The global natural sweeteners market is expected to witness substantial growth over the forecast period on account of growing demand for different kind of substitutes such as low-intensity sweeteners, high-intensity sweeteners and high-fructose syrup in food & beverage and healthcare industry.
The sugar substitutes market is an integral part of the sugar industry. Growing health concerns such as diabetes and obesity are driving the population to switch to no or low-calorie substitutes and alternative for sugar. To satisfy the appetite for sweetness in food & drinks and growing concerns for health and naturalness in food is expected to drive the market over the forecast period.
The concept natural sweetener is prevailing in developed countries at a higher level owing to high disposable incomes and growing population. However, in developing Asian countries the demand is rising for natural sweeteners owing to growing consumer per capita income and rising population. Furthermore, the increasing demand for natural sweeteners can also be attributed to the use of sugar substitutes in the personal & healthcare industries.
Advancement in technology and new product development is expected to bring about various improvements in sugar substitutes market. New products are expected to be developed over the period owing to the aforementioned reasons which in turn is expected to drive the demand for natural sweeteners.
Natural sweeteners manufacturing companies are expected to benefit from the growing health concerns among people and demand for low-calorie sweeteners as it anticipated that natural sweeteners market will convert into the new business as food & beverage manufacturers will search for inexpensive natural sweeteners.
However, the manufacturing of sweeteners is quite expensive and availability of sugar in at low prices in the market is expected to hinder the market growth. In addition, the taste of few natural sweeteners such as Stevia is disliked owing to which it is not preferred by a lot of people. Technological advancement is expected to lower the manufacturing cost of natural sweeteners which will, in turn, be available at lower rates in the market.
Natural sweeteners market is segmented on the basis of type into high intensity and low intensity. High-intensity natural sweeteners include Stevia and low-intensity natural sweeteners comprise of Xylitol and Erythritol.
Stevia is a popular low-calorie natural sweetener which is extracted from Stevia rebaudiana plant. There are numerous sweet compounds available in Stevia leaves such as Stevioside and Rebaudioside A which are much sweeter than sugar when compared gram by gram. Stevia not only is calorie free sweetener but also effective against high blood pressure and reducing blood sugar of diabetic patients.
Erythritol contains fewer calories and doesn’t affect blood sugar or insulin levels in the body and also has no effect on biomarkers like cholesterol and triglycerides. However, erythritol can cause digestive problems if consumed too much at a time. Xylitol is a sugar alcohol with the sweetness similar to sugar Xylitol has dental benefits such as it prevents from cavities and tooth decay and may also improve bone density to prevent osteoporosis.
Other natural sweeteners can include maple syrup, honey, yacon syrup, coconut sugar, blackstrap molasses, balsamic glaze, banana puree, sorghum syrup and brown rice syrup. These have a lot of applications and can use as a substitute for sugar. Honey and maple syrup are widely used sweeteners.
The market is also bifurcated on the basis of application into food & beverage industry applications and personal & healthcare industry applications. Stevia and erythritol are fairly new to the food & beverages market. Increasing health concerns among people and use of natural products has led the beverage companies to switch to natural low-calorie sweeteners.
People are opting for diet drinks such as diet coke which can be sweetened with natural sweeteners maintaining the taste. Growing awareness among people is expected to drive the natural sweeteners market demand and also pose a threat to the modified and artificial sweeteners demand such as corn sugar, aspartame and other sweeteners.
In personal & healthcare industry the use of natural sweeteners is expected to grow exponentially owing to the health benefits they possess such as reducing blood sugar in diabetic patients and in lowering high blood pressure. Some other health benefits associated with natural sweeteners are they may help in preventing osteoporosis and effect of artificial sweeteners on the human body.
Asia Pacific market is expected to grow exponentially as the use of natural sweeteners is highest in the world as it has various applications in Asian food products such as in pickles and highly flavored pastes and sauces. The growing population and consumer disposable incomes are also expected to be major drivers of the Asia Pacific market.
Leading companies in the U.S. and Europe region are investing in advanced technologies and new product development to come up with an innovative, superior quality and cost effective sugar substitute which in turn is expected to drive the market demand for natural sweeteners in this region.
The leading contributors to the market are Madhava Natural Sweeteners, Truvia, SweetLeaf Stevia, Tate & Lyle, Whole Earth Sweetener, Imperial Sugar, Herboveda, Sunwin Stevia International, Ach Food Companies, Morita Kagaku Kogyo, ADM, ABF Ingredients, Cargill, Evolva, Arlon Group, Galam Group, GLG Lifetech, Merisant, Ohly, Pure Circle and Zevia.
Research Support Specialist, USA