The global stevia market size was estimated at USD 337.7 million in 2015. Gaining popularity of the product on account of excellent sweetening properties offered by it, without having any adverse effects on the health of consumers is fueling industry growth over the forecast period.
The food industry will remain one of the most crucial sectors of this industry on account of growing demand for low-calorie healthy products. Rising consumer awareness regarding consumption of healthy food will eventually lead to increasing penetration of stevia leaves in bakery and confectionery products. This factor is expected to propel the expansion over the forecast period.
The positive outlook towards the food & beverage industry in China, Japan, South Korea, Vietnam, and Singapore in light of new product launches and high adoption of stevia-based compounds is expected to promote the use of the ingredient in dried and powdered form. Furthermore, rising awareness towards healthy lifestyle among consumers has also resulted in several carbonated drink manufacturers including The Coca-Cola Company to introduce the product in their soft drinks, which has helped them in widening their customer base.
Positive regulatory outlook on account of approval from the U.S. FDA and the EU Commission is expected to be a critical factor promoting the growth of the product over the forecast period. Large scale production in Latin America and Asia Pacific on account of favorable climatic conditions and awareness regarding the benefits of natural sweeteners has resulted in a wider acceptance of compounds based on the product in countries such as Japan, South Korea, Brazil.
U.S. stevia market volume, by application, 2013 - 2024 (Tons)
Beverage was the largest application segment, accounting for 34.8% of the total volume in 2015. Growing demand for low-calorie soft drinks, juices, and carbonated drinks is expected to result in the expansion of the product over the forecast period.
Tabletop sweeteners were estimated as the third largest segment accounting for 22.2% of the total volume share. Stevia sweeteners are expected to replace artificial sugar based sweeteners in this sector over the next seven years to cater to consumers with illnesses including diabetes.
The pharmaceutical industry is another crucial segment of the market. Medicinal abilities of the product in terms of its capacity for blood pressure control and obesity as well as healing of wounds and injuries is expected to open new opportunities for growth over the forecast period.
Asia Pacific was the largest market accounting for 35.3% of global volume in 2015. The ingredient has a broad acceptance in this region especially in Japan, China, and South Korea as stevia-based natural sweeteners have been a part of the diet of consumers in these countries for a substantial period. Emerging economies such as India, Thailand, Indonesia, and Malaysia are expected to be the key markets for the product owing to the growing food & beverage industry.
Europe and North America are expected to witness considerable volume growth at CAGRs of 4.3% and 4.5%, respectively, from 2016 to 2024. Recent approvals by the FDA related to the product will have a positive impact on the overall industry and therefore improve the penetration levels of the product. The increasing consumer demand for organic products will play a crucial role in propelling the expansion of the industry over the forecast period.
The industry is dominated by a few major players with large production capacities and wide coverage areas. GLG Life Tech Corp., PureCircle Ltd, Cargill Inc, Tate & Lyle Plc., and Evolva Holding S.A. are expected to lead the market as a result of a strong foothold in application segments coupled with substantial infrastructure for R&D.
Product innovation and establishment of strategic partnerships with cultivators & farmers coupled with mergers & acquisitions are expected to be key features of the market. In July 2016, GLG Life Tech Corp. partnered with Archer Daniels Midland (ADM) Company to market and distribute stevia-based products. In July 2016, PureCircle Ltd. invested approximately USD 100 million for developing the stevia agronomy program. In May 2016, PureCircle Ltd. announced plans to make India its regional export and production hub for stevia sweeteners
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