An industry leader in sustainability initiatives, PureCircle announced its 2013 Calorie Footprint. The global producer of high-purity stevia ingredients reported it has supplied enough stevia sweeteners to enable the food and beverage industry to remove 1.8 trillion calories from global diets.
“In our 2013 fiscal year, we supplied enough stevia to enable a reduction of 500 billion calories from global diets,” explained Ajay Chandran, director of corporate sustainability. “Since we started monitoring in 2006, we’ve supplied enough stevia to help the industry achieve a reduction of approximately two trillion calories in food and beverage products. The pace at which we’re helping the food and beverage industry moderate calories is increasing at a significantly faster rate than we anticipated. As a result, we now have the capability to help the food and beverage industry reduce up to two trillion calories per year. This positions us well to achieve our cumulative calorie footprint reduction goal by 2020.”
The calorie footprint is an estimate of the number of calories that can be reduced within the global diet by modifying the caloric content of a product by replacing some caloric sweetness with zero-calorie plant-based stevia sweeteners. Since high-purity, stevia sweeteners are metabolized by the human body in a way that has almost no caloric impact, a partial replacement of caloric sweeteners with stevia can have a significant caloric reduction benefit overall without losing a natural sweet taste. As part of PureCircle’s 2020 Sustainability Goals, the company has set ambitious goals to positively benefit the broader food industry and the communities in which it operates. Calorie reduction is one of these goals. The 2020 goal for the PureCircle Calorie Footprint is to support the cumulative reduction of 13 trillion calories from food and beverages worldwide, with an interim goal of four trillion by 2015.
Stevia-sweetened product launches
Global new product launches of stevia-sweetened food and beverages continue to grow with penetration across a wide swathe of categories. In 2013, 1,611 stevia sweetened foods and beverages were launched, according to Mintel’s GNPD database. This was a 48 percent increase from 2012. Nearly 3,300 products were launched over the past three years. “Food and beverage companies around the world have continued to seek ways to reduce calories in their offerings and have increasingly found stevia to be the ideal solution to this challenge,” said Jason Hecker, vice president global marketing. “With our broad portfolio of stevia sweeteners and flavors which demonstrate great synergy with natural origin caloric sweeteners, we see strong demand continuing with deeper calorie reductions in the future.”