This is very good news, indeed!
The Real Stevia Company released the results of a public survey from Novus in Sweden. The results are very encouraging about the “awareness of Stevia” among Swedish consumers. According to this, Stevia has during only the last three years risen to become a very attractive sweetener among consumers as well as in the food industry.
Personally, it is with great satisfaction that I see these years lay behind me and not in front of me.
I am now looking back at 10 years of involvement in building the Real Stevia™ Company and getting the EU approval for Steviol Glycosides. This is why it is such a satisfaction to see that, once Stevia enters the market, the consumers immediately recognize and are attracted to such sustainably produced products!
Well, of course it has been frustrating to watch the slow change pace of a food industry that is very conservative. The industry is highly profitable as it is and any change is seen as a risk. Mostly the food industry is reactive rather than proactive to changes in consumer demand.
My homeland Sweden is internationally seen as a trendsetter in consumer goods and food, which is why Coca-Cola Life selected Sweden as one of the two markets for test sales in Europe. Even so, the food companies here, with few exceptions, chose not to listen to changing consumer demands or trends, which are obvious to those of us who watch the news. They have had ample opportunities since day one of 2012 to launch Stevia products.
It is now 2014. Would you believe that this year two new Kvarg products have been launched with as much sugar as in Vanilla sauce!!!!! And marketed as health products!!!!!
WHO recommends a max intake of 6 teaspoons sugar per day for a grown woman.
One serving of these products already contains 8 teaspoons, exceeding your recommended daily intake!
Obviously not everybody has his/her ear to the ground!
Anyway; back to the survey:
- Out of 1.000 trendsetting Swedes 77% who tried Stevia products continued to buy them.
- There is a fundamentally positive attitude towards Stevia and only 12% are negative
It is also important to know that this survey was conducted before the launch of Coca-Cola Life and I am convinced that this massive marketing effort will make the results in the next survey even more astonishing!
The way in which the clever marketers of Coca-Cola Life are using Stevia is the same strategy as I always saw the opportunity of doing, – as a strategic ingredient.
Stevia is not to be hidden among other ingredients, but rather charging the whole product with lots of added value – “Meta Value” – using Stevia brands or just Stevia as markers.
It is disappointing to see; that some of the players in the food industry seem to be “rowing with one ore” when launching sugar loaded “Kvarg” and “sports drinks” in year 2014!
However it gives me a fuzzy warm feeling to have surveys and market dominators confirm what I have always told my audiences, during the last 10 years, that Stevia is a game changing product, a strategic ingredient which will come to improve the well being of consumers.
We are only seeing the beginning!
Looking forward to the next survey!
Founder, The Real Stevia Company