New tool helps formulators pinpoint consumers’ preferred sweetness profile across product categories

October 29, 2018

Kerry has released an interactive simulator that utilizes U.S. consumer research data to provide product formulators a better understanding of consumers’ preferred combination of sweetening agent, calorie count, and protein content across six different product categories. 

Kerry (Beloit, WI) has released an interactive simulator that utilizes U.S. consumer research data to provide product formulators a better understanding of consumers’ preferred combination of sweetening agent, calorie count, and protein content across six different product categories. Kerry’s data comes from measurements they took of consumer perceptions of 17 sweetening agents to figure out their preferences surrounding sweetening agents in product categories, including: sports drinks, carbonated soft drinks, ice cream, flavored alcoholic malt beverages, granola bars, and cookies. The new simulator was created to supplement the company’s latest whitepaper on sweetening agents, called “Sensibly Sweet.”

The research included American consumers across gender, age groups, and ethnicities to uncover what specific categories were perceived as having high sugar content, and the amount of sugar consumers expected across specific product categories, as well as taste preferences for reduced-sugar products. Kerry also investigated drivers of consumer purchasing decisions when presented with a packaged product, examining which combination of sweetening agent, calorie count, and protein content were most preferred on an ingredient deck and nutritional panel.

“The simulator particularly helps formulators, developers, and business development professionals to understand which combinations are the most consumer-preferred for informed prototyping or reformulating,” said Soumya Nair, director of marketing insights, in a press release. “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.”

In the simulator, users can choose between the six product categories and adjust the three preferences of sweetener agent, calorie count, and protein content for up to three product combinations. Based on the preferences selected, the simulator estimates what percent of consumers prefer each combination, and provides additional insights.