The bittersweet trend for sugar producers

+ Official Coverage on Channel NewsAsia’s website

16 March 2014
Channel NewsAsia – Money Mind

The bittersweet trend for sugar producers

Leon Perera, Chief Executive Officer of Spire Research and Consulting, was invited to share his views on sugar consumption trends on Channel NewsAsia – Money Mind. He observed that sugar consumption in Singapore will decline in the long term, akin to what has been seen in North America and Europe, thanks to rising health literacy and government health campaigns. Natural sweetener producers would need to work hard to find their niche in terms of taste, pricing and a fact-based health message.

Sugar is now into its 4th year of global surplus production, primarily thanks to Brazil, Thailand and India. This has exerted downward pressure on prices. Sugar consumption is foreseen to grow below the growth rate of the global population in the next 5 to 10 years.

High intensity natural sweetener is now a niche market that faces good growth prospects. However, there are regulatory hurdles facing the industry. What’s more, there is a lot to be done in educating and convincing consumers to switch to natural sweeteners.

Most importantly, the taste and price has to agree with consumers. Perera shared that consumers are more comfortable with sweetening agents that taste somewhat like sugar. Natural sweeteners should not be too pricey, as this would not only deter consumers but also industrial buyers.

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