Sensibly sweet: Kerry’s simulator finds consumer-preferred balance between sweetening agent type, protein and calories

636748441216416829beverage drinking girl.jpg

11 Oct 2018 --- Kerry, the Taste and Nutrition Company, has released an interactive consumer preference simulator to supplement their latest white paper on sweetening agents, “Sensibly Sweet.” The proprietary preference simulator utilizes US consumer research data to help industry professionals understand the consumer-preferred combination of three nutritional details – the type of sweetening agent, calorie count and protein count – across six product categories.

Kerry measured consumer perceptions of 17 sweetening agents to understand consumers’ preference surrounding sweetening agents across six product categories – sports drinks, carbonated soft drinks, ice cream, flavored alcoholic malt beverages, granola bars, and cookies. In their research, Kerry also investigated consumer purchase decision drivers when presented with a packaged product, examining which combination of sweetening agent type, calorie count and protein content were most preferred on an ingredient deck and nutritional panel.

With the simulator, users can choose a product category and adjust the sweetening agent type, calorie count and protein level for up to three product combinations, determining the most consumer-preferred combination in their results for a consumer-led approach to developing.

Click to Enlarge
Kerry measured consumer preference surrounding sweetening agents 
across 6 product categories – sports drinks, carbonated soft drinks,
ice cream, flavored alcoholic malt beverages, granola bars, and cookies.

Lauren Piek, Digital Marketing Specialist at Kerry, tells FoodIngredientsFirst: “As for initial results, since this tool is a simulator, the purpose is to discover consumer-preferred combinations of sweetening agents, calorie count and protein content. The next step is for users to go over the results with a member of our R&D team, and see how consumer-preferred ingredients can be applied to real-life formulations.”

“The consumer preference simulator is a simplified and easy-to-use tool that estimates consumer preference of varying levels of calories, proteins, and type of sweetening agent in six different product types,” explains Soumya Nair, Director of Marketing Insights. 

“The simulator particularly helps formulators, developers and business development professionals to understand which combinations are the most consumer-preferred for informed prototyping or reformulating. We recommend using the tool through all phases of the product development cycle, to stay in touch with the end user preference. Staying ahead of evolving consumer preferences can lead to better innovation and development solutions that meet the demands of consumers across a variety of applications.”

To accomplish this, Kerry offers TasteSense, which addresses the challenges in sweetness, mouthfeel and masking through sensory-validated natural flavor solutions that allow you to maintain the taste consumers love while delivering products to meet their nutritional expectations.

The study included American consumers across gender, age groups, and ethnicities, uncovering specific product categories that were perceived to have high amounts of sugar, the amount of sugar that consumers expect across particular product categories, and consumer taste preferences for reduced-sugar products. 

The research focuses on how consumer perceptions can inform the manufacturing, retail, and foodservice industries to understand the future of food and beverages.

To contact our editorial team please email us at

Related Articles

Food Ingredients News

Raising the bar on palm oil: Wilmar using satellites to track deforestation, Corbion signs up to sustainable network

12 Dec 2018 --- The use of palm oil continues to come under mounting scrutiny forcing companies to address their role in this industry. This has led Wilmar International Limited to launch a new program to map and monitor all of its suppliers. The palm oil giant plans to use satellites to monitor all of its palm oil suppliers, making it almost impossible for them to get away with forest destruction. The pioneering move comes as Corbion has signed on as a member of the North American Sustainable Palm Oil Network (NASPON), through which major industry players in the region are collaborating to create a greener palm oil supply chain.

Food Ingredients News

The evolution of lab-grown meat: Aleph Farms creates “first” cell-grown steak

12 Dec 2018 --- Israeli firm Aleph Farms has created what it says is the first cell-grown minute steak, using its capabilities for growing different types of natural beef cells into a fully 3D structure similar to conventional meat. The cell-cultured meat space has been heating up recently, marked by a number of innovators launching cell-culture patties and meatballs. However, with its distinctive texture and complex shape, the steak remained an elusive target for innovation. According to the food-tech start-up, this breakthrough not only obtains the true texture and structure of beef muscle tissue steak, but also the flavor and shape, establishing a new benchmark in cell-cultured meat technology.

Food Ingredients News

EHL Ingredients spices up the festive season with new blends, touts flavor insights for 2019

12 Dec 2018 --- EHL Ingredients has launched six new organic and conventional herb and spice blends which, according to the company, offers “an international twist on traditional Christmas recipes.” Tasneem Backhouse, Joint Managing Director, also predicts the flavor trends we can expect to see riding the waves in 2019, including Timut pepper, a Nepalese pepper variety, edible flowers, botanicals and flavors from across the globe.

Food Ingredients News

Brexit chaos: Vote delay fuels industry dismay on possible “no deal” scenario

11 Dec 2018 --- Brexit has been plunged into further chaos after UK Prime Minister Theresa May called off today’s scheduled make or break vote in Parliament at the eleventh hour. And, as she heads off to negotiate further in Europe, the food industry, which is extremely susceptible to the trading challenges that a “no deal Brexit” presents, is left “dismayed” over yesterday’s abrupt U-turn and what this could mean. It’s not yet clear when the vote will take place but it could be early next week or even mid-January before the much debated Withdrawal Agreement is voted on.

Food Ingredients News

New alternative to wheat? Durum and wild barley combination thrives on nutritional and functional properties

11 Dec 2018 --- A new cereal, coined tritordeum, that derives from the combination of durum wheat and a wild barley native to Chile and Argentina, is touted as being more nutritious and highly sustainable. Tritordeum, developed by Spanish company Agrasys, easily acquired EU regulatory approval as it is non-GMO and developed using traditional breeding techniques.

More Articles