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Why Low Calorie Options Are Taking Over American Grocery Shelves

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The low-calorie, low-sugar, low-fat, and low-sodium food market expands as consumers focus on taste, health, and time efficiency.

Food that doesn’t feel like a burden

While stimulating and intense foods were popular, even sparking terms like “devil’s recipe” and “gut-destroying burger,” the trend is shifting. Everything from zero-sugar foods and drinks to gluten-free and low-carb products has diversified. This demand has even spread to the dining-out market.

Pursuing low-calorie trends

Furthermore, there is a trend of pursuing low-calorie foods rather than high-calorie ones. Low-calorie foods and drinks take previously launched products and reduce sugar, fat, and salt. Emphasizing subtraction rather than addition is becoming the norm.

Increased interest in health

Interest in low-calorie foods and overall health has gradually increased since the COVID-19 pandemic. This growing awareness is partly due to concerns that excessive sugar or sodium intake can lead to various health issues. More people engaging in outdoor activities and experiencing sudden weight gain have further boosted the popularity of low-calorie food options.

Alternative or substitute food trend

From natural sweeteners replacing sugar, plant-based proteins replacing animal proteins, and even non-alcoholic beverages replacing alcohol, substitutes are forming for everything. These alternatives have similar tastes to their high-calorie counterparts but with fewer calories, making them popular among consumers.

Prejudice that it will be tasteless

The taste is often thought to be lost when calories are reduced. However, low-calorie foods break this stereotype by maintaining taste while reducing calories. These foods are constantly praised for being as good as the original products. Therefore, the proportion of people choosing low-calorie foods is increasing.

Zero sugar craze that swept through

Even ice cream and drinks, which are known for being sweet, have changed significantly. The new norm is to use natural sweeteners. Carbonated beverages are also poured out in various products that maintain sharp carbonation and sweetness but with zero sugar and less than 10 kcal.

Fat-free products following sugar-free are also popular

Fat-free yogurt is also being made despite yogurt naturally being fat-heavy. The advantage of fat-free yogurt is that it has fewer calories and can be eaten without worry. Even those who had difficulty eating yogurt, because it upset their stomach, can easily consume it, lowering the entry barrier.

Low-sodium products are also popular

Low-sodium products are also consistently being released for those concerned about sodium intake. Spam, a long-standing staple on our tables, is a mild product that has reduced sodium content by 25% compared to the original and is widespread. Samjin Fish Cake has also reduced sodium and released a less salty fish cake, receiving love from consumers.

Low-calorie food also joins in from overseas

This trend of low-calorie foods is also popular in China. The Chinese food and beverage industry market is steadily growing at a global level. The market share of sugar-free beverages is also increasing in China, with over half of the consumers having purchased or tried sugar-free drinks. Sales have also increased by more than 10% compared to the previous period, showing rapid growth.

It can become a global trend

Low-calorie foods continue to expand their influence on people who prioritize health management. If companies can satisfy consumers in taste, health, and reasonable price in the future, they are expected to captivate health-conscious people and those who do not. As this culture has already established itself as a global trend, exports are expected to increase.

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