Millennials are driving the healthy eating demand!
Millennials is the nicer name for consumers who are now between 25 and 39 years old. This segment are a dynamic bunch, who look for healthier alternatives of food which is nutritionally good for them, as well as tasty.
In general, processed sugar is on the hit list for Millennials, who are options for either lower levels or natural alternatives, such as honey to sweeten their favorite foods. They are also more educated on nutrition and packaging labels to really understand exactly what they are consuming. This has created a new challenge for retail across Western Europe, adapting quickly to changing tastes and demands of their shoppers.
Healthier retail strategies across Western Europe
Across multiple countries in Western Europe, sugar taxes have been implemented to encourage companies to develop healthier ranges in their product portfolio. Recent countries to implement these taxes are UK & Ireland, France, Spain, Belgium and Portugal. All looking to cut sugar by 20% from certain food categories (Bakery, Confectionery and Cereals).
Tesco originally took the lead in the UK, committing to reducing sugar 5% year on year in their drinks range, and from that have expanded by cutting sugar, salt and fats across their private label range. Others soon followed, with Lidl committing to reduce sugar by 20% by 2020 across 350 own label products.
Carrefour, the largest French retailer is taking a similar approach, by offering private label products with less sugar and salt. Throughout 2019 they will host over 200,000 tasting events to promote the success of their reformulations.
Rewe (Germany) integrated their customers in the sugar-reduction journey. They held online surveys to see which own label products their customers want to have healthier. They gave the option of reducing sugar from 20-40% on these SKUs.
Other retailers, such as Albert Heijn (The Netherlands) have moved towards transparent communication with their consumers. They have developed new labels for over 11,000 own-label SKUs, to show daily recommendation of sugar, thus allowing clearer decisions from their shopper base.
Is chocolate a solution?
Barry Callebaut offers a range of lower sugar products. Not only just chocolate, but also fillings, nuts, and inclusions.
Recently four different chocolate recipes have been developed, all ensuring to meet the need for clean-label products, and thus no laxative claims. A Milk & Dark Chocolate without added sugar with Stevia and a Milk & Dark with 1% sugar to meet the EU regulations of chocolate.
Beyond our range, we also work closely with a range of customers to support on recipe reformulation, so they can offer their own unique taste but with a healthier twist.