Stevioside is the main sweetener with rebaudioside A, found in the leaves of Stevia rebaudiana, a plant originating in South America. Dried leaf, as well as aqueous extracts, has been used for decades as a sweetener in many countries, notably in Latin America and Asia (Japan, China). Especially in Asia, South America and the US, stevioside is largely used in food manufacturing. In 2016, about 3,000 kinds of products containing stevioside were newly introduced.
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Although stevioside has a long history in South America, China is the major producer, taking 90% of the global capacity, making it the largest planter of stevia rebaudiana, the largest producer and exporter of stevioside. More than 70% of stevioside produced in China is exported, which means overseas demand has bigger influence on the countrys output. In 2016, the output of stevioside in the country reached nearly 8,000 tonnes.
In the future, stevioside will be affected by per capita consumption of zero-calorie beverages and new stevioside products costing less and benefitting peoples health. Emerging markets and developing regions create opportunities for investors. Because stevioside has a zero glycemic index and zero calorie, it is popular in many countries.
In recent years, stevioside has replaced some other sweeteners in food, medicine and daily chemical industries, driving continuously rising demand for the sweetener and providing more space for leading enterprises in the industry. At the same time, along with the downstream s development, the demand for high-purity stevioside will increase as well, which brings new profits to manufacturers with innovative ability. In 2022, sales volume of stevioside is forecasted to reach about 4,000 tonnes and the market scale will be around RMB3.4 billion.