The consumer is attentive to his health

Has sugar become the number one enemy of consumers? If this ingredient always attracts gourmands, it is nevertheless consumed in moderation. According to Kantar's findings, presented around a round table with Materne in Paris last week, consumers are indeed more attentive to their health with less impulsive behavior to purchase, compared to previous years with, for consequences , sweet categories disinvested on the shelves of shops (all surfaces combined). Benefiting from a slightly higher purchasing power (like a savings rate), in 2008 (strong inflation and small shopping cart), they now have the opportunity to choose from many categories of products. Purchases they have gradually valued, preferring to consume less but better (including scrupulously reading packaging and relying on nutri-score and applications) but less trust brands, labels and labels bio (loss of 5.2 pts in 6 years according to the Promothée barometer "Inspire confidence" – 414 PGC brands followed continuously since 2013).

Sugar ? They can not do without

Also according to the methodology, presented by Franck Gardillou, Business Unit Director at the Kantar World Panel Consumers Panel Institute, sugar remains a staple food in our plates as 92% of French people put at least one sweet product in their kitchen. basket (this year). However, they are turning to healthier sugars: brown sugar (in progress), agave syrup, honey (with the presence of local hives, 13 million additional contact points) and compotes (8 more points among Since 2011, the customer base has been 36 million points of contact, and these compotes are present in the dessert or snack of a quarter of the children, which makes them very confused about sweet drinks (sodas) and jams. then neglected on the shelves (since 2001 with less than 3 points).

Consumption of confectionery, on the other hand, always comforting for the taste buds, remains stable. In figures therefore, this new way of consuming results in the loss of 4 points of customer size (sugar consumption) since 2001 (92.5% in 2018), or more than 8 million points of contact. To go further, the study also looked at the mutation of the meals of the consumers, impacting considerably their tastes and their appetite.

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You, French, what are you eating?

While 81% of French people eat three meals a day, others, on the other hand, are followers of snacking (nibbling), at 19%, at various times of the day (Food Usage – Home consumption and home removal – Individuals – CAM P13 2018). Finally, the majority is restoring with family, home and up to six times a week (96%), against a minority who takes a meal. They are also more likely to prefer homemade preparations (homemade fruit juice types) and avoid other types of juice or milk (in decline) and even bread. As for snacking this time around, the results are fantastic: consumers are multiplying their snack breaks, sometimes eating sweet products at night, mostly for adults.

Good news for the followers of the healthy eating: the consumption of fruits in these moments of small hungers, increases. 99.3% of households buy, 7 out of 10 people consume up to 5 times a week (higher consumption seniors). 8% of fruits are also present in the breakfast, consumption being reinforced by the trend of detoxifying recipes.

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Finally, fruits are often found on the plate of the youngest (apples and bananas in the top plates of under 10 years), just like vegetables. Thus, by tradition or need to maintain good habits, this food remains a pillar of food. As also specified Charles Soussin, graduate of the Hotel School of Bordeaux Talence " If there is a tendency in the restaurant industry to de-sweeten pastries with coconut, maple, or brown and brown sugar, the fruit keeps its place and it is not necessary to do so without ".

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Young and old looking for a balanced diet

Problem, if the new technologies allow consumers to be better informed about the products they consume (apps, social networks, recommendations from relatives, verified reviews, etc.), all do not correctly sort between good and bad recommendations. Between cravings and deprivations, the gap widens … As for the anxiety of parents to feed their children, it increases against the multitude of recommendations heard here and there. Is sugar then beneficial, or conversely diabolic and causing behavioral disorders and addictions? Asked to answer during the exchange, nutritionist Corinne Chicheportiche-Ayache explains that " over-informed patients are not always discerning and the flow of information is counterproductive And that adults and children are facing a "Loss of bearings ". As for the transmission of good habits, it is also up to the parents to educate the palate of the youngest, says the agronomist and founder of the association Pommes et Sens, Marie-Claire Thareau: " WHO recommends 100 grams of sugar per adult but is easily exceeded because of processed foods. It is therefore necessary to facilitate the discovery of foods to younger people to awaken them ". Finally, the Millenials, although informed of the traps of the consumer, buy less sweet but are still plagued by processed products, then deceived by some packaging radiation.

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French good students facing the rest of the world?

Another point raised around the round table, sugar consumption at the international level then national. But to understand the attachment of the French to sugar, we must make a leap in time. " If initially this ingredient has long been present on the Arab and Italian markets and is rooted in the French tradition, it was more consumed in the time of our ancestors than at present "Decrypts Patrick Rambourg, member of the European Institute of History and Cultures of Food and associate researcher at the Laboratory" Identities Cultures Territories "of the University Paris Diderot. The reason for this craving? What between the seventeenth and nineteenth century, the sugar was at the end of the meal and he was very represented in the art with the notions of hell and paradise. And then, Louis XIV was very fond of melon. In the Middle Ages, sugar was a medicine. Another example, we did not have the same nutritional needs as at the time, as for example at the end of the war ". But good news for food experts, the French would be good students in terms of sugar consumption (all types), compared to other citizens of the world. Among the sweet beaks, the English, Italians, Spaniards and Americans would be especially mentioned. As for the champions of food, we should take a look at our Belgian and Dutch neighbors.

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Adapt to the taste of the French without frustrating, the challenge of the industrialists

On the other hand, while brands have captured consumers' expectations of "eating better", they still face an in-between in their product-making processes, oscillating between very sweet products to satisfy the palate of the greats. and small, or for solutions low in sugars and diluted, to claim to innovate on the market by proposing light recipes. The challenge of Céline Richonnet besides, dietician, pediatric nutritionist and agri-food engineer, today Materne's Nutrition Director: « We must adapt to each other's tastes. For this we do product tests with different levels of sugars and the children react rather well. We are also working with INRA and the Paul Bocuse Institute in Lyon to interview parents, children and experts on the subject ". Also, if the brand offers compotes in sugar-reduced and preservative-free gourds for almost two years, no question for the group, too much reduce the glycemic index of its recipes, at the risk of creating the opposite effect: behaviors compulsive (anorexia, bulimia, stroke, abdominal obesity, etc.). Materne also works on seed inclusion and looks closely at food trends in the United States and Canada: drinks made from fruits and vegetables. Another challenge more widely affecting consumer goods and industrialists: the production chain of the agricultural world which is impacted by the loss of nutritional properties of the fruits or the number of species (apples on the decrease); products from the earth originally but which today are genetically modified by humans (example of the yellow kiwi without hair in Australia) to suit various (new) standards.

Sugar is thus everyone's business in a fair limit of consumption and concerns both the consumer standing on his scale and in search of meaning and quality in its purchases, the industrial group and the producer providing the latter. Still the alternative of the recipes based on seeds to provide energy when needed, or the preparation of recipes at home to silence the horrible furious gurgles of his belly and soothe (finally) his conscience, at the time of news and fake news.

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