.