PARIS, November 16, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --
The European Commission has approved last Saturday the regulation of Stevia extracts (steviol glycosides) for use as sweetener products and as food additives at an EU level. This approval means Merisant, a global market leader in table top sweeteners, will launch its Stevia-based tabletop sweetener, Canderel Green®, available to the European consumers on December 2nd 2011.
Canderel Green® will be distributed in various formats (powder, tablets and stick formats) to offer a greater choice to consumers, and will be available in most major retailers and specialty outlets in Europe covering more than 80% of the food consumption.
Following significant investment in the European countries, Merisant aims for leadership position in the European markets within its first year of launch. The European market for sweeteners generates $500 million and the European market for Stevia-based sweeteners should reach an additional $100 million next year.
In France since its Stevia-based sweeteners launch, Merisant has already gained an 80% share of the Stevia-based sweetener market by value, with half of these consumers being new to the low-calorie sweetener market.
Stevia-based sweeteners are already approved for use in other markets including the US, Japan, China and Australia and France where Merisant enjoys great success.
Originally native to Paraguay and Brazil, the Stevia plant has been used for centuries as a sweetener. The potential of Stevia extracts as sweetener components is significant, since its sweetening power is naturally up to 300 times higher than sugar, whilst being non-nutritive.
As a natural origin, low-calorie alternative to sugar, Canderel Green® will provide a new way to enjoy sweetness and can prove extremely useful in helping maintain a healthy diet and lifestyle.
Hugues Pitre, Merisant Vice-President & Managing Director EAME, explains "Merisant is a global market leader in tabletop sweeteners and we have already secured a leading position in France on this new market. Based on our rich heritage of research and expertise into perfecting the application of Stevia extracts into sweeteners and significant investment in Europe, we are very confident in achieving similar success with Canderel Green in all the European markets in the upcoming months."
Merisant was formed in 2000 to manufacture and market the world's most popular tabletop sweeteners, Equal® and Canderel®, and over a dozen other available formats. Today, the Group owns 19 brands in over 90 countries. With over 500 employees positioned globally - diverse, inspired and dedicated to continuing to expand the incredible successes of these well-established and premium brands.
From the start, Merisant has aimed to raise the bar through continued global expansion, by broadening its audience through new products, and improving productivity through technological advances. The Group strives to develop products which answer consumers' specific needs to help improve their lifestyle on a daily basis.
 In France since 2010, Stevia-based sweeteners sales have generated €16 million which represent 30% of the whole sweeteners market. Merisant has launched Canderel Green® and Pure Via™ in France. Since its launch in France, Merisant Stevia-based sweetener, Pure Via™, is N°1 on the market with 5 million products sold and sales reaching €10 million.
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