Accelerating demand for natural low-calorie sweeteners

GLOBAL SALES OF STEVIA are expected to reach US$310 million in 2019. The rise in the demand for stevia can be attributed to its low-calorie content along with growing demand for effective solutions to counteract lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and obesity, according to a new study by Future Market Insights (FMI) — a premier provider of syndicated research reports.

“Stevia is a natural, zero-calorie sweetener which is derived from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana. It contains active compounds known as steviol glycosides which are 30-150 times sweeter than the sucrose. The active steviol glycosides are pH-stable and heat-stable. The use of stevia as a sweetener is approved by various governments across the world. Stevia is found in more than 1,400 food and beverage products, which include soft drinks, juices, yogurts, confectionery, bakery and many more.”

Stevia finds numerous applications in dairy food products, bakery products, dietary supplements, beverages, packaged food products, confectionery products, snacks, table top sweeteners, and others (electrolyte powder and medicinal formulations). Of these, significant application in beverages is likely to account for major share of manufacturers’ bottom lines.

The support from health organisations and governments is one of the key reasons for the growth of the stevia market. Stevia has received approval from various regulatory bodies to be used as a natural sweetener in a number of end-use applications, thereby offering significant impetus to the market growth.