Still, the results are not by all means positive for the sweetener, revealing a high degree of public confusion and ambivalence. Such confusion was cited by the Corn Refiners Association in its petition to the Food and Drug Administration to change the name of HFCS to "corn sugar," filed in mid-September.
According to Mintel, nearly half (46%) of consumers say they don't know enough about the sweetener to say whether it is good or bad for their health, yet 35% say they avoid products that list HFCS as an ingredient.
Furthermore, many Americans favor greater disclosure of HFCS in some shape or form.
Fully 65% say that they believe that manufacturers or brands should be responsible for disclosing how much HFCS is in a food or beverage (as opposed to just the existing disclosure of its presence as an ingredient), according to the research firm.
At the same time, 57% said the government should compel companies to disclose the amounts of HFCS in food/beverages, and 44% said that retailers should mandate such disclosures. Just 16% said they do not think that such disclosure should be mandated by any party.
However, while 35% believe that the government should limit HFCS content in food/beverages, 45% think that this should be up to manufacturers -- and 37% say that no one should be responsible for imposing HFCS content restrictions.
"The public wants to be informed about HFCS content, while still maintaining their freedom of choice," observed Mintel lead innovation analyst Krista Faron. "While they still may choose better-for-you options, they don't necessarily want the government or anyone else imposing limits on what can or cannot be added to their food."