The term “modernization” has been one of the focal points of many experts across the globe. Different people have different perceptions about the theory of modernization. While some people think that economic growth, political scenario and fusion of cultures go hand in hand when it comes to adding momentum to the process of modernization, many people think a different set of factors come together to keep the modernization engine running. Regardless of what people think about the force behind this transition, modernization seems like a never-ending process. Blending of cultures from the eastern hemisphere mix with those from the western hemisphere is making societies more modern than they have ever been. The power of economic growth engine is shaping the standard of living of people across the globe. Countries with good economic growth and high net national income per capita can be seen having more modern societies than other countries. Modernization is changing the way people live, eat, drink, work and travel and among all these changes changing eating habits are what we are going to talk about further in this article.
Increasing urbanization, since many people in rural areas believe that migrating to urban areas would give them better access to many resources and a better lifestyle, is giving impetus to the growth of food and beverage industry. The figure given below shows the continuous increase in urban population:
Global Urban Population, % of Total Population
Source: The World Bank Group
With many people moving towards more modern societies, the demand for food and beverage products which appeal to people’s taste buds is increasing. Since many of these foods contain sugars which affect the health of people, the number of overweight and obese population is witnessing a continuous increase. The figure given below shows the trend:
Mean Body Mass Index Among Adults, Global, Age-Standardized (Kg/m2)
Source: The World Health Organization
As this continues, the incidence of diseases like diabetes and many cardiovascular disorders is increasing in many parts of the world. India and China, for instance, two of the most populated countries of the world, contribute significantly to the global burden of diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. A data from the World Bank Group shows that prevalence of diabetes among Chinese population aged between 20 years and 79 years was 9.74% in 2017. While this figure alone might not seem big enough to mount concerns, in an economy with total population of around 1.386 billion in 2017 (Source: The World Bank Group) and still growing, this translates into a total diabetic population of 134.99 million in 2017. In India, on the other hand, prevalence of diabetes among people of ages between 20 years and 79 years stood at 10.39% in 2017. This translates into a total diabetic population of around 139.12 million in 2017, which was roughly 3% more than that in China in the same year. As awareness among people regarding the role of sugar in triggering this disease continues to increase, people are looking for ways to minimize the intake of sugar.
This is giving momentum to the sales of artificial sweeteners like aspartame, thus propelling the market growth. Aspartame, as mentioned above, is an artificial sweetener which is made up of amino acids aspartic acid along with phenylalanine. Although aspartame also contains 4 calories per gram, which is same as that of sugar, the fact that it is nearly 200 times sweeter than sugar makes it add sweetness to foods and beverages even with a very little quantity added. Since calories in every serving of products using aspartame is very low, aspartame is widely used in a good number of foods and beverages. In conjunction to this, safety of aspartame is clear from the fact that there are more than 200 studies which show that this sweetener is safe for consumption. Initially, in 1981, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave approval to the use of aspartame only in dry foods. But, further studies and tests showed that this sweetener is safe for use in other products as well so in the year 1983, the FDA gave approval to its use in carbonated beverages, and finally in the year 1996, the sweetener got approval for use in all foods. Not just this, aspartame has been found to be safe by many other bodies such as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labor, and Welfare, and FAO/WHO Joint Expert Committee on Food Additives (JECFA) among others. The demand for aspartame is also being fuelled by increasing middle class population and improving spending capacity of people. Economic growth in many parts of the world is improving the standard of living of people by improving their wages. Economic growth also tends to increase employment opportunities across countries. As more people get employment and decent wages for their work, the standard of living of people improves. As this happens, ability of people to purchase goods and services, which, for long, had remained out of their reach, increases. Products which, once, were considered premium are now being used by more people. This trend is increasing the adoption of Aspartame among customers, thus propelling the market growth.
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About the Author:
Dhiraj Kumar Sharma is a Market Research Analyst at Knowledge Sourcing Intelligence. He combines his outright understanding of technologies with years of experience working in the industry to deliver actionable information to clients who span across industries and geographies. Dhiraj often works closely with clients in order to better understand their requirements and is known for the quality of market insights he delivers to them.