In any language and culture, sugar is an important ingredient in many foods, creating the flavors and textures that consumers demand. However, sugar in excessive amounts is also a health concern. This dichotomy leaves food companies with the dilemma of creating food products that consumers enjoy and want to purchase while respecting the goal of improved health. With so many different products, and so many ingredient options that provide sweetness, how can product developers deliver more innovation to meet consumer wants, health objectives, and business needs?
In their article Using Design Thinking to Increase Sugar Reduction Options in Consumer Food Products - the first in a two-part series - Susan Mayer CFS and Jamie Pero Parker, PhD., suggest that design thinking may be the answer to faster and more focused product development. The authors take the stand that new options for reducing sugar begin with understanding sugar and its role in food, while also understanding design thinking and how to apply it to product development. A later article, Part 2, will explore how the design thinking framework can be applied across a wide range of product examples.
The series appears in AGRO FOOD Industry Hi-Tech, a peer-reviewed, bimonthly journal published by Teknoscienze Srl in Italy. The publication covers nutraceuticals, functional foods, and healthy ingredients. Founded in 1990, Agro FOOD Industry Hi-Tech is recognized worldwide as a leading journal linking industry and academia.