New York, NY, January 15, 2015 --(PR.com
)-- Stevia is a natural, plant-based, zero-calorie, and high-intensity sweetener. Stevia is extracted from the leaves of the plant species Stevia Rebaudiana, which is most-widely grown in Brazil and Paraguay. Around 40 years ago, stevia found commercial use, when Japan started consuming it as a sweetening agent. Steviacan be utilized in processed food, as it remains stable when heated. It is 200- to 300-time sweeter than sugar. Stevia measures zero on the glycemic index (a measurement carried out on carbohydrate-containing food to measure their impact on our blood sugar), which is important in the diabetic market. Growing consumer awareness regarding the value of low glycemic diet drives the market for stevia. Growing consumer preferences for all-natural products and increasing incidences of obesity and diabetes drive demand for stevia. Due to its growing popularity as 100% natural sweetener, Stevia is edging over other high-intensity sweeteners such as aspartame, saccharin, and sucralose. According to estimates from the World Health Organization WHO, stevia is expected to replace 20-30% of all dietary sweeteners in future.
On the basis of functional ingredients, the stevia market is bifurcated into two segments: Rebaudioside A (Rebiana) and Stevioside. On the basis of type of extracts, the stevia market is segmented into three types: stevia leaves, powdered extracts, and liquid extracts. Based on application, the stevia market can be segmented into five types: food industry, beverages industry, confectionary, pharmaceuticals, and others.
The use of stevia in the beverage industry has been growing rapidly. Stevia has gained popularity due to its usage in a variety of beverage products, especially in soft drinks, sports drinks, and flavored and functional water.Consumers’ increasing preferences for low-calorie beverages have driven major beverage companies to develop products with such sweeteners. PepsiCo uses stevia in its SoBe Lifewater drinks and Tropicana orange juice (Trop50).
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In terms of geography, Asia Pacific and North America dominate the global stevia market due to increasing diabetic and obese population, changing lifestyle, and growing health and nutritional concerns. Asia Pacific and North America are followed by Europe.
Increasing diabetic and obese population, changing lifestyle, growing health and nutritional concerns, and growing urbanization are the major factors driving growth of the stevia market. According to WHO, in 2010, the number of overweight children under the age of five was around 42 million globally. Obese people are more likely to develop diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases at a young age. High obesity rate among children drives the adoption of low-calorie food, which indirectly drives the market for stevia. According to WHO, in 2013, around 347 million people had diabetes globally. The diabetic population is rapidly increasing in both developed and developing countries. Among developing countries, India and China have the largest number of diabetic patients. Among developed countries, the U.S. has the largest number of diabetic patients.
According to World Health Statistics, in 2012, one in 10 adults suffered from diabetes globally. With growing awareness regarding obesity and diabetes, consumers are opting low-calorie food over high-calorie food, thus boosting the stevia market. In May 2010, 16 of the world’s biggest food and beverage companies (members of Healthy Weight Commitment Foundation) such as The Coca-Cola Company and Kraft Foods participated in calorie reduction pledge, with the objective to remove 1 trillion calories from the U.S. marketplace by 2012 and 1.5 trillion by 2015. According to the researchers of the University of North Carolina, as of 2012, these companies sold 6.4 trillion fewer calories. These initiatives boosted demand for stevia.
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