In a March 2021 survey, 1,500 U.S. consumers were asked to name any ingredients that come to mind that make food or beverages enjoyable to eat or drink.1 Compiling all of the answers to this open-ended question, sugar was listed most often followed by salt, pepper, garlic, spices and butter.

Taste is one of the most important factors when it comes to the attributes that impact consumer purchasing decisions. Other top factors are safety, “leaves me feeling good”, healthy and easily identifiable ingredients.

Consumer data from other sources confirms the power of taste. According to the 2021 Food & Health Survey from the International Food Information Council, 82% of consumers say taste is what drives their purchases while price comes in second at 66%.2 And when asked directly about the importance of grams of sugar in a product vs. other factors, 70% of consumers say taste is more important than grams of sugar and 62% of consumers say that price is more important.3

When specifically asked about sugar, most consumers (69%) said they agree with the statement that sugar “helps food taste good”. They also agree with the following statements about sugar:

Considering sugar’s role in day-to-day life, the majority of consumers say, “Food with sugar is a treat and make me happy when I have it.” We agree sugar plays a role in a balanced and enjoyable diet and lifestyle.



  1. Consumer research conducted by the Sugar Association in March 2021.

  2. International Food Information Council. 2021 Food & Health Survey. May 19, 2021.

  3. FONA International. Sugar: The Voice of the Consumer. June 2021.

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