The market for sweeteners is pitched to grow at about 8.3 per cent year on year until 2008, far out-pacing industry growth currently around 3 to 4 per cent.
Growth is based on rising health concerns in society, that sees consumers turning towards sugar-free products, and food makers introduce zero-calorie or low-calorie sugar substitutes into their new product formulations.
For the first six months of the year, data from market tracker Mintel reveals 18 new products containing either aspartame, sucralose or acesulfame potassium sweeteners, hit the sugar and sweetener category, somewhere in the world.
But according to the data (for single sweeteners and not blends), aspartame appears to have been the popular choice by food makers.
From January to June, Mintel records 15 new product launches (out of the 18 total) that include the amino-acid sugar replacer, compared to two for acesulfame potassium - also known as the additive E950 in the EU and roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar.
And just one new product launch for sucralose, a no-calorie sweetener about 600 times sweeter than sugar, through a diet sweetener called 'Sugarite' (launched in India)
The fifteen new products with aspartame in their recipes were rolled out across the globe.
Sweetener tablets and sugar-free sweetener reformulations hit Chile in five different brands, including Sucaryl and Natura List Plus.
In Europe, Mintel recorded six different launches. In Portugal a 'Carrefour Stylesse' brand, in Hungary 'Cora' sweetener tablets, The Netherlands saw 'Sussli' tablets in the shops and Italy the artificial sweetener 'Frau Dolce Dieta'.
Demand for aspartame is pitched at about 4 to 5 per cent, with the global demand currently standing at about 16,000 tons.
The high intensity sweetener Acesulfame K, roughly 200 times sweeter than sugar, is also enjoying buoyant growth.
Strong growth and opportunities for sweetenera seem assured in the near future. Health concerns, for example, are driving nearly one in four consumers in the UK to use sugar replacers.
Parallel to a 10 per cent fall in sugar sales, over the past five years the market for artificial sweeteners rose by 12 per cent.
"Manufacturers have dynamised this sector with a raft of new product developments, while investing heavily in improving the taste of their product: the artificial sweetener market continues to gain acceptance with consumers," says David Bird, an analyst at Mintel.
Product data was supplied by Mintel's Global New Products Database.