Thursday, March 19, 2009

Could sugar shake off its bad boy image?

Sugar could be shedding its bad boy image to take a surprise spot on the public’s list of trusted ingredients, as manufacturers look to appeal to more savvy consumers.

High fructose corn syrup in several major-brand soft drinks is being replaced with old-fashioned sugar.

Last week, the vice president of marketing for Snapple told this website that the switch to sugar in its iced teas was all about “delivering great taste”. But he said there’s nothing wrong with the taste of HFCS – indeed, the company sees the two sweeteners as “about the same”.

Like Snapple, similar moves for newly released soft drinks include ‘retro versions’ of Pepsi and Mountain Dew, which feature 1970s-style packaging and 1970s-style formulation, sweetened with sugar instead of HFCS.

There could be nothing more to it than taste, of course, but given current consumer attitudes to HFCS, it seems possible that this is being used as a trial run for a wider move back to sugar.

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