Stevia, the miracle sweetener, has
been in use since more than 1,500 years in Brazil and Paraguay. The commercial
use of stevia was originated in Japan in the early 1970s. Though stevia has
been in use since the 1980s in the weight loss food items, it has gained
importance in the sweeteners market after the approval from FDA with GRAS
status in 2008. Additionally, the approval from EU Commission in 2011 has resulted
into a brisk growth in the global Stevia market. Around 200 scientific studies
were conducted on this high intensity natural sweetener which was approved as
safe for human consumption.
Currently, stevia has been approved
in over 60 countries by their respective food agencies. However, the regulations
vary across nations, especially in the number of food categories, compositions
of stevia for various food items, labeling standards and Acceptable Daily
Intake. As food agencies of advanced nations such as the U.S. and Australia
have approved stevia in 2008, the process of approvals in various other nations
picked its pace in the later years with approvals from EU, India, Norway,
Israel, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Indonesia and Canada during 2011-2012Stevia
has been approved as a food additive by the Sri Lankan Government in June, 2015.
Furthermore, the approval from Bangladesh Government for the usage of stevia is
Apart from the approvals and regulations, few factors
influencing this market include population, obesity and diabetes rates,
awareness and acceptance. Though stevia has been approved in 30% of the total
countries in the world, most of the approved countries are highly potential and
together hold around 85% of the world’s population. U.S. remains as the
dominant country in terms of consumption with heightened awareness and positive
response from the consumers. The U.S. market has witnessed numerous stevia-based
product launches, especially in beverages segment which include Pepsi True and
Coca-Cola Life in the recent years. With the expected approvals from few more
nations coupled with rising awareness among consumers, the global market for
stevia is estimated to cross $600m by 2020 at a CAGR of 8.6%; whereas, the
retail sales stevia-based products is estimated to grow at a CAGR of 6.6% from
2015 to 2020.
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