Houtian, a global leader in the manufacture and supply of high-quality natural sweeteners, said, in short, that the food and beverage industry is seeking more natural, less sugary pastures for consumers, leading to a sugar substitution revolution. In this difficult time, a popular natural sugar substitute, stevia, has emerged as a promising solution.
For confectionery applications, the bulk must be restored when the sugar is reduced, otherwise the size of the confection will also decrease.
“Our DGS series directly replaces sugar 1:1 with Stevia as a high intensity sweetener and provides bulking with allulose, fiber and/or erythritol.said Hank Wang, Technical Director of Howtian.
“These bulking agents also provide the initial sweetness that sugar provides, making them an excellent alternative for many applications. We continue to evaluate alternative bulking agents and sweeteners, such as protein-based sweeteners, and may introduce them into our product portfolio if cost of use, quality and regulation meet our commercial feasibility criteria. “
To combat economic uncertainty and volatility, Howitan recently announced another significant price cut for its popular SoPur Stevia Reb A 97 for industrial and manufacturing customers.
Mr. Wang said: “Reb A prices went down this year. Rising sugar prices and falling stevia prices are giving commodities manufacturers a big incentive to replace some of their sugar with his Reb A..
“For example, in many beverages it is very easy to replace about 50% of the sugar with Reb A, saving a lot of money on sugar without affecting quality. Other uses that don’t require extra bulk can also reduce sugar by 25-50%, saving you considerable money. Reducing sugar in these cases also reduces calories and carbohydrates, resulting in a healthier nutrition panel.. “
Nidhi Jain, Associate Specialist at Smart Cube, said this sugarflation is coming against the backdrop of reduced production in major producing countries such as India, Thailand and China during the 2022-2023 sugar season, leading to a surge in sugar prices over the past few months, with prices likely to rise even more significantly in the second half of 2023.
In addition to these low production volumes, low beet yields in the European Union are exacerbating the situation. In EU countries such as France, Germany and Poland, which account for about 30% of the world’s beet production, cold, wet spring weather is exacerbating ongoing sugar shortages. Additionally, in May 2023, India, the world’s second largest sugar producer, banned sugar exports to ensure domestic availability. The ban further boosted the upward trend in sugar prices.
“For the remainder of the calendar year, sugar production is expected to be significantly impacted by fluctuating weather conditions. This is mainly caused by the El Niño phenomenon. The phenomenon is known to affect weather patterns and sea temperatures, bringing heavy rainfall to some regions such as Latin America and the southern United States, while causing warming and drought in others such as Australia and South Asia.‘ said Jane.
“Moreover, the price of sugar is expected to soar in the second half of 2023 as demand from major sugar consuming countries is expected to increase. For example, sugar prices in India have risen by more than 6% since April 2023 and are expected to continue to rise as demand from large consuming countries increases during the summer peak and production is expected to decline.
“This impact is already being felt in various industries. The confectionery industry as a whole, for example, is under increasing pressure to deal with this crisis.“
Long live Stevia!
Stevia extract is derived from natural plant sources and is a good option for businesses wanting to avoid artificial sweeteners. Stevia dominates the natural high-potency sweetener segment with approximately 85% of new product launches in 2022, according to Mintel and Innova.
“While we are still conducting full sustainability studies, we know that our processing uses less water and energy than our stevia extract competitors. We also found that using saplings rather than using seeds improved plant survival by up to 20%.said Mr Wang.
Howtian’s innovation and commitment to customer needs is expected to drive the continued growth and success of the sugar replacement revolution in this turbulent time. Over the years, the company said it has had great success transitioning popular products to delicious, cost-effective alternatives.
New and improved pricing will only accelerate the pace of these sugar reduction success stories.