Germans need stevia education
New Mintel research reveals that almost three in ten (28%) users of sugar and sweeteners in Germany believe stevia is good for their health, however, more education is needed by stevia brands if usage is to increase. According to the findings, there remains a core group of consumers who do not know if stevia is healthy (29%) or say it is neither good nor bad for their health (31%).
When asked which sugar and sweetener products are good for health, stevia (28%) fares well with German consumers, outperforming agave (27%), raw sugar (15%), brown sugar (15%), as well other high intensity sweeteners including saccharin (4%) and aspartame (2%). Only honey (68%) and maple syrup (33%) have better health perceptions, likely to be due to consumers’ high level of familiarity with these products.
Indeed, natural alternatives to sugar are gaining stronger interest in Germany, with nearly four in ten (38%) Germans indicating an interest in seeing more naturally sweetened diet products – a figure which rises to as many as 42% of 16-24 year olds. But while 28% of users of sugar and sweeteners perceive stevia as good for their health, 13% perceive it as bad for their health.
Katya Witham, senior food and drink German analyst at Mintel, comments, “As obesity creeps up on the nation, stevia’s plant based origin makes it an attractive sweetener for health conscious German consumers. But lack of familiarity with stevia indicates that more educational efforts are required from the German food and drink industry to drive usage, which is then set to present considerable future opportunities for the stevia market.”