U.S. consumers spent an estimated USD 37 billion on candy in 2021, and growth in reduced-sugar confections made strides during the pandemic. The Hershey Company has bet big on “better for you" candies and made two significant investments in the space. It purchased low-sugar confection brand Lily’s and contributed substantial funding to Bonumose's new R&D center in 2021. The center cost an estimated USD 27.7 million and was set to produce the rare sugar tagatose at commercial scale by the end of 2022. Bonumose is reportedly on track to reach that goal. Still, a recent decision by the U.S. FDA not to exempt tagatose from total sugars on U.S. nutrition-fact panels may have dampened prospects for tagatose as the next big sugar replacer.
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