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Market Data 23.09.2016

Global Stevia Market Passes $350 Million

Stevia has enjoyed rapid global growth in recent years, taking its overall market value past US$350 million in 2015, according to a new report by leading food and drink consultancy Zenith International.

Stevia has enjoyed rapid global growth in recent years, taking its overall market value past US$350 million in 2015, according to a new report by leading food and drink consultancy Zenith International.

"Greater public concern about obesity means that consumers are showing more interest in intense sweeteners. As a result, product reformulations to replace calories are steadily increasing," commented Zenith Market Analyst Dr Nouf Jeynes.

"Stevia has now gained widespread regulatory approval, but still has a number of challenges to overcome. In particular, some consumers question the naturalness of sweeteners as part of a drive towards healthy lifestyles. Manufacturers are focusing on developing products that maintain the benefits of a natural zero-calorie sweetener without the downside of any aftertaste," she continued.

"China is the main exporter of stevia accounting for more than 45 % of volume in 2015. Competition is expected to intensify as a result of expanding stevia cultivation regions and advancing fermentation technology," she concluded.  

Originating from Paraguay, where the stevia leaf has been valued for centuries, stevia has been used as a sweetener in Japan and parts of South America for decades. The high-intensity sweetener offers a sweetening power some 300 times that of table sugar, without adding any calories. For this reason, stevia is increasingly being used as an ingredient in finished products – in particular, soft drinks – with a significant increase in the number of stevia-based products launched in 2015.

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