FutureBridge identifies three emerging solutions to challenge high costs of alternative sweeteners

Most global food & beverage companies, with confectionery businesses in particular, are now placing sugar reduction at the forefront of product innovation. This trend is a response to growing consumer demand for a healthier lifestyle through more natural, nutritious products, especially with obesity identified as significant comorbidity linked to severe illness from Covid-19.

Business tracker and advisor, FutureBridge, has conducted a three-year-long review of global sugar reduction innovations that highlights three technologies hitting key price competitiveness milestones.

“We see a growing trend of new sweetener solutions with a competitive price advantage,” said Sarah Browner, senior analyst at FutureBridge. “Companies, especially start-ups, are rethinking and reevaluating the production process of several low-calorie sweeteners to make them more accessible on the market.”

Three new bio processes set to rattle the low-calorie sweetener market, according to FutureBridge:

Xylitol: Xylitol’s application in food and beverages today is limited, with reportedly only 11 product launches utilising this sweetener in 2019. Austrian start-up, Annikki, has launched a bio-process to improve the output volume per batch of xylitol with a decrease in manufacturing cost to around $500/ton compared to the manufacturing cost via petro-chemicals of $1000-$2000/ton.

Tagatose: Despite its health advantages over sugar, FutureBridge says that tagatose’s cost-effective production remains a roadblock. It currently retails for about $26/kg, while the same amount of sugar sells for less than 50 cents. The US start-up, Bonumose, which uses cornstarch instead of lactose from milk, could potentially lower production costs by 80% (to around $3/kg).

Stevia: Stevia’s cost fluctuates depending on the sourcing of the stevia leaves and the solvent used. Amyris ferments sugarcane with yeasts to produce steviol rebaudioside molecules, resulting in a 90% lower product development cost.

FutureBridge will issue the next update of its tracker of the complex global landscape of sugar reduction innovations and the companies driving these to market in October 2020. The company is set to host a webinar on Emerging Technologies of Sugar Reduction on 17 September 2020, at 4.30 pm CET/10.30 am EST to explore these developments and share its 6-to-18-month outlook. For more information and to register, click here.

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