In his presentation ‘Packaging and processing solutions to healthy eating and obesity’, at the Next Generation Manufacturing conference, at Gulfood Manufacturing, Dubai, this week (October 27-29), he addressed the problems of sugar, sweeteners and obesity looking at the beverage sector.
Consumers are increasingly raising concerns about sugar
Carvalho told BeverageDaily, the pressure is on to tackle the issue but there are many approaches manufacturers can take to manage the challenge.
“Sugar has become a hot topic over recent years. Consumers globally are increasingly raising concerns regarding sugar, becoming more aware that overconsumption can lead to obesity and other health problems,” he said.
“There is a lot of noise around this issue as consumers and health institutions have started to actively campaign against sugar.
“In response, governments are changing regulations regarding sugar content and portion control, and launching educational awareness campaigns to promote a healthy diet to combat endemic obesity.
“The pressure is on to tackle the issue: there are many approaches manufacturers can take to manage the challenge and meet government and consumer demands. For example, juice producers are now reducing sugar content by replacing it with sweeteners and reducing portion sizes.”
According to the Sixth Tetra Pak Dairy Index, the growth rate of flavoured milk consumption is expected to be more than triple that of carbonated soft drinks in 2012-2015.
During that period carbonated soft drinks are forecast to grow by 1.3% compared with an estimated of 4.1% for flavoured milk.
“Consumers are increasingly turning to tasty, nutritious and conveniently packaged flavoured milk as an alternative to other beverages, creating opportunities for dairies to improve profitability,” it states in the report.
“Key consumer trends today include checking labels for clear sugar content information. Research shows consumers prefer natural sweeteners, with artificial sweeteners being their number one concern,” added Carvalho.
One example Tetra Pak is pioneering is launching aseptically packed coconut water which can be stored for long periods and packaged without altering its natural texture and nutrients.
Coconut water is a new category but very much on trend with where consumers are going today. It has a strong value proposition being a functional but low sugar alternative to 100% juice.
The drink continues to make significant gains globally, with new product introductions increasing over the last three years.
Products are often blended with fruit juices, offering consumers a functional, low sugar alternative to 100% fruit juices. The US market is the number one growth market for the consumption of coconut water with UK following fast behind.