Stevia sees ‘exponential growth’ in Europe

This content item was originally published on www.beveragedaily.com, a William Reed online publication.

By Caroline SCOTT-THOMAS contact

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Stevia

Stevia sweeteners have appeared in about 1200 new products in Europe in the past two years – and 700 of those were launched in 2013, according to Cargill’s business development leader for Truvia, Olivier du Châtelier.

Stevia was approved for use a sweetener in Europe in 2011, but has been used in France since 2009. Beverages now lead the way in new products, according to Châtelier, accounting for about 28% of new product launches.

Most drink companies so far have been offering 30% calorie reduction in their stevia-sweetened products, but Châtelier said that it was now possible to cut calories as much as 50%, without affecting taste.

“It’s going to be the big conversation next year,”​ he said, adding that Coke Life had already been launched in Argentina with a 50% calorie reduction.

In addition, Cargill has identified a target group of consumers who prefer natural products but are also seeking sugar reduction – a clear target for products containing stevia. The category has grown from a fifth of consumers four years ago to nearly a quarter of European consumers today.

Meanwhile, stevia has made fast inroads into the table top sweetener market, now accounting to about a third of all sales of table top sweeteners in Europe.

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