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Stevia is a natural sugar substitute. It is derived from the leaves of the stevia bush, a plant related to ragweed and the daisy. It is sweeter than sugar. Unlike other artificial sweeteners, it does not cause users to overeat or raise insulin levels.
In some countries, such as the United States, the use of the stevia leaf as a sweetener has not been approved. Instead, the use of a chemical found in stevia has been approved as a food additive in other sweeteners.
Stevia is used in beverages, dietary supplements, bakery goods and packaged foods.
The artificial sweetener market is a growing industry. This growth is fueled by customers seeking to cut their caloric intact in an attempt to avoid or cure diabetes and obesity. From the 1970s onward, people have increasingly added sugar to their diets and are consuming more than the 5% of total calories recommended by the American Heart Association, according to Live Science.
Globally, the market was worth $68.1 billion in 2014. By 2020, it is forecasted to reach $95.9 billion. This represents 5.7% annual growth and means 8,506 tons of stevia will be consumed each year.
Stevia is sold as a powder or a liquid extract with powder having a 65% market share.
The report Stevia Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment by Future Market Insight Global & Consulting examines the artificial sweetener market with a focus on key trends, regional use and the key players in the stevia segment.
For more information on trends, buzz topics and the health and wellness market consult Euromonitor International’s Stevia: Adding Value Through Natural – The Resurgence of Reduced Sugar.
In the beverage market, artificial sweeteners are in demand from customers. This is especially true in the U.S., where hundreds of products use stevia, and 47% of households use stevia products. This trend is highlighted in MarketLine’s Stevia – Sugar substitute.
While stevia has grown in popularity, other artificial sweeteners have seen a decline, according to research group Mintel. Aspartame, for example, has declined and is forecasted to be valued at $297 million in 2017, down from $393 million just three years ago.
Other artificial sweeteners include acesulfame K and sucralose. While acesulfame K also is declining, sucralose is holding steady and has become the world’s most popular artificial sweetener.
“The gradual demise of sugar yet desire for sweetened food and drink products, suggests good opportunities for intense sweeteners. Intense sweeteners offer a source of sweetness without the calorie contribution of sugar, an increasingly attractive proposition to consumers struggling to manage their weight. Signs that the global market for intense sweeteners has reacted to this increased demand for ‘healthier’ sweetener solutions is already evident,” Mintel says.
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