Strong trend toward natural sweeteners
The global sweetener market, dominated by sugar, had an estimated value of $58.3 billion in 2010. Stevia is one of the fastest-growing newcomers in the $6 billion (est.) sugar substitute market. This includes artificial chemical sweeteners as well as naturally derived non-caloric sweeteners.
The global sweetener market is growing at 2% to 3% a year. There are two main segments, sometimes called natural artificial, but also called nutritive and non-nutritive. Nutritive sweeteners include sugar and high fructose corn syrup (HFCS); non-nutritive sweeteners include zero-calorie High Intensity Sweeteners, e.g. artificial sweeteners such as aspartame and sucralose, and naturally derived sweeteners such as stevia.
Sugar/HFCS comprise 80% of sweetener market and are growing in-line with population expansion. Non-nutritive sweeteners are projected to grow at 5% a year between 2008-2015. Artificial sweeteners have been dominant but the trend is toward natural sweeteners, according to a Raymond James publication, Agribusiness.
In an August 2011 report, market research firm Packaged Facts said artifical sweeteners Sweet ‘N Low (saccharin), Equal and Nutrasweet (aspartame) all saw sales drop in 2010, while natural sugar substitutes saw sales increase. Stevia sweetener Truvia’s sales jumped 73.7% between 2009 and 2010.
Sales of Splenda sucralose, the leading player in the US retail/tabletop sugar substitute market, dipped 5.6% from 2009 to 201; Splenda fell from a 61% share of the retail sugar substitute market in 2007 to 45.5% in 2010, while Truvia and Stevia in the Raw accounted for 13.8% of the market in 2010. Equal went from 12.4% of the market in 2007 to 6.5% in 2010, and Sweet N’ Low fell from 13.2% in 2007 to 11% in 2010.