HEALTHY REDUCED SUGAR BEVERAGES - Technology & Market Research report by Signicent

Reduced/ No Sugar Healthy Beverages: Technology Innovations, Challenges, Products & Market Research Report

The report will shed light on the challenges, innovations, research, patents, and products associated with Reduced or No Sugar Beverages, Juices, or drinks.


The escalating prevalence of diabetes and obesity are pushing consumers from sugar to sugar-free alternatives. Burgeoning consciousness for health and wellness globally has been driving accelerated changes in the food and beverage industry. When it comes to ranking beverages best for our health, sugary drinks fall at the bottom of the list because of so many calories and virtually no other nutrients. 

Even WHO recommends that a reduced intake of free sugars must be practiced. For example, in adults and children, intake of free sugar should be less than 10% of total energy intake. (Source: WHO). It is therefore estimated that the global sugar-free food and beverage market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 9.36% from 2021- 2026.

Challenges With Reduced Sugar Beverages

Reduced sugar beverages have seen high growth in the past but their sales have declined sharply. The reasons behind the sales drop can be concluded as

  • Consumers became hesitant toward artificial sweeteners.
  • Increased trend of natural sugar-free beverages.
  • Taste and after taste issues.
  • Consciousness for health and wellness.

Industrial Challenges

Taste: Zero or less sugar beverage has High-potency sweeteners which have very characteristic after tastes, such as bitterness and astringency.

Texture: Due to reduction or elimination of sucrose, the viscosity of the beverage is affected. Therefore, it becomes challenging for achieving a particular texture.

Cost: Polydextrose is used as sugar substitutes. But it adds to the cost of the beverage.

Health Issues: It is observed that sugar-free soft drinks have been associated with dental erosion. Daily consumption of two or more diet soft drinks, comprising artificially sweeteners increases the risk of heart disease and stroke.

Solutions for Reduced Sugar Beverages

  1. Zero or less sugar beverage has reduced the number of soluble solids. Due to the elimination of sugars, the viscosity of beverages is affected.
  2. Replacement with Glucose Polymers is widely in practice. Polydextrose is used as a low-calorie bulking agent. It has the potential to replace all or part of the sugars and some of the fats in foods. It is known to maintain a pleasant texture and mouthfeel as well.
  3. The addition of fibers is another promising technique. NUTRIOSE® is a fiber, which is soluble and extracted from wheat or maize. It has very slight viscosity (as a bulking agent) in thinner beverages; in soft drinks, this can mimic the mouthfeel associated with sucrose, yet without having an undesirable health impact.
  4. The addition of Guar gum, Pectin, and xanthan gum is widely being used. Guar gum is extracted from the endosperm of the guar plant. Guar gum is a pure thickener that contributes to both the viscosity & texture present in reduced-sugar beverages.
  5. Pectin and xanthan gum have been proposed for use in low-calorie beverages.

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Reasons for product failure

This report will take you through the industrial challenges, failure in creating a repeat purchase from customers. Additionally, we assessed customers’ perception & acceptance of Zero or Reduced Sugar Beverages.

Contact Signicent to find the core technical reasons and solutions for the success of few drinks with reduced sugar content.

  1. Reduced sugar category sales have dipped in the past few years. Consumers have become hesitant about artificial sweeteners and the health issues associated with them.
  2. Artificially sweetened soft drink has been also linked to the risk of heart disease, stroke and dental decay
  3. Regardless of nutritional value, a poor-tasting product is destined to fail with consumers. It’s important to emphasize that sugar-free beverages do not have to sacrifice taste
  4. High-potency sweeteners have very characteristic after tastes and sensory mouthfeel.

Consumer Perception for Reduced Sugar Beverages

PEPSICO attempted to sell an all-new recipe for Diet Pepsi. In 2015, they announced to replace aspartame from Diet Pepsi and replaced it with artificial sweetener sucralose. It was not welcomed because PepsiCo replaced aspartame with a new sweetener: sucralose: better known by its brand name Splenda.

Consumers Perception Towards Reduced Sugar Beverages

  • As a result, concerned fans of Diet Pepsi have taken to Twitter, questioning the new recipe and taste.
  • In 2016, Pepsi relaunched Diet Pepsi with aspartame following sharp decline in sales of aspartame free diet coke.

Pepsi observed that in the first quarter aspartame-free diet soda sales decrease almost by 11 percent. They also received consumer feedback that indicated aspartame-free sodas weren’t quite as tasty as the original recipe.

Successful Product & Consumer Perception 

“Coke Zero Sugar” is part of Coca-Cola’s commitment to reducing sugar, with the company recently signing up to an industry-wide pledge to reduce sugar by 20% across its portfolio of sales by 2025.

3.5 million Australians had drunk “Coke Zero Sugar” since its launch. And the product was helping grow the low- and no-sugar drinks category.

Coca-Cola Amatil has reported a 34 percent uplift in full-year profit. The earnings before interest and tax increased by 0.8 percent to $639.3 million. While net profit after tax lifted 1.4 percent to $393.9 million.

Why Reduced Sugar Beverages Product is Successful?

The major reason: The taste of the product is an important parameter as “Coca-Cola zero Sugar” was carefully crafted to taste even more like Coca-Cola Classic but without the sugar.

The development in soft drinks to acknowledge the rising health concerns among the consumers is driving the growth of Australian soft drinks market.

Advancements such as sugar-free soft drinks, quality check labels, including fruit pulps in the drinks, and others have increased consumer spending on soft drinks

Products With Zero Sugar

  1. ProductCoca-Cola Zero Sugar has the original Coca-Cola taste without the sugar and calories. Serve ice-cold for maximum refreshment
  2. Sunkist Orange Zero Sugar Soft Drink: Australia’s favorite orange soft drink now with no sugar. A fresh and tangy taste that consumers love. Contains no artificial colors and flavors. Fun refreshment for any occasion. Made in Australia.
  3. Sugar-free Wiiings: Wings without sugar: Red Bull Sugarfree is a Red Bull Energy Drink without sugar.
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