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Stevia Use In Food and Beverages Accelerated Significantly in 2018

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Number of Products Launched With Stevia Grew +31% Last Year vs 2017

CHICAGO, May 28, 2019 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- PureCircle (LSE: PURE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of stevia sweeteners, reports the use of stevia leaf sweetener in food and beverage products grew at an accelerated pace last year.

In 2018, the number of new products using stevia grew +31%. That compares to an +11% increase in 2017. That means the growth rate last year nearly tripled. In looking separately at beverage and food launches with stevia last year, the increase was +36% for beverages and +27% for foods. That data, and all data contained herein, is from Mintel Group Ltd, which describes itself as the world’s leading market intelligence agency*.

The 2018 data continues to showcase stevia’s increased adoption as an important ingredient for beverage and food companies. In a number of categories, where high intensity sweeteners are used, stevia is now the leader; these categories include: plant-based drinks (dairy alternatives); dairy-based ice cream and frozen yogurt; ready-to-drink iced tea; and dressings and vinegars. Stevia also has a high use incidence in: carbonated soft drinks; and meal replacements and other drinks.

Consistent with the growth of stevia use in product launches, the increase relative to other zero-calorie sweeteners has also been dramatic. In 2011, stevia was used in 10% of all food and beverage products launched with high-intensity sweeteners, whereas aspartame was found in 36%. In 2018, stevia usage nearly tripled to 29% compared to aspartame which fell to just 20%. With stevia, food and beverage companies have access to a non-GMO, zero-calorie sweetener from a plant which delivers on taste.

Some of the major beverage and food companies launching products with stevia leaf sweetener last year included the following (in alphabetical order): Calbee Foods, The Coca-Cola Co, Groupe Danone, Nestle, PepsiCo and Unilever. Due largely to its research, development and innovation, PureCircle offers beverage and food companies great-tasting, zero-calorie, plant-based sweeteners at costs competitive to sugar.

The beverage and food product launches with stevia are occurring worldwide with all global regions participating. The top-two regions last year were Asia/Pacific (42%) and Europe (21%), followed by Latin America, North America and Middle East/Africa.

Not long ago stevia was viewed as a plant-based, zero-calorie, single-ingredient sweetener which worked well in some beverage and food applications. Today we offer a range of next generation stevia leaf sweeteners, including Reb M, which taste great and work well across multiple categories. These sweeteners help beverage and food companies increase their offerings of zero- and low-calorie products without sacrificing taste.

PureCircle has significantly boosted production of our next generation stevia sweeteners – like Reb M — which have the most sugar-like taste and are highly sought after by beverage and food companies. PureCircle is able to supply those stevia sweeteners at a cost and scale to meet the growing demand for its best tasting stevia leaf ingredients.

*The data in this release reflects new product launches from January-December 2018 and was extracted from the Mintel Global New Products Database in March 2018.

**When referring to high-intensity sweeteners, ingredients analyzed included: Acesulfame Potassium, Sucralose, Aspartame and Stevia

Media may direct inquiries to:

Carolyn Clark, Head of Global Marketing
Email: carolyn.clark@purecircle.com Phone: +1 (630) 517 0812

Jackson Pillow, Media Relations Manager
Email: jackson.pillow@purecircle.com Phone: +1 (630) 256 8394

About PureCircle

  • PureCircle is the only company that combines advanced R&D with full vertical integration from farm to high-quality, great-tasting innovative stevia sweeteners.
  • The Company collaborates with farmers who grow the stevia plants and with food and beverage companies which seek to improve their low- and no-calorie formulations using a sweetener from plants.
  • PureCircle will continue to: lead in research, development and innovation; produce a growing supply of multiple varieties of stevia sweeteners with sugar-like taste, using all necessary and appropriate methods of production; and be a resource and innovation partner for food and beverage companies.
  • PureCircle stevia flavor modifiers work in synergy with sweeteners to improve the taste, mouthfeel and calorie profile, and enhance the cost effectiveness, of beverage and food products.
  • Founded in 2002, PureCircle is continually investing in breakthrough research and development and it has been granted over 130 stevia-related patents with more than 250 applied for patents pending.
  • PureCircle has offices around the world with the global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
  • To meet growing demand for stevia sweeteners, PureCircle is rapidly ramping up its supply capability. It completed expansion of its Malaysian stevia extract facility in March 2017, increasing its capacity to rapidly supply the newer and great-tasting specialty stevia sweeteners and helping provide ever-increasing value to its customers.
  • PureCircle's shares are listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • For more information, visit: www.purecircle.com 

About stevia

  • Given the growing global concerns about obesity and diabetes, beverage and food companies are working responsibly to reduce sugar and calories in their products, responding to both consumers and health and wellness advocates. Sweeteners from the stevia plant offer sugar-like taste and are becoming an increasingly important tool for these companies.
  • Like sugar, stevia sweeteners are from plants. But unlike sugar, they enable low-calorie and zero-calorie formulations of beverages and foods.
  • Stevia leaf extract is a natural-based, zero calorie, high-intensity sweetener, used by global food and beverage companies as a great-tasting zero-calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • Stevia is a naturally sweet plant native to South America; today, it is grown around the world, notably in Kenya, China and the US.
  • The sweet-tasting parts of the stevia leaf are up to 350 times sweeter than sugar: stevia's high-intensity sweetness means it requires far less water and land than sugar.
  • Research has shown that the molecules of the stevia leaf are present and unchanged in the dried stevia leaf, through the commercial extraction and purification process, and in the final stevia leaf extract product. All major global regulatory organisations, across 65 countries, have approved the use of high-purity stevia leaf extracts in food and beverages.
  • For more information on the science of stevia, please visit https://www.purecirclesteviainstitute.com/

A photo accompanying this announcement is available at https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/f3bcd8f1-7e63-4027-a67a-eb90adc39001

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