The Truvia® business announced today another important step in the Pan-European rollout of the leading stevia-based sweetener. The business has signed an exclusive distribution partnership in Spain with Azucarera, the leading sugar company in Iberia. This announcement follows exclusive distribution agreements made with the leading sugar brands in Europe - CristalCo (Daddy) in France, Eridania in Italy and the Silver Spoon Company, part of Associated British Foods, in the UK and Ireland. Earlier today, Cargill, the maker of Truvia® sweetener and an official petitioner for the use of stevia in Europe, was notified by the European Commission of its formal approval of steviol glycosides in Europe as of November 11, 2011.
These partnerships combine the expertise of Cargill in stevia with companies in each EU country that are innovative and have established market leadership and mature distribution networks.
“These partnerships mark an important stage in the growth of Truvia® sweetener in Europe,” said Zanna McFerson, vice president and business director of the Truvia® enterprise. “Our partners are innovators in bringing sweetness to consumers with trusted brands and strategic business relationships and are ideally suited to deliver an entirely new category to the European consumer – calorie-free sweetness from the leaf of the stevia plant.”
After less than three years on the US market, Truvia® sweetener has fundamentally changed the sweetener category and contributed to the growth of a previously stagnant retail segment. The category has grown 18 percent in three years. Today, Truvia® sweetener, the leading stevia-based sweetener, is the #2 sugar substitute in the US (13% percent market share - ACNielsen Food/Drug/Mass+Wal-Mart, 4 weeks ending 10/1/11), surpassing both Equal® (aspartame) and Sweet’N Low® (saccharin) brands of artificial sweeteners.
With the European market opening, there is strong consumer demand for a new sweetening option – calorie-free and from nature. The introduction of stevia-based sweeteners represents one of the most significant category and product innovations in recent years. The leading sugar brands in each country – UK, France, Italy and Spain – have partnered with the Truvia® brand to be ready to meet that consumer demand.
Under the terms of each agreement, the Truvia® logo and the partner logo will appear jointly on product packaging in each country.
Azucarera Ebro is the leading sugar producer in Spain with a market share of white sugar and brown cane sugar in the region of 800,000 tons. The company is the result of a merger between several different companies over the past few years, (Sociedad General Azucarera de España, Compañía de Industrias Agrícolas y Ebro Compañía de Azúcares y Alimentación).
In Italy, Eridania, as a national sugar category leader, has a longstanding loyal consumer base with 110 years of history, and offers marketing programs to support its widespread distribution network. In France, Daddy is a 30-year-old Cristal Union brand, managed by CristalCo and one of the country’s most emblematic sugar brands. Silver Spoon is the leading sugar brand in the UK’s retail and foodservice markets.
In Europe, Truvia® products will be introduced in cartons of 40 and 60 single-serve 1.5g sachets and 270g spoonable jars. In addition to Truvia® consumer products, the ingredient, Truvia® stevia leaf extract, is used by food and beverage companies in consumer packaged goods. In France, Truvia® sweetener is an ingredient in the Fanta Still® beverage and in Eckes-Granini fruit juices under the Réa and Joker brand names. In the U.S., Cargill has worked with companies in the food industry to formulate Truvia® sweetener for use in a number of food and beverage products, including Glaceau vitaminwater Zero™, Kraft Crystal Light Pure, Minute Maid Premium® Pomegranate Tea, YoCrunch® 100 Calorie Packs and nimble™ by Balance Bar.
The Truvia® enterprise is comprised of both the consumer products business, Truvia® sweetener, and the ingredient business, Truvia® stevia leaf extract. Cargill is the only company that manages the stevia supply chain from field to table origination on two continents incorporating strong environmental, economic and social standards. The Truvia® business was the first to open the category of zero calorie sweetness from nature in 2008 in the US.
Note: Truvia® sweetener is the consumer product name in Europe for the US product Truvia® natural sweetener.