Sugar and sweetener supplier Silver Spoon, part of Associated British Foods, has signed a strategic partnership to market USA-based Cargill’s stevia-based Truvia tabletop sweetener in the UK.
The agreement comes ahead of anticipated EU approval of stevia extracts later this year. In April 2010, the European Food Safety Authority issued an opinion that sweeteners extracted from stevia were safe, a verdict which must now be ratified by the European Commission to become law.
On receipt of regulatory approval, Truvia will immediately become available through Peterborough-based Silver Spoon to all major UK supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and other food distribution outlets.
The two companies said Silver Spoon would jointly market the product with Cargill, building brand awareness through advertising and in-store programs. Under the terms of the partnership, the sweetener will be co-branded with the Silver Spoon and Truvia logos both appearing on packaging.
Tony Lucas, marketing director of Silver Spoon said: "The introduction of stevia-based sweeteners to the UK market will be one of the most significant category developments in this country in years. As the number one supplier to the UK retail sugar and sweetener market, we are excited to bring this new innovation to our retailers and UK consumers."
Zanna McFerson, assistant vice president Cargill Health & Nutrition, added: "This partnership is a significant and exciting milestone in anticipation of the European market entry for the Truvia brand. Cargill has a long history of working with Associated British Foods, making Silver Spoon our number one choice of partner for bringing Truvia tabletop sweetener to consumers in the UK."
Meanwhile, Toothfriendly International, a non-profit association governed by dental professionals, has given its seal of approval to the Sunwin brand of stevia supplied by Switzerland-based ingredients producer Wild.
It is the first time Toothfriendly International has awarded Toothfriendly status to a stevia ingredient. It did so after evaluating a plaque-pH telemetry study conducted at the Dental Institute of the University of Zürich, which demonstrated that Wild's stevia sweetener posed no risk for teeth because it did not suppress the plaque-pH below the critical value of 5.7. When the acid threshold falls below this value, teeth can be damaged.
The Toothfriendly approval means that food manufacturers can use Wild's Sunwin stevia as a guaranteed toothfriendly ingredient within the formula of their final products.
Wild's Product Development Specialist, Matthias Sass, said: "We see tremendous opportunities for the use of stevia in various food applications, including toothfriendly product concepts. Currently, we are the only one to offer stevia for which the Toothfriendly International endorsement has been obtained."