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Consumer Confessions: I Look for Dietary Fiber Content on Food & Drink Labels


Tate & Lyle Finds that Food & Drink Labels are Prime Real Estate for Manufacturers

Decatur, Ill. – Consumers’ secrets are out: When shopping for themselves and their loved ones, they are swayed by what’s prominently displayed on food labels.

As U.S. consumers actively embrace healthier lifestyles, Tate & Lyle found that 55 percent of them display a laser-like focus on nutrition facts and ingredient labels.

“As a leading ingredient company in the U.S., Tate & Lyle is committed to understanding consumers’ needs as they start and maintain healthy lifestyles,” says David Lewis, Business Manager, PROMITOR™ Dietary Fiber, Tate & Lyle. “With consumers pressed for time, food labels quickly communicate nutrition information to help them choose products that support their healthy intentions.”

8 Approaches to Label Reading

From blogs and online forums to news reports and diet trends, today’s time-crunched consumers are inundated with messages about healthy dining from multiple sources. Consumers shared eight approaches to label reading with Tate & Lyle that help them determine which food and beverage items make the final cut.

No. 1: Is it a New Product? Many consumers are brand loyal and will scrutinize the labels of new products to determine if trial is necessary.

No. 2: Who is it for? Adult consumers aren’t the only one’s trending more toward healthier eating. Parents are exhibiting increased interest in reading labels if food and beverages are for their children.

No. 3: Everyday or Indulgent Item? Consumers are more diligent about reading packages of everyday staples. They also report having an interest in healthy indulgence.

No. 4: Current Media Reports. Consumers are more inclined to read labels if they read or watch diet and nutrition feature stories by key media influencers like Oprah Winfrey and Dr. Oz.

No. 5: Influence of a Prior Diet Program. Former dieters have learned to look for carbs and fiber from diets like Atkins and Weight Watchers.

No. 6: Front Package Claims. When specific health claims are made on the front of packages, consumers tend to scrutinize the back and side panels of packages for additional information.

No. 7: On a Diet. Consumers focus on the most important aspects of the package that are dictated by the diet they are currently following.

No. 8: In a Hurry. Consumers, especially parents, are time-crunched and tend to read labels quickly to stay on schedule.

Ingredients Matter

Many times, consumer education starts and ends with packaging, says Lisa Sanders, Ph.D., R.D., Nutrition Scientist, Tate & Lyle. With thousands of consumer brands flooding supermarket shelves, the majority of consumers report two major reasons for reading labels.

“Consumers want to make healthy choices and more than 60 percent of them rely on food and beverage labels to do this,” Dr. Sanders explains. “Research also shows that 50 percent of consumers look to labels when they are purposely trying to add specific nutrients, like fiber, to their diets.”

When reading labels, the Nutrition Facts Panel is one of the top areas consumers read. Tate & Lyle found that 46 percent review the Nutrition Facts Panel to find out about fiber content.

Fiber is Excellent!

The International Food Information Council (IFIC) Foundation found that 43 percent of consumers look to product labels for statements about nutrition benefits. Tate & Lyle’s research reveals that 42 percent of consumers actively shop for foods and drinks that clearly indicate fiber on the package.

It’s a bonus if product labels tout an “excellent source of fiber*” statement on the front of the package. Consumers agree this statement is appealing to them across many product categories:

- More than 60 percent (63 percent) of consumers find an “excellent source of fiber” on dairy products appealing

- Seven in 10 (70 percent) of consumers believe cereals with an “excellent source of fiber” label claim is appealing

- More than 50 percent (54 percent) of consumers say drink products with “excellent source of fiber” is appealing

- Nearly 6 in 10 (59 percent) of consumers say bread products with “excellent source of fiber” is appealing

About PROMITOR™ Dietary Fiber

With the heightened consumer interest in eating healthy, fiber-rich foods, Tate & Lyle’s PROMITOR™ Dietary Fiber can be easily incorporated into a broad range of food and beverage applications without compromising great taste and texture. Clinical studies have found PROMITOR™ Dietary Fibers provide excellent tolerance for consumers when compared to other sources of fiber. The PROMITOR™ Dietary Fiber range includes PROMITOR™ Soluble Corn Fiber and PROMITOR™ Resistant Starch, and can be used to manufacture healthy products for the entire family. For more information about PROMITOR™ Dietary Fiber, visit

About Tate & Lyle

Tate & Lyle is a world-leading renewable food and industrial ingredients company, serving a global market from more than 45 production facilities throughout the Americas, Europe and South East Asia. Our efficient, large-scale manufacturing plants turn agricultural products, corn and cane sugar, into valuable ingredients for our customers. These ingredients add taste, texture, nutrition and increased functionality to products that millions of people around the world use or consume every day.

Tate & Lyle’s range of leading branded food ingredients includes SPLENDA® Sucralose, PROMITOR™ Dietary Fiber, STA-LITE® Polydextrose, Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Sugar and Lyle’s Golden Syrup. Tate & Lyle also produces branded industrial ingredients including Bio-PDO™, Ethylex® and STA-Lock® paper starches; and staple ingredients such as high fructose corn syrup, sugar, ethanol, citric acid and basic starches. In addition to providing a wide range of ingredients our expert sales and product applications teams support customers by providing technical advice and proprietary consumer insight studies.

Tate & Lyle is listed on the London Stock Exchange under the symbol TATE.L. American Depositary Receipts trade under TATYY. In the year to 31 March 2009, Tate & Lyle employed 5,718 people in its subsidiaries and joint ventures, and sales totaled $6.4 billion (£3.55 billion)

SPLENDA® is a trademark of McNeil Nutritionals, LLC

* An excellent source of fiber is at least five grams of fiber per serving

Tate & Lyle’s proprietary consumer research was conducted in the United States during the first half of 2008 by Illuminas, an internationally recognized consumer research agency. The research is a combination of qualitative and quantitative studies, including an online survey with a sample of 4,421 adults.


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