SOURCE: Packaged Facts

October 10, 2008 10:49 ET

Controversial Stevia May Be Wild Card in $3 Billion Sweetener Market

NEW YORK, NY--(Marketwire - October 10, 2008) - As the sweetener industry seeks natural sweeteners with lower caloric value and glycemic index than sugar, and perceived "safer" artificial sweeteners, stevia products are poised to make a splash, according to "Trends in the U.S. Market for Sugar, Sugar Substitutes and Sweeteners," a new report from Packaged Facts.

Packaged Facts pegs the 2007 retail market for sweeteners at $3.1 billion, and projects that the market will grow to $3.2 billion by 2012. The composition of the market may shift with the introduction of stevia extracts, continued growth of the organic and less-refined sugar categories, and the decline of saccharin.

Stevia is a wild card in the marketplace. Made from the Stevia or sweetleaf plant, it is a natural but non-nutritive high-intensity sweetener with up to 300 times the sweetness of sugar, making it extremely desirable in the low-calorie food market. Stevia and its derivatives are currently only approved for sale as dietary supplements in the United States. However, there are industry expectations for approval on the horizon for use in food and beverages, and applications in place for patent protections for a stevia derivative developed jointly by Coca-Cola and Cargill, as well as one developed by PepsiCo and Merisant Co., under brand names Purevia and Truvia.

"Various health, consumer and market trends will affect the sweetener market," says Tatjana Meerman, publisher of Packaged Facts. "A focus on low-glycemic-index foods supports growth for high-intensity non-nutritive sweeteners; concerns about health effects of high-fructose corn syrup may slow its sales as marketers switch to alternatives; continued trending toward natural ingredients will drive growth for natural and organic sugar and sweeteners."

"Trends in the U.S. Market for Sugar, Sugar Substitutes and Sweeteners" examines the latest information on market size, projections for future growth, future trends and opportunities, consumer demographics, retail landscape, and leading producers. For further information visit:

About Packaged Facts - Packaged Facts, a division of Market Research Group, publishes market intelligence on a wide range of consumer industries, including consumer goods and retailing, foods and beverages, demographics, pet, and financial products. Packaged Facts also offers a full range of custom research services. For more information contact Jenn Tekin at 240-747-3015 or

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