Industry News | August 4, 2011

Consumers Don’t Mind Feeding Sweet Tooth With HFCS

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Most consumers look to avoid total added sugars, not high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) specifically, according to a recent study designed and executed by Mintel Research Consultancy.

In the study, more than 2,000 consumers were asked a series of questions about their dietary habits. By asking participants unaided (or open-ended) questions, the survey helped determine what was “top of mind” for consumers with regard to sweeteners.

Specifically, the study found that 17 percent of consumers were trying to avoid “sugar or added sugar,” as opposed to only 4 percent who indicated that they were looking to avoid HFCS. In the same question, 37 percent of consumers indicated that they were avoiding calories, while 20 percent were avoiding fats and oils.

“This study of thousands of consumers truly shows what is ‘top of mind’ when reading food and beverage package labels. It’s very telling that only 4 percent of consumers are avoiding HFCS,” says David Lockwood, senior analyst, Mintel Research Consultancy. “Mintel identified a major gap between what people say and what they really do. The answers to these unaided responses are the best indicators of true attitudes and behaviors.”

Additionally, in reading package labels for information, a quarter of respondents indicated that they were looking for “sugar or added sugar.” By contrast, only 3 percent indicated that they were reading labels for HFCS. In the same question, 38 percent of consumers read labels for fats and oils, while 37 percent read for calories.

“Consumers are independently confirming that HFCS is not a top of mind issue,” says Audrae Erickson, president, Corn Refiners Association. “In fact, one in four consumers is not focused on ingredients at all.”

Comments

Heidi,Thought you might find this article from Mintel good...we do subscribe to Mintel.

I would be quite interested in who sponsored this research. Working on a research team in the past, I soon realized that much of what we call research is biased when sponsored by certain companies.To Audrae Erickson: Many, many consumers are concerned about high fructose corn syrup in everything. Many Americans concerned about healthy eating habits have been spreading the word about processed foods, added ingredients, chemicals, hydrogenated oils and addictive sugars being added to foods.Don't think for a moment that the concern about high fructose corn syrup is not real. Americans are being lied to by food corporations that are interested more in profits than the health of their fellow Americans. The American Dietetic Association is sponsored by soft drink, candy, and snack food corporations.Americans are not being killed by terrorists, but by American corporations that are killing their fellow beings with fast food.Audrae Erickson, how much of that artificial red drink (from the corn refiners commercials) do you personally consume and give to your children? Please let us know. You advise other American parents to give it to their children through those commercials. Do you drink your talk?

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