Fibers and stevia may be two options that can replace sugar and look friendly to the consumer on the ingredient label, but one time-tested sweetener still remains … honey.

Honey not only provides its signature sweet flavor to baked goods, but its 17% moisture content also naturally preserves shelf life, which makes it appealing to gluten-free bakers who struggle with dry, crumbly products. Honey also contributes positively to mouthfeel and lends its rich color to whatever formulation it’s added to. In bread, it can mask the bitter flavors of whole grains, and energy bars can take advantage of the ingredient’s binding properties and nutritional attributes.

Honey brings to any product its household name and good consumer vibes.

“Sweeteners haven’t been treated kindly by the media lately,” said Keith Seiz, ingredient marketing manager, National Honey Board. “What honey brings to bakers is the ability to use a sweetener that people see in their pantries every day.”