Traditionally, stevia has been cultivated for more than centuries, however it got the recognition of being a safe substitute for sugar only in the recent past. Stevia contains very little or no calories and is adequately sweet, which in turn makes is a suitable ingredient in food and beverage manufacturing. Thus, making it a viable substitute for sugar. Popularity of food products with stevia is very recent. In 1970s, Japan started stevia cultivation for commercial usage, Morita Kagaku Kogyo Co., Ltd. became the first company to market and sell stevia commercially. In 2014, the global stevia market was estimated at US$ 347 Mn. In addition, the market is anticipated to cross US$ 565 Mn by 2020, registering a CAGR of more than 8%. Moreover, stevia as an ingredient is estimated to surpass 8.506 tonnes by 2020 from 5,100.6 tonnes in 2014.
In recent years, the global stevia market has witnessed an uptick owing to increasing awareness on the health benefits low-calorie consumable products. Moreover, encouraging government initiatives and growing consumer awareness is auguring positive signs for the growth of global stevia market. By earning the tag of being a healthy consumable product, stevia is viewed favorably by consumers. The introduction of several stevia based products is positively supporting the overall market and has been well appreciated by consumers. Health organization advocate the use of low-calorie sugar substitutes, while calling for higher production of stevia. Further, demand for natural ingredient products and antioxidants are additional factors expected to supplement the market growth.
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On the basis of application, the global stevia market is segment into packaged food products, beverages, dietary supplements, table top sweeteners, dairy food products, and bakery products. In addition, the beverages segment including hot drinks, energy drinks and soft drinks is expected to witness the highest growth over 2020. Similarly, the table top sweeteners segment is anticipated to witness a CAGR of over 8% through 2020, registering for a healthy share of the overall market.
Based on regional analysis, Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ) and North America will continue to dominate the global stevia market. In addition, the market in North America is expected to record a healthy CAGR of 9.8% over the forecast period, while APEJ will also exhibit significant market growth during the same. Likewise, China has a distinctive lead over other countries in terms of production capacity and export of stevia globally. Low cost of production and availability of skilled resource is a major factor driving for the market growth in APEJ. Further, Latin America is also projected to witness a sound growth through 2020.
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Key Market Participants
Key participant operating in the global stevia market include Stevia Corp., Tate & Lyle Plc., The Coca-Cola Company, GLG Life Tech Corp, Evolva Holding S.A., PepsiCo Inc., Cargill Inc., Nestlé S.A., and Ingredion, Inc. Most of the companies engage in aggressive promotion of stevia-based products in order to improve product positioning and visibility. Higher production and on-shelf availability of stevia-based products are translating into a significant rise in stevia sales. Key player are further encouraged by the consolidated nature of the stevia industry and steadiness in the supply chain.