Consumer consciousness of weight and health issues has played a key part in the growth of reduced sugar jams

Within the jam sector, reduced sugar products are showing 4.4% growth [TNS Worldpanel 52 w/e October 9, 2005], further evidence of health being a major driver.
This is reflected at Tesco, where buyer of jams and spreads Kate Pratt says: “The healthy eating trend is supporting the delivery of this category. In addition, we have just seen the launch of Tesco reduced sugar jams, which should further assist growth.”
At Waitrose, there has also been growth in this category, says buyer for hot beverages and breakfast spreads Michael Simpson-Jones, “as new fashionable flavours and more premiumisation of this range has encouraged trial by customers”.
Richard Duerr, sales and marketing director at Duerr’s, thinks this is partly because people are more conscious about what goes into a product. “They are looking for natural ingredients.”
Duerr’s low-carb spread range, introduced last year, did well in Somerfield, he says, as it was on the jam fixture.
However, in light of the fall in popularity of the low-carb craze, the company is this year relaunching it as a quarter-sugar product so it won’t get pigeon-
holed as a low-carb line. “The problem with the low-carb spreads is that they were placed with other low-carb products such as pasta,” he says.
The new quarter-sugar spreads will contain 15% sugar and 70% fruit. The company says its half-sugar Seville orange fruit spread has always done well because it states what it is on the jar, and Duerr predicts the same will happen with the quarter-sugar variety.
Wilkin & Sons also believes that low-sugar consumers are looking to get more out of their products. Its Tiptree range of organic low-sugar jams and marmalades proves that low sugar and organic are not mutually exclusive.
Clive Davies, sales and marketing director at Streamline Foods, believes the sector has great potential.
“With more than a third of adults slimming at any time and with Mintel’s research showing 36% of these reducing their sugar intake, the opportunity to grow the reduced sugar category must be taken,” he says.
This year Streamline will be encouraging consumers into the category via promotional activity both above and below the line.
Promotions will include deep cut and multibuy offers.