Feb 25, 2015 -- Stevia rebaudiana, colloquially known as stevia, is a plant that is naturally grown in the South American countries of Brazil and Paraguay. It is believed that the indigenous people in these countries used stevia as a sweetener in drinks and medicines. Owing to its widespread commercial use, the plant is cultivated in China, India, Brazil, Paraguay, Argentina, Vietnam, and Colombia. Today, the global stevia market is worth millions of dollars and it is forecasted that it will continue to grow steadily through 2020.
Stevia: A Non-Nutritive Sweetener
The global sweetener market is broadly categorised into nutritive and non-nutritive. As the name suggests, nutritive category includes those sweeteners that add calories to a food product, whereas non-nutritive sweeteners do not. Sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) are the largest segments of nutritive sweeteners.
Non-nutritive sweeteners are further categorised into artificial sweeteners and naturally-derived sweeteners. Stevia is one of the largest segments of non-nutritive sweeteners owing to its applications in the food industry.
Outlook on the Global Stevia Market
According to the analysis done by Future Market Insights (FMI), the global stevia market is expected to expand at a single-digit CAGR through 2020 and reach a valuation of US$ 565 Mn. It is forecasted that by 2020, the stevia market will account for 15% of the global sweetener market. The key drivers for the growth of the global stevia market include:
- Increasing demand for natural sweeteners on account of growing awareness among consumers
- Application of stevia extracts in ice creams, soft drinks, juices, and other products
- Strengthening supply chain in emerging economies of Russia, India, and Brazil
Market Segmentation of the Stevia Market
On the basis of type, the global stevia market is segmented into leaf, liquid, and powdered form. Among these segments, powdered stevia sub-segment of the stevia market is forecasted to account for 65% share of the stevia market. Powdered stevia is easily available and is relatively easy to use, and these are the key factors for the robust growth of this segment. According to FMI’s research report, the liquid sub-segment of the stevia market will witness a robust CAGR of 9% through 2020.
Applications of Stevia Extracts
Stevia extracts are widely used in various industries including confectionary, packaged food, dairy, snacks, and bakery. It is forecasted that the introduction of new, stevia-based products will provide an impetus to the growth of the stevia market. The shifting demand from consumers for products that have stevia as an ingredient rather than artificial or nutritive sugars is anticipated to augur well for the prospects of the stevia market.
Focus on Health: Key Driver for the Global Stevia Market
The rising obesity levels have become a cause of concern for governments all over the world, especially in the developed countries. High consumption of sugar is one of the many causes of obesity, and many consumers are making a conscious effort to cut down on their daily sugar intake. Stevia extracts have thus become a great alternative for people who want to reduce calorie intake without compromising on the taste of their food. Greater awareness among consumers and shift in buying patterns are expected to give a fillip to the stevia market in the future.
Key Regions for the Stevia Market
The United States, Japan, and France are the key regions for the stevia market, owing to government regulations on use of artificial sweeteners and greater awareness among consumers about the harmful effects of nutritive and artificial sweeteners. Other key regions for the stevia market include Brazil, Chile, China, India, and Russia.
Evolva Holding SA, Cargill Inc., Ingredion Inc., GLG Life Tech Corporation, and Tate & Lyle Plc are the key players in the global stevia market.