SOURCE: Freedonia Group, Inc.

March 14, 2007 14:51 ET

Alternative Sweeteners Demand to Reach $1.1 Billion in 2010

CLEVELAND, OH -- (MARKET WIRE) -- March 14, 2007 -- U.S. demand for alternative sweeteners is projected to increase 4.0 percent per year to $1.1 billion in 2010. The sweetener industry has become more dynamic with numerous new options available to end users. Sucralose is expected to continue to expand its dominant position in the tabletop sweetener market, and will also grow rapidly in other food applications. Second generation polyols such as erythritol and xylitol have found favor in sugarless candy and gum, and will continue to increase their presence in dairy products. Other alternative sweeteners such as stevia and agave nectar are expected to register strong advances. These and other trends are presented in "Alternative Sweeteners," a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industry research firm.

High intensity sweeteners will remain the largest product category through 2010, due to their leadership position in diet soft drinks and tabletop uses, which are among the main applications for alternative sweeteners. In diet soft drinks, aspartame and acesulfame potassium (ace-K) will remain the leading products, due to their use in many of the top brands. Sucralose has become the leader in the key tabletop sweetener market. Sucralose, the main sweetener in the well-known SPLENDA line, has grown from niche status to market powerhouse since its Food and Drug Administration approval for use as a general sweetener. Saccharin, once the only commercially significant high intensity sweetener, will see its market share continue to diminish, although it retains a significant presence in oral care products and tabletop sweeteners. The market value for high intensity sweeteners will be suppressed by falling prices, as patent protections expire and new competitors -- especially importers based in developing nations -- enter the marketplace.

Polyols such as sorbitol and mannitol are used mainly in food applications, which are projected to register faster growth than the large but mature diet soft drink market, which is dominated by high intensity sweeteners. Polyols will continue to benefit from their image as natural products rather than synthetic chemicals, and from continued interest in reducing sugar intake to combat obesity, tooth decay and diabetes. Sorbitol is the largest and most established product, and will register below average growth. Xylitol is expected to register above average advances.

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