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Using design thinking to increase sugar Reduction options in consumer food products – Part 2, applying the design thinking framework

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SUSAN MAYER, JAMIE PERO PARKER
RTI International, Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, USA

Abstract

The previously published Part 1* of this two-part article reviewed sugars and their role in foods, as well as the Design Thinking Framework of desirability, feasibility, and viability (DFV). 
This Part 2 takes a closer look at how the DFV framework can be used to consider the role of sugar in different products and lead to more focused sugar reduction strategies.  Product examples illustrate various strategies taken to reduce sugar.


INTRODUCTION

In the first part of this two-part article, sugar’s roles in food were introduced, as was the way in which the Desirability-Feasibility-Viability framework (DFV) enables product developers to consider ways to reduce sugar. This article looks more closely at sugar’s role in foods by utilizing the DFV framework, and provides examples of how that role can guide sugar reduction strategies.

FORMULATION STRATEGY BASED ON THE DVF FRAMEWORK

When reducing sugar levels, product developers need to first ask ‘What is sugar’s function in this product?’ Considering the function of sugar using the DFV framework allows effective strategies for sugar reduction to be developed quickly.  The chart above right reviews the definitions of desirability, feasibility, and viability from a design thinking perspective, and considers the functions of sugar that influence each aspect.

For example, if sugar is used primarily to provide sweetness, then the reduction strategy should focus on desirability.


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