Just before the adoption of a regulation by European Commission (EC) on November 11 to approve the sale and use of steviol glycosides, Wild's senior vice president of business development, Fabiana Matucci, told BeverageDaily.com how she thought stevia approval would affect the rate of innovation within low-calorie beverages.
A regulation allowing the sale and use of steviol glycosides was published in the Official Journal of the EU on November 12, and will enter into force 20 calendar days from that date, meaning that stevia-based products could appear on sale as early as December 2.
Speaking to this publication at the German beverage trade show Brau Beviale, Matucci said: "The trend towards low calorie drinks is there, so stevia will help even more to fill this requirement...So it will help to bring to the market more beverages with low calories."
Within low calorie drinks Matucci anticipated strong cross-category performance within low-calorie beverages, from carbonated soft drinks, "normally pretty much under fire because of sugar", to teas and near waters that already have a lower amount of calories and a more natural and healthy image."
Welcoming final approval of steviol glycosides in foodstuffs today, Wild Flavors CEO, Michael Ponder, said that the company's stake in Sunwin International - a stevia producer - gave Wild "clear-cut advantages" within the market.
"We are optimally prepared for bulk stevia requests as well as product formulation of low calorie products," he added.