Since the European Food Safety Authority gave a positive safety opinion on high purity steviol glycosides as sweeteners earlier this year, stevia ingredient suppliers have been putting mechanisms in place to cater to a major new market.
With its new deal with Univar-owned ChemPoint, GLG is seeking to target high-value tier three and four customers in both Europe and the United States. Tiers are determined by anticipated annual purchase volumes, with a tier one client being the highest volume bracket.
The arrangement is for an initial three-year term, with automatic renewal subject to certain conditions.
Angela Palmieri, business development manager at GLG, told FoodNavigator.com that the companies sees Europe as holding significant opportunity.
“Already we have seen a marked rise in interest from a number of countries in both Western and Eastern Europe,” she said.
“We at GLG anticipate the product development cycle and adoption rate to be somewhat more rapid in Europe than we’ve seen in the United States due to transference of application knowledge when working with stevia – meaning many multinationals have now been working with the ingredient in other markets for 2+ years.
“They are more familiar with its characteristics, behaviours and benefits thus shortening the product development cycle.”
She added that more rapid adoption is anticipated due to shifting market dynamics, including the rebounding of global innovation and new product development.
Palmieri said GLG is expecting a similar trend in Europe to that in the United States, where beverage application is the most common use of stevia ingredients.
Indeed in France, which took advantage of a two-year window for early approval of Reb-A, big brand Fanta Still has been launched with stevia.
“In addition, we would expect the Western European countries to lead the development of this region,” she said.