What questions do moms have about stevia? What are the barriers to purchase?

What questions do moms have about stevia? What are the barriers to purchase? These and other questions about stevia and today’s sweeteners were posed to nearly 1,500 moms across the United States in the first of a series of consumer research studies sponsored by PureCircle.

In this study, PureCircle teamed up with the consumer research experts at LaunchForce, an innovation consultancy, to find out what moms really think about stevia and other sweeteners currently on the market.

“It’s critical to know what mom wants for her family and herself,” says Jason Hecker, PureCircle’s director of marketing. “Because mom is most often the gatekeeper for her family, an intimate understanding of her current beliefs, likes and dislikes is an essential foundation to any product development and marketing communications plan.”  The research focused on exploring moms’ current awareness and perception of sweeteners in the market and dove deep into her interest in stevia and a wide array of potential communications.

“Stevia has so many great benefits - it’s natural, has zero calories and a low glycemic index, among others,” Hecker says. “While there are many things to say and ways to approach product development, our research set out to help us and our customers understand the right concepts and communications that will resonate in the market.”The research was conducted in spring 2009 with moms, age 25 to 49, who are the primary grocery shoppers in their household. The 40-minute Internet survey asked respondents about their awareness and perception of sweeteners and brands, product category opportunity and how specific sweeteners fit with brands.

“From a qualitative perspective, the first thing that became apparent is that moms are being bombarded with sweet messages and they’re ambivalent about them,” says Tim Coffey, LaunchForce’s CEO. “They want to give their families sweet treats, yet they’re concerned about obesity and how some sweeteners may affect their health.” According to the study, more than one out of every three moms is already aware of stevia. “Awareness is one thing, but having a positive impression of a sweetener is far more important,” Hecker explains. “Our research helped us to dive much deeper to understand how to help our customers positively influence the market for growth, not just track it as it happens.”

A webinar detailing this research is archived on PureCircle’s Web site.

PureCircle is a pioneer in the extraction of natural goodness from plants and the world’s leading producer of high-purity Rebaudioside A (Reb A), with a vertically integrated supply chain operating in three continents.