NutraSweet Co. isn't worried about the new plant-based sweetener that is hitting the mass market later this year. The Food and Drug Administration in December cleared the way for Coca-Cola and Pepsi to use a new zero-calorie sweetener. NutraSweet President Bill DeFer said the stevia products aren't direct competition for its existing sweeteners. The company is working on its own product, he said, which is currently referred to as NutraSweet Natural with Stevia. "We're not expecting a lot of impact on our business. The global demand for aspartame continues to increase," Mr. DeFer said. When NutraSweet launches its new Stevia product, it will be sold to the food service industry. The sweetener is being developed at NutraSweet's laboratory in Chicago.
Bonnie - you better believe NutraSweet is worried. Someone who used to work said as far back as ten years ago they were doing everything possible to avoid stevia being approved for the mass market in the US. Now that the time has come, they are scrambling to keep pace.