If Stevia Rebaudiana and Siraitia Grosvenori are the two most popular natural sweeteners in the present, we believe that no one will have objections. The biggest selling point of these two ingredients is nothing more than the following: zero calorie, natural, commercial availability, flexible formulation. Especially after the United States FDA added sugar consumption limits in food and beverage recently, zero calorie sweeteners become more and more popular like a duck to water.
A survey data made in May 2015 shows that during the 52 weeks before the end of February 22th, 2015, the sales volume of products which containing Stevia reached $19.6 million, and the sales volume of products which containing Luo Han Guo reached $17.7 million in the United States natural products market (including All-food supermarkets). In all of the natural sweeteners, accounted for 17%, mixed stevia sweeteners accounted for 15%. Monk fruit sweeteners has relatively small portion in natural sweeteners market, only 2.2%. Sales volume of Luo Han Guo reached $2.6 million in natural sweeteners market from the year 2014 to 2015, far less than stevioside. The main reason for this situation lies in the lower yield of monk fruit, and also higher planting and processing costs than Stevia.
More and more consumers are in the pursuit of natural sweeteners, therefore Mintel did a questionnaire survey of 1800 adults, of which 61% of people said they would like to see more natural sweeteners instead of sugar, 18% of people said that even if the natural sugar prices are much higher, they are still willing to buy. In the survey of the population, the Millennium generation accounted for 25%, the X generation accounted for 17%, the baby boomers accounted for 11%, and over 70 years old people accounted for 9%.
It’s well-known that FDA still did not make a definition of natural, so most of the consumers have subjective definition of natural products. But do consumers really know about natural sweeteners? Mintel has outlined a series of sweeteners list, and they let consumers choose their natural sweetener option, 34% of them chose tequila, 31% chose coconut sugar, 29% chose stevia, 17% chose monk fruit and 25% of people did not choose any of the items. Mintel had listed many other Sweeteners, including high-fructose corn syrup, sucralose, erythritol, xylitol, sorbitol, mannitol, aspartame and saccharin.
In addition, Mintel survey found, 2/3 of consumers said that it is difficult to distinguish so many kinds of sweeteners; 65% people said it is difficult to distinguish between natural sweeteners and non-natural sweeteners; 60% of consumers said they hope to understand how these sweeteners are produced.
At the same time, there are some people said frighteningly even by the traditional method of extracting stevioside, if the manufacturer does not prove its "natural", the stevia industry still will be in danger. Luo Han Guo rarely trouble in this area, because it has been hundreds years of history of using it without special processing (only in contrast with stevia), and certification also has been obtained for a long time. But in the consumer acceptance, monk fruit powder has a long way to go.
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