According to MarketsandMarkets, the global Natural Sweeteners Market size is estimated to be valued at USD 2.8 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 3.8 billion by 2025, recording a CAGR of 6.1% in terms of value. Emerging markets in upcoming economies such as the Asia Pacific and South American countries are going to be potential markets for natural sweetener manufacturers. The increase in per capita income and change in the trends of food consumption is going to increase the share of the market. These factors are projected to drive the growth of the natural sweeteners market during the forecast period.
As defined by the FDA, all sweeteners “derived from a natural source” are natural, no matter how highly refined and processed they might be. The sweetener must have nothing artificial or synthetic included in, or added to, it that would not normally be expected to be in it. For the FDA, artificial sweeteners are those not found in nature and are synthetically produced. Any sweetener that has been artificially modified for enhancing taste is not considered under the report scope.
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The global per capita sugar consumption is slightly declining, in major sugar-producing countries, including Brazil and Thailand, along with developing countries such as India, China, and others, according to the data provided by International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) in 2018. According to the data published in an article on FoodDive.com, in 2018, 70% of Americans are either somewhat or very concerned about sugar levels in their diets. A survey was conducted with more than 2,000 adults in the US. Over 49% were somewhat or very likely to look for or use sugar substitutes, such as stevia, Splenda, agave, or monk fruit. Americans typically consume more than 13% of total daily calories from added sugars, according to the Food and Drug Administration. This can further result in health issues such as obesity, cavities, diabetes, and heart problems. Owing to this, some manufacturers have been limiting the amount of sugar in their products, and others have started using sugar substitutes, mainly natural sweeteners, and are trying to be transparent about the process. Also, a number of end-consumers tend to read the ingredients on the label and prefer to buy products having reduced sugars or made with natural sweeteners. There are multiple clinical studies and research studying and stating that artificial sweeteners have dangers lurking beneath the surface, including links to weight gain, diabetes, heart disease, and a number of other health risks, as they are chemically produced and processed. Owing to all these factors, the market for natural sweeteners is expected to have substantial growth potential, as the safest and healthiest sugar substitute suggested by a number of health institutions include stevia, followed by xylitol, erythritol, and yacon syrup.
On the basis of type, the natural sweeteners market is further segmented into stevia, sorbitol, xylitol, mannitol, erythritol, sweet proteins, and other types. The sorbitol type segment dominated the majority share in the global natural sweeteners market, by type, in 2019. Sorbitol is naturally found in foods including apricots, prunes, apples, and blackberries. It contains about 33% fewer calories than conventional sugar and is 60% as sweet as sugar. It has been used as an alternative to sugar for diabetic patients since the 1930s and the general population since the 1970s. Apart from that, this type of natural sweeteners offers various other functionalities across an array of product lines. Instance, apart from sweetening characteristics, helps the shelf life, appearance, and texture of food products in the absence of sugar. It also offers medicinal qualities, thereby contributing as a health-benefiting ingredient across the line of products. Thereby, owing to all these factors, the sorbitol segment dominated the majority share of the natural sweeteners market, by type, in 2019, in terms of value.
The food & beverage segment, in the natural sweeteners market, by end-use sector, is expected to dominate in 2019. Further segments by end-use sector include pharmaceutical, direct sales, and others. Sweeteners are widely used in processed foods, including baked goods, soft drinks, powdered drink mixes, candy, puddings, canned foods, jams & jellies, dairy products, and other foods and beverages. Sweeteners are also popular for household applications. Some can even be used in baking or cooking. Certain recipes may need modification because sweeteners provide no bulk or volume, as sugars do. Apart from its widespread usage and acceptance in the food & beverage industry, it also helps the manufacturers of various food & beverage products to cut the additional costs for sugar raw material and its procurement. Natural sweeteners offer 200-300 times more sweetness than conventional sugar. Along with offering higher sweetness, they are less caloric in nature. Thus, natural sweeteners help manufacturers in the food & beverage sector cut the large quantities of sugars required for sweetening and instead offer products with healthier alternative ingredients. Thus, owing to these multiple factors, the food & beverage sector contributes significantly to the global natural sweeteners market and also is projected to skyrocket in the coming years.
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The North America market accounted for the largest share in 2019. Key factors influencing the share of the region include high demand for sugar alternatives and sweeteners, the presence of major players in these regions, and an increase in consumption of processed sugar alternatives, owing to a high awareness of natural sweetener benefits. Natural sweetener manufacturers such as Cargill (US), Merisent Company (US), and Archer Daniels Midland Co. (US) are some of the leading players in the market in North America. These companies have a strong presence in Europe and North America. They also have manufacturing facilities across these regions and a strong distribution network. Food manufacturers in these regions are willing to spend more money to ensure that their products offer increased health benefits, as well as desired taste and texture. This is evident from the expenditure on research & development activities by top players to create better natural sweeteners. Thus, all these factors result in the dominance of North American region, in the global natural sweeteners market.
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