Consumers are more mindful about sweeteners and health, but what do they actually buy?

HFCS is the most cost efficient caloric sweetener

HFCS: Versatility Adds Value

HFCS is one of the most versatile ingredients on the market. It adds texture, helps keep color, maintains quality and enhances flavor in many foods and beverages. Those are real value-adds. At the same time, HFCS helps food and beverage professionals keep costs down—for themselves and their customers. As an ingredient, HFCS costs less than any other caloric sweetener and offers a more stable pricing history than sugar.

How, for example, does the cost of HFCS compare to beet sugar? Try the Sweetener Cost Comparison Tool for an up-to-date measure of the current difference in cost.

In addition, because it comes in liquid form, HFCS is easier and less expensive to handle in the manufacturing process. With an ingredient this versatile, it’s no wonder HFCS is the sweetener of choice for so many food and beverage professionals. To learn more about how using HFCS benefits your business, select an industry below.

How HFCS Helps Your Industry

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Food and Beverage Manufacturers

Food companies formulate products to create foods and beverages that appeal to consumer needs and preferences. HFCS enables food and beverage manufacturers to create the flavors, textures and freshness that consumers want while saving millions in manufacturing costs.

For example, using sugar instead of HFCS in soft drinks almost doubles sweetener costs.1 However, for food and beverage manufacturers using HFCS, they can pass the saving onto their customers and allow for greater profit margins.

1. NECG analysis, December 2011. (fully loaded COGS at bottler plant level before delivery costs)

Grocery Retailers

At the grocery, shoppers are looking for good prices and great-tasting food. HFCS helps grocery retailers offer both. Products using HFCS are less expensive to produce than those made with sugar, and the costs saved are realized all the way through checkout. From ketchup to fruit drinks, yogurt to bakery bread, HFCS is an ingredient used in some of today’s most popular food products, which helps grocers ring up more sales.

Additionally, for those grocers that produce their own private-label food and beverage products, HFCS helps them keep manufacturing costs down—as they pass on the saving and value to their customers.

Chain Restaurants

In today’s economy, consumers are seeking a dining experience that’s as delicious as it is affordable. HFCS helps restaurants offer those menu items that keep tables turning while keeping ingredient and operations costs in their place. With HFCS, restaurants can serve the perfect combination of big taste at the right price, for their diners and their bottom line.

Overall Uses and Benefits

For a myriad of food and beverage products, HFCS is the ingredient that helps with:

Flavor - The sweetness profile of HFCS enhances many fruit, citrus and spice flavors in beverages, bakery fillings and dairy products.

Texture - Chewy cookies, snack bars and other baked goods derive their soft and moist texture from HFCS, since it retains moisture and resists crystallization after baking.

Browning - HFCS is a reducing sugar that gives superior browning and flavor to baked goods such as breads, dinner rolls, cakes, cookies and breakfast cereals.

Freshness - HFCS inhibits microbial spoilage by reducing water activity and extends shelf life through superior moisture control. Foods also taste fresher because HFCS protects the firm texture of canned fruits and reduces freezer burn in frozen fruits.

Stability - HFCS maintains the long-term quality of beverages and condiments by protecting them from variations due to storage temperature fluctuations or low product acidity.

Consistency - High fructose corn syrup has a lower freezing point, so frozen beverage concentrates can be poured straight from the freezer and are easier for consumers to thaw and mix with water.

Freezing Point - High fructose corn syrup has a lower freezing point. With HFCS, frozen beverage concentrates have the added convenience of being pourable straight from the freezer, and they’re easier for consumers to thaw and mix with water.

Baking - The sugars in HFCS are quickly and easily fermented, resulting in sweeter bread that is more economical to make than with table sugar.2

2. International Food Information Council, “Fast Facts about High-Fructose Corn Syrup,” April 19, 2011.

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GenerationWhy is an unprecedented consumer research study that analyzes millennials and their attitudes around food and beverage ingredients. GenerationWhy is a custom study commissioned by the Corn Refiners Association. Respondents for the quantitative survey phase of the study were provided by Ipsos. Millennial participants in the qualitative phase were sourced through BuzzFeed.


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When it comes to sweeteners, making the right choice is critical to your brand and your bottom line.

At Corn Naturally, we'll help you make informed decisions with the latest facts on high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) from leading independent experts, including Mintel, Nielsen, NPD and top members and organizations of the scientific community. Come here for the tools and resources you need to make sound sweetener decisions.

How can Corn Naturally help me?

You may have specific questions and concerns related to your industry. Here's how Corn Naturally can help you find answers.

  • Food & Beverage Manufacturers

    Are you considering a change in sweeteners used in your products? Before you act, get the facts. Find out what consumers really think about HFCS, understand the true cost of reformulation and learn the latest on sweetener science at Corn Naturally.

    For answers on the concerns facing your industry, go to the Food and Beverage Manufacturers page.

  • Grocery Retailers

    Wondering how the sweetener debate fits into your retail strategy? At Corn Naturally, you can see what independent, expert research and real-world data reveal about true consumer attitudes toward HFCS and actual purchasing behavior.

    For answers on the concerns facing your industry, go to the Grocery Retailers page.

  • Chain Restaurants

    Will adding HFCS-free products to the menu increase sales? Find out what consumers really think of HFCS and how reformulating can impact your operating costs at Corn Naturally.

    For answers on the concerns facing your industry, go to the Chain Restaurants page.