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The truth behind low sugar products at the supermarket

Open any newspaper in the UK at the moment and there is a high chance you will see an article related to reducing your sugar intake. It appears as though sugar is the new salt in the list of food additives to be avoiding.

mySupermarket‘s analysts were intrigued by this topic and decided to delve deep into the data to gain an understanding of how the reduced sugar landscape has developed at supermarkets over the last four years.

When analysing our historical data, we noticed that the number of products which claim to contain reduced or no sugar jumped from 4,670 available items in 2012 to 5,169 available items in 2016.

#-of-reduced-sugar-products

To understand which supermarkets are leading the way in the reduced sugar trend, we compared the year on year increases for 2013 – 2015 across some of the major retailers featured on mySupermarket.

Reduced-sugar-products-by-supermarket

ASDA and Tesco are leading the way in the reduced sugar movement. However, whilst we noticed a peak in products availability in 2014, the number of Tesco & ASDA reduced sugar products available reduced slightly in 2015, whilst it increased slightly in Ocado, Sainsbury’s & Morrisons.

We then analysed popular reduced sugar and sugar-free searches on mySupermarket during the first three months of 2012, comparing them to the first three months of 2016. In support of our theory, we discovered there was a significant increase in the number of customers searching for more health conscious options.

Searches for reduced sugar products had been steadily increasing over a 4 year period, so what happened in 2016? Were people saturated by sugar information? Let’s take a look at popular sugar free snacking search terms over the years to see if our tastes have changed as education around the health impact of sugar has received a higher profile.

Popular-sugar-free-products

 

Health trends come and go, however, we feel that reducing sugar is an initiative that is here to stay. We’ll continue to keep our eyes trained to customer behaviour on this topic over the coming months.

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