The global food sweetener market was worth USD 85.5 billion in 2021, and it is projected to reach USD 105 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 2.6% during the forecast period (2022–2030). Components that increase sweetness have a long history of use. In today's highly dynamic environment, where customers anticipate many features from their products, the food sector has taken a step forward by delivering sweetener ingredients from various sources with diverse capabilities. Due to urbanization and rising income, the market is boosted by increased demand for natural, non-caloric sweeteners and strong demand from emerging nations.
While growing worries about clean label solutions and the complex regulatory structure in Europe and the United States may hinder market expansion, product innovation and rising demand for non-caloric sweeteners are expected to assist the market in expanding over the projected period. The need for clean-label sweeteners in emerging nations is driven by a shift in consumer preferences for convenience, fueled by urbanization, a growing working-women population, and rising family incomes.
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The significant factors driving the Global Food Sweetener market are the rising demand for convenience and processed goods, such as sweet/sugar-based ready-to-eat foods, ready-to-drink beverages, snacks, and frozen dinners. The developed and developing nations are witnessing a rise in the need for processed and packaged food, which may spike the demand for food packaging and sugar processing solutions, boosting the demand for -fructose corn syrup in food and beverage uses worldwide.
It can replace cane sugar whole or partially in beverage and food preparation. HFCS helps keep foods fresh, reduces the freezing point, supports moisture in bran cereals and breakfast bars, improves fruit and spice flavors, promotes surface browning, and provides fermentability and sweetening qualities. Overall, the enormous demand for food has prompted the entire value chain to open up worldwide markets for HFCS and new introductions from international businesses.
Due to the growing demand for sugar-free and low-calorie food products among consumers due to increased health awareness and changing lifestyles, sweeteners such as mannitol, Stevia, and isomalt are in high demand. As a result, significant manufacturers are consistently investing in this segment of the sweeteners market to meet the growing demand for low-calorie additives.
Layn Natural Ingredients, for example, invested USD 148 million in July 2021 to develop its infrastructure and support R&D and innovation in plant-based, high-intensity natural sweeteners, and botanicals, as well as assist its supply chain. The investments will be utilized to construct a manufacturing plant completed in three years. It will be able to handle an additional 4,000 megatons of stevia leaf extract per year once it is completed. Layn, vertically integrated, also extends its sustainable agronomy innovation programs to improve supply chain transparency and traceability.
According to Harvard education, overconsumption of natural sweeteners can cause health problems such as dental decay, weight gain, poor nutrition, and elevated triglycerides. Stevia is a steviol glycoside-based non-nutritive or zero-calorie sweetener. Only high-purity steviol glycosides are currently considered safe for human consumption by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Companies are not authorized to advertise crude stevia extracts and stevia leaves as sweetening products since the FDA has not approved them as food additives.
Industry experts believe that properly refined Stevia has no adverse side effects, whether used as a sweetener or to flavor dishes. Over the last few decades, various investigations have uncovered potential stevia adverse effects. Kidney damage, gastrointestinal problems, and endocrine disruption are possible adverse effects of stevia intake.
PureCircle, the world's biggest producer of Stevia, has introduced a stevia antioxidant component suitable for health and wellness food products. The business has created a novel extraction and purification procedure for the stevia antioxidant component. PureCircle is already tasting the component with customers, with a full rollout scheduled following anticipated US regulatory approval in 2018–2019.
Customers select from various plant-based stevia compounds thanks to the new stevia antioxidant, which will expand the company's range beyond taste modifiers and sweeteners. Many other major stevia businesses are concentrating their efforts on research and development to improve the efficiency of generating stevia-based food and beverage ingredients, including antioxidants, fibers, and protein which provide lucrative opportunities for the market.
The global food sweetener market share is segmented by product type, application, and region.
By product type, the global food sweetener market is segmented into Sucrose (Common Sugar), Starch Sweeteners and Sugar Alcohols, and High-Intensity Sweeteners (HIS).
Sucrose holds the most dominant position in the market. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 31,080 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 1.5%. According to the PCRM, sucrose appeared to have a prominent protective association. Those taking the most sucrose had 11% less risk of having type 2 diabetes than those consuming the least. Similarly, consumption of cheese and oily foods has rapidly increased, as has diabetes prevalence. This reveals that something other than sugar boosts the diabetes epidemic, propelling the demand for sucrose in the studied market.
Starch Sweeteners and Sugar Alcohols account for the second-largest market share. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 23,335 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4%. It is further classified into Dextrose, High Fructose Corn Syrup (HFCS), Maltodextrin, Sorbitol, Xylitol, and Other Starch Sweeteners and Sugar Alcohols.
High Fructose Corn Syrup is the largest sub-segment of starch sweeteners and sugar alcohols. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 9,520 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 1.4%. As a sweetener, HFCS is usually compared to granulated sugar. However, HFCS is easier to handle and cheaper than sugar. The key players in the market are coming up with more research and development for product innovation to maintain the glucose and fructose level. Also, the uses and exports of HFCS from American producers have grown steadily in recent years.
Maltodextrin is the second-largest sub-segment. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 4265 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 2.8%. Many players invested and launched new products in this category to cater to the demand. For instance, in 2017, Tate & Lyle announced the expansion of its production capacity of maltodextrin in Slovakia, including food-grade and infant food-grade, non-GMO products.
Xylitol is the fastest-growing sub-segment. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 2,255 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 7.8%. Moreover, xylitol-based products have enormous untapped potential in Africa, with the market at a nascent phase driving the sales. While increasing concerns regarding clean-label solutions and complex regulatory structures in the European Union and the United States may impede market growth, product innovation and growing demand for non-caloric sweeteners may help the xylitol market grow further in the forecast period.
High-Intensity Sweetener (HIS) is the fastest-growing product type. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 3,380 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 5%. It is further classified into Sucralose, Aspartame, Saccharin, Neotame, Stevia, Cyclamate, Acesulfame Potassium (Ace-K), and Other High-Intensity Sweeteners.
Sucralose held the highest individual market share within the high-intensity sweetener (HIS) segment. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 560 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4.9%. Declining generation and increasing prices of sugar on a global level are expected to promote the usage of high-intensity artificial sweeteners such as sucralose. This factor is expected to have a substantial impact. EFSA published a study confirming sucralose is safe and does not cause cancer. The growing awareness of this factor boosts the demand for sucralose in the market as it has the maximum usage in the food and beverages industry.
Stevia is the fastest-growing and the second-largest sub-segment. It is a sugar alternative made from stevia plant leaves. It is about 100–300 times sweeter than table sugar, but it has no carbohydrates, calories, or artificial ingredients. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 1,040 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 8.5%. Leading food and beverage manufacturers also utilize it to offer products with a lower calorie count. Moreover, key players in Stevia are looking to expand, drive innovation, and ensure a globally secure supply chain for their production facility.
Aspartame is the third-largest sub-segment. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 560 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4.9%. Major players from the food and beverages industry have shown keen interest in aspartame sweeteners in their products, which drives the market demand.
By application, the global food sweetener market is segmented as Bakery and Confectionery, Beverages, Dairy and Desserts, Meat and Meat Products, Soups, Sauces and Dressings, and Other Applications.
The beverage segment holds the largest market share. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 31,080 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 1.5%. With the rising consciousness about the link between health problems like obesity and excess sugar consumption, consumers pushed on beverage brands to deliver products formulated with sweeteners that allow for less sugar and calories on the nutrition label. These sweeteners can reduce calories and enhance the flavor by masking off-notes and adding bulk, texture, and viscosity. With the increasing demand for transparency and naturally sourced ingredients, the demand for Stevia as an ideal sweetener in beverages has increased rapidly in recent years.
The fastest-growing segment within the application is bakery and confectionery. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 30,915 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 3.4%. The bakery and confectionery industry is among the largest consumers of sweeteners utilizing a variety of sweeteners in large quantities, including sweeteners, humectants, and restaurants. With an increasing demand for natural and clean-label ingredients, Stevia is primarily adopted as the sweetener of choice by bakery and confectionery producers. To benefit from increasing demand, key players in the sweetener market are investing in R&D to develop and launch application-specific sweeteners.
The dairy and desserts segment holds the third-largest position in the market. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 14,235 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 2.8%. There is a higher demand for products with a low caloric profile due to the increasing prevalence of diabetes. There is also a higher demand for dairy products with reduced sugar due to the increasingly health-conscious population. Thus, the dairy and deserts segment offers a promising market for sweeteners during the forecast period, owing to their health benefits and perceived as an on-the-go option among consumers.
By region, the global food sweetener market share is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, South America, and the Middle East and Africa.
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Asia-Pacific dominates the regional market. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 44,545 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 2.6%. China is among the world's largest sweetener manufacturers, dominating the global market for many high-intensity sweeteners. Also, sweeteners are rising rapidly in China due to the increasing demand for sugar-enriched food and beverage products. Moreover, with the growing importance of sweeteners in the country, players are focusing more on research and development to develop new sweeteners, which would drive the growth of the sweetener market in the country.
South America is the fastest-growing region. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 14,495 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 4%. Brazil is the world's largest producer and exporter of sugar. A high level of sweetener consumption, coupled with the emerging economic status of the country, makes it an attractive market destination. Also, artificial sweeteners demand in Brazil will continue to grow in the coming years, driven by consumer desire for low-calorie products and lucrative growth in Brazil's beverages market.
Europe holds the second-largest position in the market. It is estimated to reach a value of USD 18,785 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 1.5%. In Germany, the sugar substitute is used commercially in baked goods, beverages, candies, canned and packaged foods, condiments, jams, yogurts, and other sweetened foods. Furthermore, HFCS is a prominent additive in German baked goods for surface browning, moisture, structure, and texture, in beverages for body and flavor, in bread, jams, jellies as a preservative, and other foodstuffs to stabilize emulsions and enhance flavor. Therefore, key players are expanding and investing in the manufacturing of sweeteners, which propels market growth.