Stevia and sugar sweetened products, so called hybrid products, are becoming increasingly popular within the food and beverage industry. Coca-Cola life, now in the spotlight due to its US debut, is an interesting attempt by Coke to fight the decline in soft drink consumption, which in the USA alone is experiencing a firm 8 year declining trend.
Paddy Spence, CEO at Zevia made an interesting comment shaping the debate on the mid calorie product range which may explain why the product range is not such a genius find as one might initially think. Spence is quoted saying to Business Insider “In soda what we find is that people are looking for either a full calorie soda that is going to optimize taste or they’re looking for a zero-calorie product, so why would you ever have something with the taste of a diet soda with 10 or 60 or 80 calories? To those consumers, it’s kind of the worst of both worlds. That’s why we’ve seen products in the mid-calorie space really not capture the imagination of consumers.”
As the taste of stevia is different to that of sugar and a lot of innovation is happening within the market, companies are operating within the fine line of reducing calories while maintaining the same taste sensation. Consumers seem to want it both, yet the ‘perfect’ solution is yet to come.
What are your thoughts and how would this affect your buying decisions?