Lori Dahm, technical editor
The current consumer focus on health and wellness is certainly pervasive in the industry, and there is a strong movement toward creating products that have reduced sugar content and lower calorie counts. But what is more remarkable to me is the sensitivity that arises around issues of healthy products for children.
For example, when talking to folks about reducing sugar and sweetener alternatives, everyone agrees that it’s important to find methods to remove sugar from products. But a flaming-red-hot button is reduced-sugar products for kids; parents today demonstrate even more stringent parameters about what ingredients are acceptable in products designed for their children.
In fact, I suspect the reason the demand for organic milk has outpaced supply may be due to the abundance of parents buying it for their children, wanting to provide the absolute healthiest variety of milk they can. Understood this way, as a supply-demand scenario influenced by parents, I would suggest that a wise move is to look to the organic milk situation as a precedent soon to be echoed by other segments in the food industry.
An ingredient or method to replace high-fructose corn syrup and refined sugars in products, or to otherwise reduce sugar, might be the next maelstrom in the food world. If I were to place bets, I would suggest focusing on development that leans toward the three A’s of passing the parent test: acceptability, anti-artificial and all-around goodness.