Stevia Market Thriving in Europe

Published On : 2016-11-22

Stevia, a popular sugar substitute, is widely used as a sweetener all over the globe, including Europe. It was approved for use as a sweetener in Europe in 2011, but even before that, it was widely used in France. Today, there are thousands of stevia-derived products in the European market and stevia has gained immense popularity as a sugar substitute. It, in fact, currently forms an essential segment of the sweeteners market of Europe. The European sweeteners market, broadly segmented into Eastern and Western Europe, is growing at a steady pace, and the trend is expected to remain so in the future as well.

How Stevia Wins As a Sweetener

Sweeteners can be caloric or non-caloric, with the non-caloric ones further segmented into natural  and synthetic. While people’s consciousness about consuming low-calorie foods for better health is making caloric sweeteners take a back seat, it is evident that people are choosing specific non-caloric sugar substitutes that contain low carbs and offer higher energy. Moreover, consumers are also looking for products addressing the body’s need for antioxidants.

This is a paradigm shift in consumer preferences for sweetening products that is responsible for significant transitions in the sweeteners market in Europe. Stevia, being a plant-based sweetening product, is high in demand because it has natural ingredients. It is protein-rich and has low or zero calorific value. These factors are collectively supporting the growth of stevia market in Europe.

Market Segmentation

On the basis of the type of extract, the stevia marketin Europe is segmented in three sections, including leaf, powder, and liquid. Liquid segment being the dominant one, contributes a major revenue share to the total market revenues. People are increasingly using liquid extracts as ready-to-consume tabletop sweeteners. However, although liquid stevia extracts are currently forming the most prominent segment of market, powder extracts are strongly indicating robust growth in near future that could dominate the market on a global level.

The most popular applications of stevia and derived products include packaged foods, snacks, beverages, bakery and confectionary goods, dairy products, tabletop sweeteners, and dietary supplements. Tabletop sweeteners, which are manifold sweeter than ordinary sugar, also seem to be in high demand in the market. Typically used in combination with fillers, tabletop sweeteners offer a great taste similar to ordinary sugar but without any calories. It is an all-natural substitute to sugar and a majority of people across Europe love using it in a variety of beverages, fruits, baked items, and other recipes. These tabletop sweeteners, along with dairy products, are anticipated to experience a substantial growth in European market in the next few years. Packaged foods also capture a significantly large portion of market.

Factors Driving the Growth of the Market

Increasing awareness about consuming healthy sugar substitutes is definitely contributing to the growth of sweeteners market in Europe. Stevia market is prominently gaining more importance because people are recognising the benefits of stevia-derived products as a safer sugar substitute. For stevia cultivators and product manufacturers, no time is better than now to innovate more and gain lucrative margins. This will certainly empower supply chains and present better growth chances for stevia in global market as well.

Stevia-based product providing companies can further look forward to capture food and beverage sectors through smarter marketing strategies, including online marketing. The prime booster behind remarkable growth of the beverage sector is the growing popularity of flavoured soft drinks that are currently an essential part of European diet; there is an excellent potential for stevia to grow in demand here.

Top Players in the Market

The Coca-Cola Company and PepsiCo Inc. top the list, along with some leading producers and suppliers such as Cargill Inc., Nestlé S.A., PureCircle Ltd., Stevia Corp., Evolva Holding S.A., GLG Life Tech Corp., Ingredion Inc., and Tate & Lyle Plc.

PureCircle is listed on the London Stock Exchange. This Singapore-based company offers one of the most sought after Stevia products with medicinal applications, Reb M. PureCircle has been buying Stevia from James Finlays, a firm associated with Kenyan farmers who cultivate stevia in acres. Since Stevia was officially allowed for sale in Europe post 2011, farmers in Kenya have been increasing their stevia acreages and gaining profits like never before.

Coming to Pepsi and Coca-Cola, as soon as they started using stevia as a sweetening agent in their soft drinks, the demand for stevia grew sky high. Moreover, a number of brands are rapidly adopting stevia for manufacturing their products, including yoghurts, confectionary foods, and preserved goods such as ketchups.

Though 2012 was the first year when stevia sale was allowed on an extensive scale in Europe, the growth of market is astonishing when compared to that of other markets in such a short time span.

The information presented in this article is based on the report, “Stevia Market: Global Industry Analysis and Opportunity Assessment.” A free sample of the report is available for download at http://www.futuremarketinsights.com/reports/sample/rep-gb-38