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INGREDIENTS AND FLAVOURS

Use of stevia leaf sweetener grew at accelerated pace of +31% in 2018
Saturday, 27 July, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
The use of stevia leaf sweetener in food and beverage products grew at an accelerated pace last year. This was stated by PureCircle, the world’s leading producer and innovator of stevia sweeteners. In 2018, the number of new products using stevia grew at +31 per cent. That compared to an +11 per cent increase in 2017. That means the growth rate last year nearly tripled.

In looking separately at beverage and food launches with stevia last year, the increase was +36 per cent for beverages and +27 per cent for foods. That data, and all data contained herein, is from market intelligence agency Mintel Group Ltd.

The 2018 data continues to showcase stevia’s increased adoption as an important ingredient for beverage and food companies. In a number of categories, where high intensity sweeteners are used, stevia is now the leader; these categories include plant-based drinks (dairy alternatives); dairy-based ice cream and frozen yoghurt; ready-to-drink iced tea and dressings and vinegars. Stevia also has a high use incidence in carbonated soft drinks and meal replacements and other drinks.

Consistent with the growth of stevia use in product launches, the increase relative to other zero-calorie sweeteners has also been dramatic. In 2011, stevia was used in 10 per cent of all food and beverage products launched with high-intensity sweeteners, whereas aspartame was found in 36 per cent.

In 2018, stevia usage nearly tripled to 29 per cent compared to aspartame which fell to just 20 per cent. With stevia, food and beverage companies have access to a non-GMO (genetically-modified organism), zero-calorie sweetener from a plant which delivers on taste.

Some of the major beverage and food companies launching products with stevia leaf sweetener last year included the following (in alphabetical order): Calbee Foods, The Coca- Cola Co, Groupe Danone, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever.

Due largely to its research, development and innovation, PureCircle offers beverage and food companies great-tasting, zero-calorie, plant-based sweeteners at costs competitive to sugar.

The beverage and food product launches with stevia are occurring worldwide with all global regions participating. The top-two regions last year were Asia Pacific (42 per cent) and Europe (21 per cent), followed by Latin America, North America and the Middle-East and Africa.

Not long ago, stevia was viewed as a plant-based, zero-calorie, single-ingredient sweetener which worked well in some beverage and food applications. Now PureCircle offers a range of next generation stevia leaf sweeteners, including Reb M, which taste great and work well across multiple categories. These sweeteners help beverage and food companies increase their offerings of zero- and low-calorie products without sacrificing taste.

The company has significantly boosted production of our next generation stevia sweeteners – like Reb M — which have the most sugar-like taste and are highly sought-after by beverage and food companies. It is able to supply those stevia sweeteners at a cost and scale to meet the growing demand for its best tasting stevia leaf ingredients.

The data in this release reflects new product launches between January and December 2018 and was extracted from the Mintel Global New Products Database in March 2018.

When referring to high-intensity sweeteners, the ingredients analysed included Acesulfame, Potassium, Sucralose, Aspartame and Stevia.
 
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