Keep prices keen and the message green, says top Reb A supplier

Addressing the Stevia World 2009 conference in Shanghai earlier this month (14 May), PureCircle corporate VP supply chain Dom Wenninger said Reb A was now "fully competitive with sugar for global brands with global volume."

Wenninger illustrated the savings by comparing sugar and stevia prices. Sugar prices in the US are about $0.77 per kilo while Steviol glycosides, which are 15 times sweeter than sugar, are $0.40 per kilo on an equivalent basis. The comparision may not be a favorable in all global markets since US sugar prices are higher than most.

Following the decision in December 2008 by the US Food & Drug Administration to certify Reb A as Generally Recognized as Safe, he said, product development activity had been "intense."

But he added: "To build on our continuing success, the global stevia industry must work together as a sustainable industry to tell the very positive story about stevia and the natural extraction methods used, which in many cases is supporting some of the poorest farming communities."

He continued: "At PureCircle, we have learned from other sweeteners that the key to a truly global success is to offer our sweetener—Reb A—an all natural alternative to sugar with zero calories—at a fully competitive price at the earliest opportunity."

He said PureCircle, which has offices in New Jersey, Switzerland and Malaysia, was in a strong position to achieve this thanks to its critical mass and its global strategic collaborations with companies such as Firmenich. "This is a monumental shift for the natural sweetener industry, which PureCircle is proud to lead," he added.

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