Global natural sweeteners market size was estimated over to 900 kilo tons in 2014 in terms of sugar equivalent. They constituted to close to 0.5% of the total volume in 2014 which was estimated at over 185 million tons.
Stevia market was the dominant product segment in 2014 and majorly caters to food & beverages applications. Stevia based natural sweeteners market size was estimated at over USD 340 million in 2014 and is likely surpass USD 550 million by 2023 growing at an estimated CAGR of over 8.5% from 2016 to 2023. Monk derived products finds major application in sport supplements and sports nutrition which accounted for around 25% and 24% respectively in 2014.
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North America natural sweetener market was the largest stevia consuming region in 2013 for food & beverages applications and accounted for more than 30% of the total volume. Asia Pacific is likely to witness highest growth rates over the forecast period. Tevia prices are also expected to play a key role in natural sweeteners market development.
Increasing concerns towards growing health problems such as obesity and diabetes coupled with sugar taxes in numerous countries is likely to draw attention towards adopting non-caloric products based on natural sweeteners. These non-calorie products derived from natural plant are gaining wide popularity among the consumers. Consumer demand for non-caloric sweeteners are likely to grow with an estimated CAGR of above 5% up to 2023.
Shift in consumer preference towards adopting food & beverages based on natural ingredient are likely to favor market growth. In 2013, approximately 20% of newly launched non-caloric soft drinks in the market were based on natural sweeteners and this share is likely to witness significant gains over the forecast period.
The market is still at nascent stage and is likely to witness wide acceptance for consumers in regions such as North America and Europe. Stevie ingredient market for beverages was estimated close to 700 tons in 2013 in comparison to 12.3 kilo tons of aspartame and 8.7 kilo tons of Acesulfame K.
FDA approval and attributing GRAS (Generally Recognized as Safe) status to steviol glycosides with reduced RebA in 2010 is likely to positively influence on stevia demand. This factor is likely to help these products to be formulated at lower costs in comparison to sugar for numerous applications. Companies such as Coca Cola and PepsiCo announced to launch soft drinks containing stevia leaf extract.
Key companies such as GLG Life Tech and PureCircle have partenered with sugar manufacturers in countries such as the U.S., France, UK, Australia and Denmark to market blended low calorie products. PureCicrle partnered with U.S. based Imperial Sugar to form a joint venture called Natural Sweet Ventures. This strategic initiative is devised to launch steviasucrose product called SteviaCane for household applications.
There is also great potential observed in natural sweeteners derived from herbs such as monk fruit. It is recently been used as a ingredient in number of product launches from global brands such as Nestle, Yoplait and Starbucks. Sports supplements and sports nutrition are the largest application of monk fruit derived natural sweeteners.
In June 2015, Monk Fruit Corp, a Chinese based company, announced to double its capacity in order to meet demand from naturally derived fruit sweeteners. They are the leading company for monk fruit production & processing with an estimated market share of close to 70% in food & beverages applications.
Monk fruit based natural sweeteners market also show a great potential to be used in applications such as protein bars & shakes, nut milks, baked goods and protein based diary beverages. High prices of monk fruit derived products in comparison to stevia are likely to act as barrier for its growth.
The monk fruit based product market is highly consolidated with companies such as Monk Fruit Corp, GLG and Layn investing in its processing capacity. U.S. is likely to represent biggest opportunity for growth prospects. Also, if the product receives acceptance in the U.S. market, new opportunities of growth can be seen in regions such as Europe, Latin America and China.
Increasing demand for healthy and natural eating products has prompted the need for alternative sweeteners which are based HIS profile. Naturally occurring sweet & taste modifying proteins are expected to be the potential replacements for low caloric HIS. Sweet proteins are also used as flavor enhancer and to reduce bitterness. There are seven know sweet proteins namely Thaumatin, Brazzein, Monellin, Mabinlin, Curculin, Pentadin and Miraculin.
All these proteins are derived from plants growing in tropical rainforests. The potential applications of these proteins are in snacks, cola products, food and chocolate industries. Of these sweet proteins, Thaumatin is best in terms of regulatory status and product development. It was also approved by FAO/WHO Expert committee on Food Additives. The International Sweeteners Association recognizes it for flavor modifying properties.
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Commercialization is limited as there is a difficult in cultivating tropical plant sources of these proteins. Investment in technology to produce recombinant sweet proteins in microorganisms & transgenic plant systems to increase yield can provide growth opportunities.
The global natural sweeteners market share is consolidated and consists of supplier and manufactures. . Key suppliers consist of companies such as The Coca-Cola Company, Nestl and PepsiCo. Key manufacturing companies include, Monk Fruit Corp, Cargill, Stevia Corp, Tate & Tyle Plc. GLG life Tech Corp, PureCircle and Evola Holdings S.A.
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