Use of stevia in sugar and gum confectionery rising

The use of stevia in food and beverage products is expanding rapidly, new research suggests, with sugar and gum confectionery among the categories posting the highest growth rates.

According to Mintel research commissioned by PureCircle, in the second quarter of 2017, the percentage of global food introductions with stevia increased by 57% from 2012 to 2017. The companies launching these new products with stevia, include: Nestle, PepsiCo, Danone and Kraft Heinz, among others.

The top five categories in terms of new product launches with stevia in the second quarter of 2017 were: snacks, other beverages, carbonated soft drinks, dairy, and juice drinks. Among the categories posting the highest growth rates were sugar and gum confectionery with a 125% increase and sports and energy drinks with a 102% increase.

The new food and beverage product launches with stevia are occurring worldwide with all global regions participating. Of the total new products launched with stevia in the second quarter of 2017, 40% of launches were in Asia Pacific, 21% in Europe, 19% in North America, 17% in Latin America, and 3% in Middle East Africa.

Mintel research also indicates that use of natural origin sweeteners is sharply on the rise. When looking at products launched globally with high intensity sweeteners (as defined by sucralose, aspartame, acesulfame potassium, and stevia), only 9% of products used stevia in 2010. Acesulfame potassium (also known as ace-K), sucralose and aspartame dominated.

However, as of August 2017, stevia was used in 27% of new products launched using high intensity sweeteners so far this year. Stevia was more widely used in those new product launches than aspartame.

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