The New Year started sweet for GWI with a promising partnership: GWI, a leading raw ingredient distributor from La Mirada, Calif., has confirmed an exclusive contract agreement with Chenguang Biotech, one of the world’s best herbal extract manufacturers, to distribute and sell its stevia product in North America.
Being a natural alternative to sugar, stevia sales and demand are higher than ever with a global market volume of $304 million in 2012 and an expected growth to $409 million by 2016, according to Zenith International, an international consultant in the food and drink industry. Major reasons for the market growth are the rising level of obesity and diabetes, but also the growing health awareness and consciousness in today’s consumers.
“We have been looking for a partner in North America for many years on a variety of our herbal products,” said Mr. Qingguo Lu, president of Chenguang Biotech. “With GWI’s customer service, reputation, extensive product line and solid customer base, it was time for an exclusive partnership. We grew our stevia market share in Asia over the past years, and see this as the right time and opportunity to penetrate into the American market, together, with GWI as our strong partner.”
Mr. Lu is known as a legendary Chinese entrepreneur often referred to as the “Pepper King” as he led Chenguang Biotech to become the world’s number-one Paprika oleoresin manufacturer. With its strong infrastructure, Chenguang currently operates 12 agricultural facilities around the world and is aiming to become the number-one natural extracts manufacturer worldwide.
“We are excited about the partnership and to work with Chenguang as their exclusive agent of stevia,” stated Jim Schultz, CEO of GWI. “We trust each other and strongly believe we will strengthen the support for our customers with this agreement. The past few years have shown double-digit growth for the herbal market as well as the supplement industry. As market leader, GWI will play an important role in this trend. By importing high quality herbal products to the U.S. market, we assist our customers in their supply chain management, sourcing and formulating.”
Upon this agreement, GWI will be the only agent in the North American market to provide the high-quality Chenguang stevia in a consistent and reliable manner. GWI also offers green coffee bean, grape seed, lutein, lycopene and red yeast rice from Chenguang Biotech.