Use of caloric and noncaloric sweeteners in US consumer packaged foods, 2005-2009

J Acad Nutr Diet. 2012 Nov;112(11):1828-34.e1-6. doi: 10.1016/j.jand.2012.07.009.


Our understanding of the use of caloric and noncaloric sweeteners in the US food supply is limited. This study uses full ingredient list and Nutrition Facts label data from Gladson Nutrition Database and nationally representative purchases of consumer packaged foods from Nielsen Homescan in 2005 through 2009 to understand the use of caloric sweeteners (including fruit juice concentrate) and noncaloric sweeteners in consumer packaged foods. Of the 85,451 uniquely formulated foods purchased during 2005 through 2009, 75% contain sweeteners (68% with caloric sweetener only, 1% with noncaloric sweetener only, 6% with both caloric and noncaloric sweeteners). Caloric sweetener are in >95% of cakes/cookies/pies, granola/protein/energy bars, ready-to-eat cereals, sweet snacks, and sugar-sweetened beverages. Noncaloric sweetener are in >33% of yogurts and sport/energy drinks, 42% of waters (plain or flavored), and most dietetic sweetened beverages. Across unique products, corn syrup is the most commonly listed sweetener, followed by sorghum, cane sugar, high-fructose corn syrup, and fruit juice concentrate. Also, 77% of all calories purchased in the United States in 2005-2009 contained caloric sweeteners and 3% contained noncaloric sweeteners, and 73% of the volume of foods purchased contained caloric sweetener and 15% contained noncaloric sweetener. Trends during this period suggest a shift toward the purchase of noncaloric sweetener-containing products. Our study poses a challenge toward monitoring sweetener consumption in the United States by discussing the need and options available to improve measures of caloric sweetener and noncaloric sweetener and additional requirements on Nutrition Facts labels on consumer packaged foods.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Dietary Sucrose / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Sucrose / analysis*
  • Food Analysis*
  • Food Labeling
  • Fructose / administration & dosage
  • Fructose / analysis
  • Fruit / chemistry
  • Humans
  • Sweetening Agents / administration & dosage
  • Sweetening Agents / analysis*


  • Dietary Sucrose
  • Sweetening Agents
  • Fructose