Aiding Shoppers in Sugar Sweetened Beverage Reduction Efforts

Aiding Shoppers in Sugar Sweetened Beverage Reduction Efforts

June 17, 2020

It goes without saying that sugar reduction has become a popular goal for Americans. A 2018 survey from the International Food Information Council found that 77% of consumers aim to limit or avoid sugars.1 Low carbohydrate diets like Atkins, South Beach, and newer versions like keto, aim to limit carbohydrates, leaving products with added sugars off the table. Beyond trending diets, there are many other reasons one may aim to reduce sugar in the diet. Between growing rates of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, and certain types of cancers, many shoppers look to reduce sugar intake to manage chronic disease.2 The better-for-you, sugar-free option is becoming increasingly popular.

Whatever the reason for sugar reduction, sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) are typically the first place dietitians recommend shoppers start looking to reduce sugar intake, as it is the number one source of added sugars in the American diet. Helping shoppers reduce their added sugar intake is something retail dietitians are used to – from the young college student on a low carb diet, to the older adult with type 2 diabetes and multiple comorbidities. To meet the specific needs of each shopper, understanding their big picture preferences is essential.

Considerations for Shoppers Looking to Limit Sugar-Sweetened Beverages

  1. Engage shoppers by bringing attention to these attributes when highlighting or demoing products that contain no artificial ingredients.
    In addition to limiting added sugars, some consumers aim to avoid artificial ingredients – including artificial sweeteners (44%), artificial preservatives (33%), and artificial colors (28%), according to a 2018 survey by Pew Research Center.3
  2. Offer a list of beverage options for those on special diets for the most commonly avoided ingredients on grocery tours or during classes.
    In addition to sugar, shoppers with chronic diseases like Celiac or renal disease, may aim to limit other ingredients, like gluten, sodium, potassium, or phosphorus. Six out of 10 American adults live with chronic disease, and 4 in 10 have over two chronic diseases.4
  3. Use colorful shelf talkers to shout out qualities, like these, that shoppers are interested in.
    Special claims like natural (26%), non-GMO (26%), and certified organic (20%) are trending, per 2014-2015 data from the Food Marketing Institute.5

Additional Tools to Support Reducing Sugar Intake

Retail dietitians are at the forefront of catching consumers where they’re making nutrition decisions. Consider boosting sugar-reduction efforts by creating eye-catching endcaps, distributing coupons via e-mail or during classes, and leading sugar-sweetened beverage reduction challenges with better-for-you beverage prizes for winners. Additionally, providing handouts, like this, make it easy for shoppers to clearly identify the products that fit the description of what they’re looking for.

Zevia beverages are zero sugar, zero calories, with familiar flavors and options for every member of the family, any time of the day. Zevia beverages contain zero sodium, potassium or phosphorus additives, or artificial ingredients, making these products a great option for individuals on special diets. For additional resources to share with your shoppers, visit! To keep up to date on our latest information, sign up for our newsletter at