Founded in 1999, Stevivia has been a supply chain partner to food manufacturers looking to achieve clean label sugar reduction. It offers a line of plug-in sweetening systems designed to naturally replace sugar.
Steviva’s CEO, Thom King, told ConfectioneryNews, the new blend was designed to replace confectionery sugar in frostings, fondants, fillings, glazes, coatings, drizzles, icings and more, and said it works “perfectly in tempering sugar-free chocolates, where tempering has presented a challenge in the past”.
The blend does not claim any health benefits per se, but it can be a part of mitigating obesity and diabetes, claimed King.
A $635k investment
Erysweet+ Ultra stevia and erythritol blend was in development for the past year, according to Steviva.
“The challenge was to find a way to get particle size down without compromising product quality. This required an investment of $135K in retro fitting our equipment to accommodate this.” King said.
“An additional $500K will go into expanding our production abilities as demand increases,” he continued.
Steviva charges its clients for the Erysweet+ Ultra stevia and erythritol blend based on volume.
“We can tell you that we are very competitively priced with other sugar substitutes,” King said. The blend is currently used in half a dozen chocolate products and several protein bars in the US.
Natural sweeteners posts at least 18% growth
Clean and clear label statements and substituting added sugars are major consumer trend in the food industry this year, King said. “Consumers want ingredients they understand as well as reasonable sugar cuts without sacrificing flavor.”
The natural sweetener market is currently worth around $3.5bn, and is expected to grow at least 18% for 2016, according to King.
“I envision rare sugars derived through fermentation will be huge in the next three to four years,” he said.