High-fructose corn syrup still sweetens everything from soda to sauces, but its makers fear that sour days lie ahead. The Corn Refiners Association has launched a marketing campaign to win back consumers who claim the sweetener is less healthy than cane sugar and just as caloric. Corn syrup's detractors even blame it in part for the nation’s obesity epidemic.
Foods sweetened with cane sugar "are healthier and break down in the body more easily," one consumer told the Los Angeles Times. The Corn Association insists the syrup is as healthy as cane sugar; one public health group advises consumers to "cut down on both." For many shoppers, it’s a matter of taste. Sugar-cane-sweetened Coca-Cola "has a crisper flavor, not as cloying,” one consumer said. “I think it is a better-flavored drink.”