Stevia is considered to be a natural sweetener and consumers are looking forward to its use in food products due to additional health benefits. Although sugar (sucrose) has dominated the sweetening market, its importance is getting reduced due to the soaring rates of production. Therefore, both food processing industry and consumers are looking for another viable sweetening option such as Stevia. The stevia extracts are generally of different forms or types like liquid extracts, powdered extracts and stevia leaves. Rebaudioside A and Stevioside are the key functional or sweetening ingredient considered in the market scope. The current report focuses on the market revenue generated by the sale and usage of stevia as a standalone product or as part of food type. The different end use market applications which are in the scope of the report include products from the food industry, beverages industry, processed food, confectionary food, surface and dressing food, dietary supplements and others. Dairy foods, bakery, bottled and canned food and snacks are further analyzed in the food industry segment.
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Stevia producers, Stevia extraction and refining companies, food testing contract laboratories, food products manufacturers, food testing equipment and device manufacturers, raw material and chemical suppliers, government bodies, research organizations, consortiums are some of the key stakeholders in this market.
While the global production of stevia is still concentrated in China with some countries such as USA and Europe also contributing to the supply, there is immense scope for the rapid scale up in production of stevia leaves across geographic regions. United States and Japan are the leading economies of world with 60% share in global Stevia consumption while China with 80% share is the world leader in production and extraction of Stevia leaves. The rise in global Stevia products crossed 150% mark in the beginning of this decade and is going to expand with recent EU clearings on low-sugar products. Stevia is gradually replacing sweetening agents in Food & Beverage Industry.
According to WHO estimates, Stevia has the potential to replace 20%-30% of all dietary sweeteners in the coming years. IndustryARC expects the global stevia market to grow to $1.2bn in 2020 at a healthy CAGR of 18.5%. The scope and penetration potential of stevia in the overall food sweeteners industry is high and this is the major growth driver for the market.
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Stevia is also known for leaving a bitter aftertaste, though this is being addressed by the research communities by developing selected plant varieties through different techniques. Regulatory approvals are also a major hurdle in the full-fledged implementation of stevia extracts in various types of foods across countries. Lack of sufficient studies on the long term impact of stevia on health of consumers is the prime reason for the hesitant attitude from the governments and regulatory bodies.
IndustryARC expects the major drivers from the market apart from its natural or plant extract tag would be increasing health consciousness among consumers and rising threat of lifestyle diseases like obesity, pressure from global food manufacturers for alternatives for artificial sweeteners as well as sugar. The lack of market demand in sufficient and consistent quantity is a major concern with respect to its high prices compared to sugar. Analyzing the competitive landscape of the global Stevia market for 2014 IndustryARC is of the opinion that PureCircle Ltd. is the world leader in production, marketing and distribution of Stevia ingredients while Coca Cola Co., Cargill Inc., Pepsi Co. are leading manufacturers and incorporators of Stevia ingredients. Together these companies hold more than 50% of Stevia market share in the US.
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