The global stevia market size was worth USD 650 million in 2021, and it is projected to reach USD 1400 million by 2030, registering a CAGR of 8.9% during the forecast period (2022-2030). Stevia acts as a natural sugar substitute. The production process starts with an herbal plant called Stevia Rebaudiana, a member of the Chrysanthemum family, and grows naturally in the forests of Brazil and Paraguay. The components of stevia leaves responsible for the plant's sweetness are glycosides.
Stevia is nearly 200 times sweeter than sugar, according to studies. Furthermore, it is a calorie-free sweetener with no adverse effects on the human body. As a result, people are shifting their preferences away from artificial sweeteners and toward natural sweeteners. This is expected to create a high potential for the growth of the market during the forecast period. An increase in the demand for nutrition-rich products among consumers, who lead a healthy lifestyle, is expected to bring favorable growth instances for the stevia market during the forecast period. This is possible as the contents in stevia, such as antioxidant compounds, caffeic acid, quercetin, flavonoids, and tannins, are the most sought ingredients by health-conscious people. Numerous health benefits offered by stevia have attracted the attention of the manufacturers. Stevia is being used in yogurt, tea, and coffee. As the millennial populace is choosing low-calorie foods and drinks, the demand for stevia will likely increase.
|Fastest Growing Market||Europe|
|Largest Market||Asia Pacific|
|Report Coverage||Revenue Forecast, Competitive Landscape, Growth Factors, Environment & Regulatory Landscape and Trends|
As health awareness is growing, most consumers thoroughly check a product's label before buying it, especially in developed economies, like the United States, the United Kingdom, and Germany. This awareness among consumers has prompted manufacturers to undertake the replacement of high-calorie polyols with natural sweeteners.
Sugar alcohols, such as sorbitol and maltitol, are proven to be the cause of digestive problems and thus, are being fast replaced by natural sweeteners, like stevia, in the market. Clean label has triggered the demand for natural sweeteners, especially stevia. Food and beverage manufacturers have supported it through innovation and product launches using stevia as a naturally clean, labeled sweetener.
Moreover, the key players in natural sweeteners are expanding in the Asia-Pacific region, emerging as a prominent market for clean labeled natural stevia. According to research conducted by the Ingredion, Asia-Pacific recorded the most robust demand for clean label products compared to any other region.
For instance, in 2018, PureCircle announced expanding its presence in the Asia-Pacific region by opening production facilities and introducing product offerings. In 2019, PureCirlce launched the next-generation stevia leaf sweeteners in Singapore. The popularity of natural sweeteners has been rising in recent years and has increasingly promoted the use of stevia. The trend of reducing calories mainly added sugar, and the preference for natural products with the regulatory approval for stevia sweeteners has been gaining prominence in the United States, Australia, and the European Union over the past five years. The increased stevia consumption across the food and beverage industry is expected to boost the demand for natural and clean labeled sweeteners.
Stevia prices are determined mainly by demand and overall shipping costs. Imports are used to meet the demand for stevia in major stevia-consuming countries. Changing trade rules and low production yields in exporting countries, on the other hand, have a considerable impact on stevia leaf pricing.
For instance, the growing market of alternate sweeteners in China increased stevia's exporting capacity, resulting in a decline in stevia prices from 2015-to 2017. However, in January 2018, the market price for one ton of RA95 stevia was at USD 122,000 and then plummeted to USD 73,000 in July 2018.
The volatility of stevia leaf prices acts as a significant limiting factor for the growth of the stevia industry. The declining stevia harvest is expected to impact the increasing demand for stevia, which will cause supply to contract and prices to rise during the forecast period. Stevia is generally more expensive than artificial sweeteners, such as saccharin, aspartame, and sucralose. As a result, fluctuations in prices and availability pose problems for production and supply.
Many government authorities are increasing taxes on sugar to help incentivize consumers to eat less sugar. As the growing obesity epidemic worldwide is a severe public health problem, it significantly increases the threat of chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular diseases, type-2 diabetes, and certain cancers. Currently, around 415 million adults have diabetes, and by 2040, this is expected to reach 642 million. Therefore, there is an increasing demand for stevia from food and beverage producers. Stevia is unique among all sugar substitutes since it is most valued for what it does not do: add calories. It is close to zero calories and is safe for people with diabetes as it has zero glycaemic indexes. It has been determined to be safe for most developed countries in most food categories.
In 2016, the UK Government announced that it would be introducing a sugar tax on the soft drinks industry. As per the revised tax policy, soft drink companies in the United Kingdom will have to pay a charge for drinks with more than 5% added sugar. Pure fruit juices and drinks with high milk content will not be taxed. Moreover, other countries worldwide are also concerned about the sugar intake, and the number of countries implementing high sugar taxes is expected to rise significantly during the forecast period, which in turn creates immense potential for the global stevia market growth.
By region, the global stevia market share is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, South America, and Middle East and Africa.
Asia-Pacific is the dominant region. It is predicted to grow at a CAGR of 10.1% during the forecast period. China is one of the world's largest production bases for stevia sweeteners. It is also becoming one of the world's largest end-user markets, aided by the vast and fast-growing end-user industries. This dramatic growth has been driven by the rapid development of the end-user industries, including functional beverages and foods, glazed fruits, teas, juice beverages, and medicines, among others, which are the significant areas for the application of stevia in China. It was reported that China meets approximately 80% of the global demand for stevia. Due to stevia's favorable traits, its share has been increasing in the Chinese High-Intensity Sweetener (HIS) market, despite its higher usage cost over the past few years. Chinese consumers exhibit an increased preference for natural products, thereby having a higher priority for stevia sweeteners when compared to other HIS. Strict regulations on the applications and production of some artificial HIS, especially saccharin and cyclamate, also contribute mainly to the expansion of the market.
Europe is the second-largest region. It is estimated to reach USD 355 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 9.5%. In Germany, some major companies, including Stevialine GmbH & Co. KG, Pure Circle, Verdure Sciences Europe GmbH (VSEU), and Tate & Lyle, among others, have been manufacturing products that contain steviol glycosides over the past few years. All these companies use "stevia" to promote the sweetening effect of the food additive steviol glycoside (E960). The leading players in the market segment have been undertaking a large number of R&D activities, which, in turn, have helped expand stevia production in the country. For instance, in June 2018, a German-based biotechnology company, c-Lecta, developed a new process based on the enzymatic treatment of the precursors to sweeteners, making it possible to convert the precursors into a better-tasting sweetener in partnership with an ingredient supplier to help expand the production of a new plant-based sweetener, stevia. Its plant-based origin, combined with its sugar-like taste, makes it safe and suitable for large-scale use in low- and zero-calorie beverages and foods, such as soft drinks or diet foods.
The Middle East and Africa also witnessed a significant CAGR during the forecast period. Over the past few years, increasing awareness among consumers regarding the health benefits of low-calorie consumables has been a significant catalyst for the growth of the market in South Africa. Therefore, stevia is poised to emerge as a popular natural sweetener among consumers looking for healthier alternatives to sweeten their food and beverages. This factor is expected to present numerous growth opportunities to stevia manufacturers in the country. Considering the development above, companies in South Africa have focused on expanding their production lines while also investing in manufacturing plants and plantations. For instance, in November 2016, Paarl-based Afriplex, an established beneficiary of indigenous plants in South Africa, announced that it was embarking on a local project to cultivate and process stevia (Stevia Rebaudiana). These developments are expected to lead to successful executions of other projects of the same type, which could position South Africa as a country with the agricultural know-how and technological capacity to execute the full-scale commercialization of stevia.
The global stevia market share is segmented by form, application, and region.
By form, the global stevia market is segmented into powder, liquid, and leaf. The powder stevia is the dominant segment. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 8.7% during the forecast period. Among the three forms of stevia, the powdered form holds the largest share, owing to its wide availability, ease of use, and ability to be incorporated in several food-based applications. Powdered stevia is produced in bulk or packets and blended with a filler, usually fructooligosaccharides (FOS), a plant-based fiber. Additionally, it is the most processed form of stevia.
The leaf segment will witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Stevia can be incorporated into food and beverage products in the leaf form by pulverizing whole dried stevia leaves by crumbling or crushing them into a green powder. This also keeps the sweetening agent of the leaves in its unrefined state. Stevia leaves have an enormous scope in the beverage industry, where the leaves are blended with beverages, such as tea and coffee. Blending ensures the value addition of the product while simultaneously easing the drink's preparation.
The liquid form of stevia is one of the most convenient forms of stevia to use, especially when incorporating it in food and beverage products that are liquid or semi-solid, such as ready-to-drink beverages, dairy products, baked goods, dressings and sauces, frozen foods, processed fruits, vegetables, snacks, and cereals. Additionally, over the past few years, most popular brands of "Sugarfree" sweeteners containing artificial sweeteners, such as aspartame and sucralose, have been linked to health ailments, such as cancer and insulin resistance, and metabolic disorders. As a result, consumers are now identifying healthier alternatives to sugar and artificial sweeteners. This increase in demand is propelling the growth of this segment of the market.
By application, the global stevia market is segmented into bakery, dairy food products, beverages, dietary supplements, confectionery, and other applications. The beverage segment is the dominant market. It is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 9.8% during the forecast period. Stevia's rapid growth in the beverage market is a testament to its many benefits. Stevia is a naturally sourced zero-calorie, tooth-friendly, non-fermenting, highly soluble, heat-stable, photo (light)-stable, and shelf-stable sugar substitute and flavoring ingredient. With the demand for sugar and calorie-contained juice drinks continuing to reduce in countries, such as the United States, over the past few years, developers have been tasked with maintaining the sweet taste of the beverages that consumers have become accustomed to while reducing the sugar content in the products by incorporating sugar replacement add-ons, such as stevia.
The dietary supplement segment will witness the highest CAGR during the forecast period. Since the mid-1990s, extracts from the stevia leaf have been available as nutritional supplements in the United States. Many contain a combination of sweet and non-sweet stevia leaf components. Stevia sweeteners contain naturally-occurring sweet ingredients. Thus, benefitting consumers who prefer foods and beverages that are perceived as natural. The prominent players in this market have been focusing on innovating their offerings for dietary supplement applications. For instance, the American firm, Stevia SoPure, provides SoPure Stevia extracts for nutritional supplements. A high-potency, a zero-calorie natural sweetener is preferred to caloric natural or artificial high-potency sweeteners.
Stevia is a valuable ingredient in dairy applications. Its benefits include sugar reduction, superb functionality, stability, and flexibility of use in various dairy food categories, such as yogurt, flavored milk, and ice cream, among others. The leading players in the dairy products market are increasingly relying on stevia as an option for low-sugar formulations. The formulations of flavored milk with stevia present unique opportunities for the development process. Combining steviol glycosides tend to work best for more considerable sugar reductions, and stevia's natural flavors can enhance cocoa and dairy notes. Since sugars provide mouthfeel, low-sugar formulations made with stevia can be used as thickening agents and complex carbohydrates.
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