SUGAR LAND, TEXAS and OAK BROOK, ILLINOIS.- (Feb. 22, 2010) – Imperial Sugar Company and PureCircle Limited are pleased to announce the launch of Natural Sweet Ventures LLC (“Natural Sweet”), a joint venture created between Imperial, one of the largest marketers of refined sugar in North America, and PureCircle, the global leader in the production of high purity stevia products. The exclusive North American joint venture will combine the natural benefits of both sugar and stevia to develop reduced-calorie natural sweet product solutions for the beverage and food industries.
Meeting consumer needs with proprietary innovation
Both Imperial and PureCircle have rich heritages in developing proprietary technologies tied to natural, sweet products. This will provide Natural Sweet customers with flexibility in developing innovative applications. Natural Sweet Ventures’ product line will deliver benefits of pure cane sugar and stevia to manufacturers across North America through a broad portfolio:
• Liquid form – for the beverage industry as a liquid sweetener option
• Crystallized form – for syrup, spray-on, dairy, and many baking and confection applications
• Variety of calorie reduction levels – allowing formulation to specific calorie levels that best suit the application
• A sugar option with the added benefits of a lower glycemic index, no GMO (genetically modified organism), temperature and pH stable, and uniform dispersion of both sugar and stevia
The Natural Sweet product line will directly aid manufacturers responding to strong consumer interest in natural reduced calorie products and the recent announcements by the beverage industry of more stringent labeling.
“We are delighted to partner with PureCircle to develop a specialty product line for customers seeking lower calorie, natural sweetening solutions,” said John C. Sheptor, president and CEO of Imperial Sugar. “Natural Sweet is a complement to Imperial’s core sugar business and consistent with our strategy to expand value-added natural offerings. This exclusive partnership gives Natural Sweet a technological advantage as we collaborate with customers to deliver products that meet their distinct needs.”
Magomet Malsagov, CEO & president of PureCircle Limited added, “Natural Sweet is a major opportunity for the U.S. consumer in their quest for quality, natural beverage and food alternatives that combine great taste with controlled calories. When we were looking for a partner for the important North American market, there was really only one choice. Imperial stood out above the crowd for its commitment to innovation, naturally sweet products and outstanding customer service. We are pleased with the combined potential of our technologies. Our products will deliver natural sweetness with exciting beneficial attributes.”
All Natural Sweet Ventures products will carry the trusted endorsements of Imperial Sugar Company and PureCircle.
Natural Sweet Ventures’ products will be produced at Imperial’s Port Wentworth, Georgia refinery and marketed across North America by the combined sales teams of Imperial and PureCircle.
For customers looking to obtain information about NSV, please contact:
Joe Lucas, national sales director – Industrial Imperial Sugar Company, (281) 490-9632
Jordi Ferre, VP general manager, PureCircle USA Inc, (630) 361-0374
Imperial Sugar Company is one of the largest marketers of refined sugar in the United States to food manufacturers, retail grocers and foodservice distributors. The Company markets products nationally under the Imperial(R), Dixie Crystals(R) and Holly(R) brands. For more information about Imperial Sugar, visit www.imperialsugar.com and iscnewsroom.com.
PureCircle is the clear global leader in the production of high purity stevia products. In addition PureCircle is leading the industry with the development of a strong sustainable natural supply chain. Stevia is now being grown for PureCircle in 15 countries across South America, Africa and Asia, providing a sustainable cash crop for rural farming communities in each region.
As part of its leadership of the stevia industry, PureCircle has pioneered the industry quality mark “Naturally Sweetened with Stevia by PureCircle” that educates consumers about the benefits of stevia and provides a strong basis for trust for both consumers and beverage and food companies alike. All Natural Sweet products will carry the Naturally Sweetened with Stevia by PureCircle quality mark.
PureCircle’s USA headquarters are in Oakbrook, Illinois and the Group’s global headquarters are in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more information about PureCircle, visit www.purecircle.com
Stevia is a plant from the chrysanthemum family that originates from Paraguay in South America. It has been used as a natural sweetener and flavor enhancer for many centuries. In 2008, high-purity (over 95%) Rebaudioside A, a single molecule from the stevia plant, was cleared by the FDA as GRAS (generally regarded as safe) status for use as a sweetener ingredient in beverage and food products. On a weight basis, high purity Rebaudioside A is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, has zero calories, has a low glycemic index and is heat and pH stable.