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How to claim sugar reduction on your packaging

19 Feb 2020


Sugar: a double edge sword

Sugars, such as glucose, sucrose &, maltose, are the smallest and simplest type of carbohydrates and can be naturally found in fruit, vegetables, milk and honey. They are easily absorbed by the body, can provide ready to use energy for any body cell, plus they are a main fuel for our brain. Sugar, for better or for worse, is a very important component of each person’s life. [1]

However, excessive sugar consumption may lead to an imbalance between body energy intake and body energy usage. When this happens, sugars are stored into the body as fat which can lead to an increased risk of many non-communicable diseases (NCD) such as obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and dental cavities.[2] [3]



[7] FMCG GURUS, Fi Event, 2019

Industry takes a stand

It is important to remember that in patisserie products, sugar is a functional ingredient and consequently, its reduction doesn’t only impact taste but also texture and shelf life.

In cakes, sugar is directly linked to the golden color formation that we all associate with a perfectly baked cake. Sugar also helps the products to remain moist and fresh. In fruit and cream fillings, sugar is linked to improved texture, mouthfeel and shelf life. In chocolate as well, sugar is a key texture and bulking ingredient.

Clearly, decreasing the sugar content without affecting overall product characteristics is not an easy task. In order to overcome this issue, producers can choose from two options for a sugar reduction claim.

The first option is to not change overall product sugar content (g of sugar/100 g), but instead decrease portion size and consequently decrease consumer sugar intake (g of sugar/portion). This  approach “tricks” the consumer to eat less (when portions are single packaged), but does not help the finished product nutritional profile or help people to increase their food awareness.

Table 1 - Selected example of sugar claim regulation around the world

Another approach is to reformulate products using a stealth or a claim driven approach.

Producers that embrace a stealth approach often decide to replace limited amount of sugar with other ingredients in use such as flour. While that is a noble effort to reduce the sugar content for their end consumers, it does not lead to any claim on their packaging. On the other hand, producers who want to add any type of legally recognized sugar claims must undergo a more challenging reformulation journey.

There are 4 main claims: “sugar free”, “low sugar”, “reduced in sugar” and “no sugar added”. To avoid dramatic loss in taste and texture, sugar has to be replaced by other functional ingredients such as high intensive sweeteners, polyols, natural or synthetic fibers.

Table 1: Selected example of sugar claim regulation around the world 

At Puratos we focused our efforts on developing a wide range of sugar reduced patisserie solutions which deliver our high standard of taste and texture while helping consumers to lower their overall sugar consumption and access more balanced food options. To do so we develop three golden rules:

  1. We offer a solution for every part of a finished good 
  2. Puratos provides a sugar-reduced solution for every layer in a patisserie product, from the base, to the filling, to the decoration.

  3. We never compromise on Taste or Texture 
  4. Extensive consumer research has shown us that even when consumers opt for a heathier choice, they never, ever, want to compromise on taste or texture. Eating patisserie is enjoying a moment of indulgence and we respect their pleasure!

  5. We provide Clean(er) Label 

Puratos uses natural fibers to replace sugars. This enables us not only to keep the label as clean as possible, but also means added fiber consumption (another health plus for your customers!).

The sugar reduced product offering is only getting better.

Not sure where to start?

Are you looking for ways to offer more sugar-reduced products to your customers?  Contact your local representative  for more information on how Puratos is tackling sugar reduction around the world.