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PureCircle disrupting stevia as India’s answer to rising diabetes graph
Saturday, 16 November, 2019, 08 : 00 AM [IST]
Our Bureau, New Delhi
PureCircle, the world’s leading producer and innovator of great-tasting, zero-calorie stevia sweeteners, plans to expand its India footprint and is committed to help Indian companies reduce 250 billion calories in the Indian diet by 2020.

This exemplifies the company’s commitment to traceability, and helping food and beverage companies in India to launch new low- to zero-sugar-added products with plant-based stevia from farm to finished product.

As per a report by the Indian Council of Medical Research, the Public Health Foundation of India and Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, 72 million Indians suffer from Type-2 diabetes now, and is expected to almost double to 134 million by 2025, if the current dietary trends continue.

Zero-calorie, sustainable, 250-300 times sweeter than sugar and a healthier, natural alternative to artificial sweeteners, PureCircle is disrupting stevia as India’s answer to the rising graph of non-communicable diseases (NCDs) such as diabetes, obesity, etc., caused by high sugar, salt and fat consumption. Stevia can act as a powerful tool for the country to come out of the infamous reputation of being the diabetic capital of the world.

Commenting on stevia’s sustainability and PureCircle’s vision for India, Navneet Singh, head, South-East Asia Region, PureCircle, said, “The global demand for stevia is growing, as beverage and food companies increase use of the plant-based zero-calorie sweetener.”

“PureCircle, through its innovative work with stevia, has vastly increased its capacity to supply the new-generation stevia sweeteners, like Reb M, to its customers at prices that are cost effective for them,” he added.

Singh said, “All of PureCircle’s stevia sweeteners are plant-based and non-GMO- (genetically-modified organism) certified. India has a tremendously important role to play in growing this market, as it is one of the largest consumers of sugar globally.”

“Stevia is a sustainable crop, which is in high demand by the global food and beverage industry. India has the land, climatic conditions, farming expertise and entrepreneurial spirit to contribute significatly to global demand of naturally-sourced, non-GMO stevia sweeteners,” he added.
 
In 2018, the number of new products using stevia grew by 31 per cent. That compared to an 11 per cent 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 per cent for beverages and 27 per cent for foods. That data, and all data contained herein, is from Mintel Group Ltd, which is one of the world’s leading market intelligence agencies.

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 yoghurt; ready-to-drink iced tea; and dressings and vinegars.

Stevia also has a high-use incidence in carbonated soft drinks, 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 per cent of all food and beverage products launched with high-intensity sweeteners, whereas aspartame was found in 36 per cent.

In 2018, stevia usage nearly tripled to 29 per cent compared to aspartame which fell to just 20 per cent.

With stevia, food and beverage companies have access to a non-GMO, zero-calorie sweetener from a plant which delivers on taste.
 
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