|Refreshed and republished on February 6th, 2024
|This post was originally published on July 22nd, 2022, and has been enhanced and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.
Chocolate’s allure is timeless, but consumer tastes and market trends constantly change. It is chocolate’s ability to adapt that has helped it to remain the world’s favorite indulgence. In the 21st century, this adaptability can most obviously be seen in the rise of no-added sugar alternatives – up by over 17% since 2016.
Navigate this quick content menu and find what you need to know about this consumer trend:
- What is paramount for brands and chocolate businesses with this trend?
- The three main sugar substitutes in chocolate.
- What does Luker’s blend taste like?
As lockdowns saw people turn to home cooking in ever greater numbers, they began to focus on the ingredients they use and the impacts they have on their health. It has accelerated a ‘be good to your body’ trend. While chocolate is essentially a combination of liquor, butter, and sugar, consumers are increasingly looking for sweet products that aren’t loaded with extra sugar in pursuit of balance.
What is paramount for brands and chocolate businesses?
The challenge for consumers is to find products that allow them to make smarter decisions – with simpler, healthier, and lower-calorie choices. The challenge for brands is to meet this need – alongside emerging government and public health pressures, with some countries, such as the UK, guiding producers to deliver a 20% reduction of sugar in foods – including chocolate.
With each sugar substitute or alternative coming with unique advantages and disadvantages, selecting the right alternative may not be as simple as it first seems.
Sometimes, sugar claims can be tricky and confusing. If you have any doubts about how to label sugar claims on your chocolate products correctly, you can use this chart as a guide
Luker’s no-added-sugar alternatives
The three main sugar substitutes in chocolate
- Erythritol is approved for use in the UK, EU, and US and is found naturally in some fruits and fermented foods such as wine and cheese. It has just 6% of sugar calories but 70% of its sweetness. The downside is that its higher cooling characteristics demand the addition of fiber to reduce the cooling effect and maintain the texture. Currently, it has become a trending topic as a better sweetener within the polyols family in chocolate manufacturing, having rarely an impact on digestive issues.
- Maltitol is approved for use in the UK, EU, and US and delivers between 75% and 90% of the sweetness of sucrose. The downside is that its relatively high glycaemic index (GI) of 35 means it isn’t always suitable for use by diabetics. It has been used widely in the chocolate industry regarding sugar substitution, given that it replaces sugar in a 1:1 ratio with a closer sweetness level than regular sugar.
- Stevia is approved for use in the UK, EU, and US and is a natural sugar substitute made from the stevia plant. It offers zero calories yet delivers 100 – 300 times the sweetness of sugar. The downside is that it can leave a distinctly metallic and bitter aftertaste. The use of this ingredient in chocolate manufacturing signifies working synergically with other ingredients like fibers, given the notorious percentage of participation in a formula.
As we can see, there is no perfect single alternative. With choices affecting flavour, calories and textures, finding the right substitute call on Luker’s state-of-the-art food science expertise and all aspects of its chocolate-making art.
Luker’s art and science deliver the perfect blend
Luker is focused on meeting consumer and customer needs and began the development of an alternative sweetener that would deliver the perfect sugar substitute. Eight years of testing and tasting from Luker’s experts have seen the combination of two of these alternatives: Erythritol and Stevia.
The challenge has been to heighten the positives of each and eliminate the negatives. Luker’s painstaking research has delivered the perfect blend that is kind to teeth, delivers a low GI and avoids the laxative and digestive problems that can be associated with other sugar alternatives.
The resulting no added sugar Luker Chocolate creations deliver fewer calories and are better for our bodies, while also containing naturally derived products such as Stevia.
Above all else, they bring us the indulgent sweetness, texture and taste of Luker’s Cacao Fino de Aroma chocolate that we all love.