Over the years, sugar alternatives and plant-based sweeteners have been on the rise in the CPG snack space. Consumers all over the world have been more vigilant and aware of their overall health, especially post-COVID, which has led them to rely more on natural and low-calorie sweeteners instead of sugar. One such sweetener is allulose, a popular sugar alternative on the market known for its versatility and plant-based nature. Many food businesses and entrepreneurs have already started manufacturing innovative snacks with allulose, so we put together a guide on everything you need to know about this plant-based ingredient.
What is Allulose?
Allulose is a monosaccharide derived from natural sources such as raisins, figs, and wheat. As an FDA-Approved, all-natural, plant-based sweetener, allulose has a similar taste, appearance, and texture as regular sugar, but without the added calories. It is about 70% as sweet as regular sugar but with 1/10th of the calories, making it the perfect naturally-occurring sweetener for those looking to decrease their sugar intake due to dietary or weight management goals. Estimated to have a market value of $450 million by the end of 2030, the drive behind allulose is partly due to the shift in consumer preferences towards reduced amounts of sugars, fats, and calories - in addition to the increasing demand for plant-based products.
The Benefits of Allulose
Allulose is a plant-based sweetener that works well with many of the hottest diet trends, such as ketogenic, paleo, and vegan, due to its organic origins and low-calorie content. Since it is not metabolized like a normal carbohydrate, its unique structure prevents your body from processing it as it would do so with fructose.
In addition to being Generally Recognized As Safe (GRAS), health benefits of allulose include:
- Resists fermentation by gut bacterias
- Minimizes the risk of digestive discomfort
- Reduces the risk of obesity and chronic disease
- Helps control blood sugar and insulin levels
- Contains anti-inflammatory properties
As a versatile ingredient for a variety of nutritional snack formulations, allulose works well with a number of innovative snacks.
Top Healthy Snacks to Create with Allulose
1. Protein Bars
Protein bars are gaining momentum in the post-COVID world with its market share projected to reach $1.9 billion by the end of 2026. The main drive behind this great growth is due to consumers’ increasing priorities around convenience and health. As the economy reopens, more and more consumers are going back to offices and schools. Protein bars are compact, easy to pack, and nutritious, making them the perfect pick-me-up and convenient lunchbox snack. As consumers continue to look for healthier versions of their favorite protein bars, brands that utilize all-natural ingredients and sweeteners, such as allulose, will be able to stand out in a saturated market. Using allulose in your innovative protein bars will keep consumers energized and refreshed, knowing that they are munching on a nutrient-dense snack.
2. Toaster Pastries
Say goodbye to toaster pastries full of artificial ingredients and sugars. Functional toaster pastries are the next big food innovation in the CPG space because of their nostalgic and “better for you” qualities. Entrepreneurs that formulate their toaster pastries with allulose combined with functional ingredients, such as adaptogens, will be able to capture the attention of consumers and capitalize on this huge market. Incorporating allulose in your toaster pastries instead of regular sugar will allow consumers, both adults and children alike, to indulge in their favorite snack without any guilt or worries.
Cookies have always been popular among adults and children. Currently valued at $30.6 billion, it is the one snack type that has stayed true for decades. Although cookies seem to be a common treat, think about sprucing them up with high-protein, real-food ingredients, and all-natural sweeteners, like allulose, to stand out in a crowded market space. As a key ingredient to a healthy cookie formulation, adding allulose into your protein-rich cookies will help diet-conscious consumers enjoy their favorite treat without worrying about the unhealthy qualities usually associated with cookies.
4. Other Sweet Food Innovations
Looking to break into other CPG markets with your allulose-filled treats? Some great food innovations that you can incorporate allulose with are cereals and rice crispy treats. These two markets are steadily growing and are a great place for up-and-coming snack startups to enter. As mentioned earlier, the market for healthy snacks is on the rise so including allulose, instead of traditional sugar, in your cereal and rice crispy formulas will make your brand stand out from the competition. Additionally, those that use allulose will be able to leverage “low sugar” health claims that can capture the attention of sugar-conscious consumers and increase sales and revenue.
Nowadays, consumers are putting their health and well-being at the forefront of their minds. To stay relevant, food visionaries must consider sugar alternatives, like allulose, when formulating their innovative snacks. Doing so will create opportunities for businesses to enter new markets and capture a bigger share of the pie in the saturated CPG snack space.