MECAS(12)04 – Alternative Sweeteners in a Higher Sugar Price Environment - English

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Publisher: International Sugar Organisation
Format: digital download (PDF), 11.7” × 16.5”
Pages: 58
Publication date: 2012
Languages: English*

The world sugar market has seen markedly higher average prices since mid 2009, provoking the question: are higher sugar prices reshaping sweeteners demand? What is the potential for starch based alternative sweeteners, synthetic and natural high intensity sweeteners (HIS) as well as lower calorie sweeteners to take market share away from sugar? In this paper recent developments in the global sweeteners market are overviewed, highlighting stronger annual growth for high fructose syrup (HFS) and HIS relative to sugar over the past few years. Even so, sugar still by far dominates the global sweeteners market (an 83% share in global consumption) but could this be eroded over the longer term? Key demand, supply and regulatory issues and drivers are examined and discussed in this study for all the major sugar substitutes, with a view to understanding their growth potential over the coming years. Amongst HIS, whilst synthetic sweeteners such as saccharin, aspartame and sucralose will remain dominant, natural HIS -particularly stevia sweeteners and lou han guo - are poised for rapid growth. Stevia sweeteners have already significantly penetrated the US market, particularly in blends with other sweeteners, including sugar, and capitalising on market trends for less processed ingredients that favour usage of sweeteners that can be marketed as “natural”. With recent regulatory approval in the EU there is considerable scope for rapid growth in Stevia sweeteners in the future. Generally, the global HIS market is anticipated to grow at a faster pace than both sugar and high fructose syrup, consistent with “diet” and “lite” food and beverage products becoming more “mainstream”. HFS could penetrate further in the global sweeteners market; particularly in the EU should sugar production quotas be abandoned. China could also see further HFS penetration, although this remains sensitive to the outlook for both sugar and grains prices. Polyols, the major low calorie natural alternative to sugar are also likely to see robust demand growth on the back of consumer preference in key markets for natural food products.

*Also available in French, Russian and Spanish

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