Stevia is a natural sweetener and sugar substitute extracted from the leaves of the plant Stevia rebaudiana, also called as sugar plant. The active compounds of stevia are stevioside and rebaudioside, and are 150 times sweeter than sugar.
The global stevia market is expected to generate a market growth of more than 7 % during the forecast period of 2016 to 2023.
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The prominent players profiled in Stevia are Purecircle, Cargill Inc., Ingredion Inc. Tate & Lyle Plc., Steviafirst and Xinghua GL Stevia Co.Ltd, Evolva , Stevia Corp., GLG Life Tech Corp., Stevia Biotech Pvt. Ltd, and others.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) followed European Union’s approval of Stevia for use in food and its categorization as generally recognized as safe (GRAS) has resulted in application expanse. The reception of no objection approval and GRAS status to Truvia developed by Cargill and Coca-Cola Company and PureVia developed by PepsiCo derived from the stevia plant in 2008 has stimulated the market. Thus, high-purity stevia glycosides are considered safe and safe as ingredients in food products in the United States from 2017. The experimental support by analysis of research data compiled in the safety evaluation by the World Health Organization further supported the use of stevia as it found no adverse effects.
The slower onset and longer duration of action of Stevia’s than sugar has been exploited in form of non-caloric natural sweetener for teas and weight-loss products and as a substitute of artificial sweeteners such as cyclamate and saccharin is a strong commercial driver of the market.
The launch of Truvia by Coca Cola and Cargill, in 2008 followed by launch of stevia sweetened beverages Coca-Cola Life, in 2013 stimulated the product. Coca Cola was followed by PepsiCo and Pure Circle developed stevia-based sweetener PureVia.
Product development such as availability of stevia in forms such as stevia powder, stevia leaf extract, liquid stevia coupled with application expanse such as stevia chocolate, stevia tablets, stevia drinks, organic stevia extracts, stevia tea, stevia sweets and others are fueling the market. Stevia has been exploited as a sugar reduction remedy for diabetes.
The uncertainty of health benefits coupled with health concerns are the prime constraints on the market. The uncertainty of regulations and the higher cost of stevia as compared to sugar are other restraints hampering the growth of the market.
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Asia Pacific accounts for the largest market share of the market led by Japan and followed by China. Stevia has been widely used as a sweetener in Japan, which accounted for almost 40 % of the Japanese sweetener market. China is the largest exporter of stevia products in 2016.
North America led by the U.S. accounts for the second largest market owing to the growing use of stevia in nutrition products. The European region is led by Germany, France and the U.K. The Middle East and Africa market is dominated by the Gulf economies of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, and Qatar.