PureCircle Plans Massive Increase In Starleaf Stevia Planting This Year

by PureCircle | February 13, 2018 | Featured, News SHARE: 

Company Significantly Boosting Supply Capacity Of Its Proprietary Starleaf Stevia Plant That Yields High Amounts of Best-Tasting Stevia Sweeteners

February 13, 2018 Chicago, Illinois– PureCircle (LSE: PURE), the world’s leading producer and innovator of great-tasting stevia sweeteners for the global beverage and food industries, announces that it will vastly increase the amount of Starleaf™ stevia it plants in 2018. It plans to plant nearly 16,000 tons in 2018, an increase of about 200% over the prior year.  As with any agricultural crop, these plans are subject to various conditions such as weather.

PureCircle’s Starleaf is a proprietary non-GMO stevia plant that yields roughly 20 times more of the newest and best-tasting stevia leaf sweeteners than conventional stevia varieties. These stevia sweeteners make it far easier for food and beverage companies to deliver great-tasting, sugar-reduced and sugar-free products across a wide range of food and beverage categories.  And it allows them to do that with a plant-based sweetener.

With the planned increases in planting, the company estimates that 80% of the stevia plants it uses this year will be Starleaf — likely increasing to 90% next year.  Expanding the planting and use of its proprietary Starleaf™ stevia leaf will enable the company to meet the increasing demand of food and beverage industries for the best-tasting – and most sugar-like – zero-calorie, stevia sweeteners.

PureCircle utilizes a wide and expanding global agricultural network for its stevia supply, sourcing it from an increasing number of countries around the world.  Part of the dramatic increase in Starleaf planting this year is the result of our new farming partnerships in North Carolina.  Some farmers there – working with PureCircle — are starting to use land that once grew tobacco, to grow Starleaf™ plants.  Planting stevia enables them to grow and sell a highly-sought after crop, the demand for which is growing, and to productively use their farming acreage.

The food and beverage industry has seen a steady increase in product launches featuring stevia as an ingredient, as evidenced by the 10% increase in 2017 as compared to 2016 according to Mintel. In 2017 alone, about 3,500 products launched with stevia. Since the first regulatory green light in the U.S. in 2008 for use of stevia leaf ingredients in foods and beverages, it has been utilized in more than 16,000 products globally.  Consumer awareness of stevia is growing, and stevia is viewed favorably by consumers, who continue to seek out stevia as their preferred plant-based, zero-calorie sweetener.

James Foxton, Vice President of Agriculture Operations at PureCircle, said:

 “We are excited about our Starleaf stevia expansion program. It is a testament to our world-class agronomy program, and is enabling PureCircle to deliver the best-tasting stevia varieties on a global scale. Products from this leaf are revolutionizing the way our customers work with and adopt stevia. We look forward to providing food and beverage companies access to the most sugar-like content from the leaf, at a scale which has never before been possible.”

 By way of background, the story of stevia is evolving.  Not long ago, it was a little known, plant-based zero-calorie sweetener – basically one ingredient — that worked well in some beverage and food applications.

But today, due largely to PureCircle’s research, development and innovation, we offer a range of stevia-based sweetener ingredients with sugar-like taste and zero calories.  These from-nature sweeteners — often used in combinations with each other — work well in a wide variety of beverages and foods, and that is advantageous for beverage and food companies.  They have an increasing need for just such an ingredient, because consumers, health experts and governments have become increasingly concerned about obesity and diabetes, and have also become increasingly health and wellness conscious.

PureCircle has developed solutions for food and beverage producers both to enhance their use of stevia for best taste and also to simplify their work with stevia.  PureCircle offers tailored combinations of stevia ingredients designed to address the unique sweetening needs of various food and beverage categories.  That makes the food and beverage producers’ formulation work easier.  PureCircle’s production capability enables us to quickly meet global customer demands.

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Media Inquiries

Carolyn Clark, Director of Global Marketing

Email:  carolyn.clark@purecircle.com  Phone: 1 (630) 517 0812

Jackson Pillow, Media Relations Manager

Email:  jackson.pillow@purecircle.com  Phone: +1 630 256 8394

About PureCircle

  • PureCircle is the only company that combines advanced R&D with full vertical integration from farm to high-quality, great-tasting innovative stevia sweeteners.
  • The Company collaborates with farmers who grow the stevia plants and with food and beverage companies which seek to improve their low- and no-calorie formulations using a sweetener from plants.
  • PureCircle will continue to: lead in research, development and innovation; produce a growing supply of multiple varieties of stevia sweeteners with sugar-like taste, using all necessary and appropriate methods of production; and be a resource and innovation partner for food and beverage companies.
  • PureCircle stevia flavor modifiers work in synergy with sweeteners to improve the taste, mouthfeel and calorie profile, and enhance the cost effectiveness, of beverage and food products.
  • Founded in 2002, PureCircle is continually investing in breakthrough research and development and it currently has 72 stevia-related approved patents and 200 pending.
  • PureCircle has offices around the world with the global headquarters in Chicago, Illinois.
  • To meet growing demand for stevia sweeteners, PureCircle is rapidly ramping up its supply capability. It completed expansion of its Malaysian stevia extract facility in March 2017, increasing its capacity to rapidly supply the newer and great-tasting specialty stevia sweeteners and helping provide ever-increasing value to its customers.
  • PureCircle’s shares are listed on the main market of the London Stock Exchange.
  • For more information, visit: purecircle.com

About stevia

  • Given the growing global concerns about obesity and diabetes, beverage and food companies are working responsibly to reduce sugar and calories in their products, responding to both consumers and health and wellness advocates. Sweeteners from the stevia plant offer sugar-like taste and are becoming an increasingly important tool for these companies.
  • Like sugar, stevia sweeteners are from plants. But unlike sugar, they enable low-calorie and zero-calorie formulations of beverages and foods.
  • Stevia leaf extract is a natural-based, zero calorie, high-intensity sweetener, used by global food and beverage companies as a great-tasting zero-calorie alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners.
  • Stevia is a naturally sweet plant native to South America; today, it is grown around the world, notably in Kenya, China and the US.
  • The sweet-tasting parts of the stevia leaf are up to 400 times sweeter than sugar: stevia’s high-intensity sweetness means it requires far less water and land than sugar.
  • Research has shown that the molecules of the stevia leaf are present and unchanged in the dried stevia leaf, through the commercial extraction and purification process, and in the final stevia leaf extract product. All major global regulatory organisations, across 65 countries, have approved the use of high-purity stevia leaf extracts in food and beverages.
  • For more information on the science of stevia, please visit https://www.purecirclesteviainstitute.com/