Searches For 'Aspartame' Surge, Putting Marketers In Difficult Spot

Marketers of consumable products will have a few challenges this month as searches on Google for information on alternatives to Aspartame surge.

Aspartame, the common artificial sweetener used in some Snapple drinks, and products such as Coca-Cola diet sodas and Mars' Extra chewing gum this month will be listed this month as "possibly carcinogenic to humans" for the first time by the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), the World Health Organization's (WHO) cancer research arm, sources told Reuters.

Topical events have always been a gauge to attract those searching on Google and Bing for information.

In this case, Google searches for "is aspartame carcinogenic" and ‘Is aspartame in Coke Zero’ spiked 3,233% and 4,900% after the report by WHO.

Michelle Teo, Health & Wellbeing director at Zevo Health, believes the search volumes shows that consumers are becoming more conscious about the ingredients in their beverages and what they put in their bodies.



An analysis of Google search data at the time revealed that online searches for various terms related to aspartame and diet coke have skyrocketed worldwide.

The data commissioned by wellness experts at Zevo Health revealed that searches for "how much aspartame is safe" rose 3,200% during the past seven days, as people try to figure how much a person can safely consume. Specific queries related to popular soft drink brands have gained substantial traction.

Inquiries have been made about other popular diet soda brands, with 'Is aspartame in Diet Pepsi' seeing a 1,900% increase in search volume. 

At the time of the analysis, consumers showed interest in the aspartame content of low-calorie carbonated beverages. Queries such as “Sprite Zero aspartame” grew 1,566%, while “Aspartame in Fanta Zero”  experienced an increase of 1,328%. 

Search volume for “Aspartame Orbit” rose by 426%, and “Wrigley's aspartame” rose 809% increase. These increases reveal a curiosity among consumers regarding the presence of aspartame in chewing gum products.

More consumers will start begin reading labels, which will force brands to make changes in ingredients.

Searches for natural sweeteners or unsweetened options will soon become dominant.

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