Tate & Lyle confirms acquisition of stevia firm Sweet Green Fields

Ingredients and industry solutions group Tate & Lyle has confirmed the acquisition of stevia business Sweet Green Fields (SGF), as the company seeks to enhance its global presence.

According to the company, the move strengthens its position as a leading provider of innovative sweetener solutions with the capabilities to create foods and beverages that are lower in sugar and calories and with cleaner labels for its global customer base.

Moreover, the acquisition also extends Tate & Lyle’s market share in the faster growing Asia Pacific region with dedicated stevia production and research and development facilities located in Anji, China. As part of the deal, the business now has access to a wider range of stevia products and a fully integrated stevia supply chain,  including leaf sourcing, leaf varietal development, established agricultural programmes and cost-efficient manufacturing.

As previously covered by Confectionery Production, the stevia market has shown significant potential for Tate & Lyle, as the business showcased at the last edition of Food Ingredients Europe, which brought forward several key market solutions.

Tate & Lyle began its partnership with SGF in 2017 becoming the exclusive global distributor of SGF’s portfolio of stevia-based ingredients and solutions, and then acquired a 15% equity holding in SGF the following year. Tate & Lyle’s acquisition of the remaining shares of SGF simplifies the existing relationship by creating a fully integrated supply chain and commercial organisation, unified research and development capabilities, and combined strengths to accelerate innovation and optimise production technologies. Sweet Green Fields revenue for the year ending 31 December 2020 is expected to be around US$50 million, including revenue for products Tate & Lyle currently sells as distribution agent.

Stevia is one of the fastest growing low-calorie sweeteners used globally, particularly in beverages, dairy and snacks, as demand from consumers continues to grow for foods and beverages that are lower in sugar and calories. Globally, from 2015 to 2019, product launches that contain stevia grew by compound annual growth rate of 15%.1 In the year ended 31 March 2020, Tate & Lyle’s stevia revenues grew by 23%, making it an important contributor to New Products revenue growth.

Nick Hampton, Chief Executive, Tate & Lyle, said: “Sweet Green Fields is an exceptional business with a leading portfolio of stevia solutions, a strong team of stevia experts and an impressive, fully-integrated supply chain. We are delighted to take our relationship to the next level by bringing Sweet Green Fields into the Tate & Lyle family. This acquisition supports our strategy to grow our sweetener solutions portfolio and our purpose of Improving Lives for Generations by helping us to deliver tasty food and beverages with less sugar to consumers worldwide.”

Commenting on the deal, Dean Francis, Chief Executive, Sweet Green Fields, added: “I am proud of the leading stevia business that the Sweet Green Fields team has built. Tate & Lyle, with its global customer reach, innovation focus, and strong sweetener portfolio, is the ideal company to take Sweet Green Fields forward, supporting food and beverage customers across the globe and enabling healthier consumer diets.”


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