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The global sugar substitutes market size was valued at USD 7.50 billion in 2021. The market is projected to grow from USD 7.91 billion in 2022 to USD 12.86 billion by 2029, exhibiting a CAGR of 7.20% during the forecast period. The global COVID-19 pandemic has been unprecedented and staggering, with sugar substitutes experiencing higher-than-anticipated demand across all regions compared to pre-pandemic levels. Based on our analysis, the global market exhibited a growth of 4.06% in 2020 as compared to 2019.
Sugar substitutes are plant-based substances called artificial sweeteners that enhance the flavor of food and possess similar flavor and texture as conventional sugar. These products are mainly developed to replace or reduce the dependence on sugar. Some of the most widely used raw materials for making these products include stevia, sucralose, and others. They are considered healthier and environmentally sustainable alternatives to conventional sugar.
Increased Demand for Artificial Sugar Products Supported the Market Growth
The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak has caused a global standstill in various sectors, including the food and beverage industry, and negatively impacted the global economy by disrupting the manufacturing and transportation sector. This caused ripple effects in all the related sectors bringing the entire global economy to a standstill. Even the consumption behaviors underwent significant changes during the period. As governments worldwide started implementing strict lockdown measures without stating the exact date when it would be uplifted, the consumers were alarmed, causing stockpiling of various food and beverage products. Such behaviors were exhibited to ensure that they could survive a longer lockdown period without the need to go out of their houses.
Moreover, the manufacturing companies have seen a disturbance in their supply chains, mainly due to transportation restrictions during the peak period of the pandemic. This impacted the import and export of raw materials, causing a slowdown in the availability of products such as stevia leaves that are used for manufacturing these products. Thus, lack of availability of raw materials caused a slowdown in product manufacturing and impacted the company's ability to launch new products in the market. The impact on the production of such products further impacted the export of final products. The disruptions also led to delays in the end-product delivery, thus upsetting the production operations of related industries, which use these products as one of their raw materials. For instance, China and Germany were not only the world's largest exporters but also among the key contributors to the supply chain. Hence, sugar substitutes manufacturers relying heavily on the import of artificial sweeteners from these countries, specifically stevia leaves products, suffered due to movement restrictions imposed during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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Adoption of New Diet Regimes and Demand for Clean Label Food Ingredients Support the Market Growth
As sugar reduction becomes crucial, appealing taste, texture, and mouthfeel are equally important. The utilization of multiple ingredients to make up the functional losses due to sugar removal is the area that manufacturers are currently focusing on to deliver cost-effective sweeteners. They are also working on extending the products' shelf life, improving their overall taste, and reducing the bitter aftertaste of certain products.
Furthermore, manufacturers are also embarking upon pairing plant-based sweeteners with plant-based products to cater to the shift away from animal-derived products. Sugar-free and sugar-reduction are also becoming popular in the emerging economies and opening new opportunities for processed food manufacturers to develop new products for the market in the coming years.
Negative Health Impacts Due to Over Consumption of Sugar Drives Market Growth
Rapid industrialization across the globe has led to an increase in urbanization in recent years. People are leading a more sedentary lifestyle with more time spent in the office and lack of exercise. Hence, an imbalance in food intake is causing energy imbalance in their bodies. The quantity of calorie intake exceeds the number of calories, which is burned by the body. Consumption of calorie-rich food products has led to fat accumulation in the body and obesity. Obesity, in turn, is responsible for causing several health problems such as type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, high blood pressure, and cancer. Thus, consumers are increasingly demanding low-calorie sweeteners for food and beverages in recent years.
Huge consumption of sugar or sugar-based food products in countries, such as the U.S, China, Japan, and India, is one of the key factors contributing to the growth of the diabetic population globally. Furthermore, as per data from the International Diabetes Foundation, around 537 million people worldwide have diabetes. The cells of diabetic people become insulin resistant, so they cannot absorb sugar. Thus, consuming products that contain sugar in unregulated quantities can severely impact the health of such people. This has further created the necessity of substituting sugar with other sugar alternatives having low-calorie content and similar sugar-like sweetness levels.
Favorable Government Policies in Various Countries to Ensure Positive Growth Rate of the Market Growth
Consumers growing an inclination toward healthy food and increasing focus on good health and wellness have significantly increased the use of products with no added sugars and sweeteners. In France and the U.K, nationwide government actions to reduce sugar intake through selective taxation, reformulations, and explanatory front packaging labels are expected to promote the growth of the market. These activities align with the policy tools recommended in WHO's 2015-2020, European Food and Nutrition Action Plan to create a healthier food environment.
Following the World Health Organization's 2013-2020 Global Action Plan for the Prevention and Control of Noncommunicable Diseases (GAP) in 2015, 20 government agencies introduced taxes to reduce the incidence of obesity and diabetes, especially for Sugar-sweetened Beverages (SSB). By mid-2018, 39 countries introduced nutrition taxes and were more committed to voluntary sugar reduction methods to promote optimized nutrition. In 2022, the NITI Aayog of India also proposed to the Indian government to undertake taxation policies for food products, which have high sugar content. The taxation measures explicitly aimed to influence product reformulation. This reformulation involves reducing added sugars without replacement, replacing sugar with non-caloric sweeteners, or replacing sugar with substitute ingredients.
Negative Impact on Consumer Faith due to Contradictory Results of Clinical Trials Hampers Market Growth
There are many controversies associated with sugar substitutes, and these contradictory opinions regarding the negative health impact of these products affect public perception. This, in turn, impacts the sales of these products in the market. For instance, Pepsico removed aspartame-based diet coke products from the markets in 2016 over research studies that suggest that it causes cancer among consumers. Additionally, in 2017, new Canadian Medical Association Journal data indicated that artificial sweeteners might negatively affect gut bacteria, metabolism, and appetite. Thus, the growing ambiguity associated with the safety of artificial sweeteners in various food products significantly hampers their adoption in the market.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved products are considered safe for consumption and used in various industries to manufacture diverse food and beverage products. Though they are considered safe by the FDA, and the evidence supports at least one short-term weight management benefit, there are questionable health downsides associated with non-nutritive sweeteners. Continuous use of artificial sweeteners is expected to overstimulate the sugar receptors of the brain and increase the tolerance limit of sugar products. Hence, consumers may find unsweet and less sweet food, such as fruits and vegetables, unpalatable in the long run.
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Wide Application in Food & Beverage to Promote the Growth of the Saccharin Segment
On the basis of type, the market is segmented into aspartame, ace. k, saccharin, sucralose, stevia, sugar alcohols, and others. The usage of saccharin is especially important for people whose diets require calorie or carbohydrate restriction and people with obesity and diabetes. Some major ingredients used for making less to no sugar products include saccharin, sucralose, stevia, sugar alcohols, and others. In recent years, manufacturers have incorporated artificial sweeteners in their products, which inflated the popularity of sweeteners in other regions such as Europe and Asia Pacific. The Food and Drug Administration authorizes saccharin for use as sweeteners. Hence, it is used in various applications such as fruit juice, drink bases, and processed foods. It also enhances the flavor and taste of the food and beverage products.
Increasing Consumer Preference for Low Calorie Sweeteners in Food Products to Propel the Growth of the Food & Beverage Segment
Sugar substitutes are now used in beverages such as carbonated diet drinks, flavored waters, and other beverages. Stevia is an important product used in beverages. It is the preferred low-calorie, sugar-free, zero glycemic index product for making energy drinks, flavored drinks, and fruit juices. Major players in the beverage industry also favor other ingredients such as saccharin and sucralose. Sweeteners are becoming increasingly popular for making beverages. A small amount of High-Intensity Sweetener (HIS) is sufficient to provide the product with the required level of sweetness, which remains an economical option for the beverage industry. Therefore, expanding consumer base for beverage products provides incentives for developing new sugar alternatives and products, thereby driving the food & beverage segment growth in the coming years.
North America Sugar Substitutes Market Size, 2021 (USD Billion)
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North America is one of the major consumers of these products globally. One of the major drivers is the growing need to raise awareness of low-calorie food consumption in the region. The popularity of healthy foods and beverages among the North American population is the major factor expected to drive the sugar substitutes market growth.
Food trends in the U.S. have shifted dramatically due to socioeconomic and demographic shifts. The younger generation appreciates experimenting with new and creative products, and awareness about diet-related diseases coupled with regulatory changes in the U.S. consider sugar addition in minimum or required amount. In addition, the food and beverage industry is increasingly replacing sugar with artificial sweeteners in many products that traditionally contain sugar.
In Asia Pacific, industrialization has led to an increase in disposable income among the middle-class population. This has increased the demand for health-enhancing products, including high-quality and nutritious food products. The demand for low-calorie foods and beverages in Asia Pacific is increasing. This increase is due to rising health consciousness among consumers, thus driving the market growth. Sugar alternatives are commonly used in beverages, ice creams, powdered drink mixes, sauces, jellies, puddings, candies, dairy products, powdered drink mixes, and other refined foods.
In Europe, different sugar replacements such as stevia, sugar alcohols, sucralose, and similar products are highly popular among consumers. This has led sugar substitutes manufacturers to explore the possibility of developing innovative, high-quality, tastier, and nutritious products for the market. Food and beverage companies in Europe are looking for sweeteners that are sustainable and healthy to consume. A major selling point for stevia and monk fruit sweeteners is that they are calorie-free. Consumer awareness of stevia is increasing among European consumers, while applications in food and beverage products are expanding. European consumers are increasingly looking for healthier and more natural products. It is also believed that stevia production has a lower environmental impact than conventional sugar. For instance, in 2019, Tate & Lyle partnered with the NGO Earthwatch to measure the sustainability of its stevia supply chain.
The production of sugar substitutes in South America is concentrated in two major countries such as Brazil and Argentina. The South American market is primarily driven by rising awareness of the harmful effects of sugar on health; the food processing market is shifting toward reduced or no sugar consideration for product formulations due to increasing scientific evidence linking excessive sugar consumption to degenerative diseases and lifestyle.
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In the Middle East and Africa, busy schedules due to lifestyle changes, rising disposable income, increasing urbanization, and a growing working class population are pushing consumers toward baked goods, confectionery, beverages, and sugar alternatives. As concerns about obesity and diabetes have increased in recent years, demand for low-calorie sweeteners from food and beverage manufacturers has increased. Furthermore, the growing demand for such products in the UAE is primarily driven by obesity, heart diseases, and others among the population. Consumers who eat bakery products regularly are more likely to develop chronic diseases such as obesity, atherosclerosis, and diabetes. This market in the UAE is expected to grow due to rising awareness about personal health.
Innovative Sugar Substitutes Product Launch by Key Players to Help Gain Higher Market Share
The global market is a semi-consolidated market with several large corporations and manufacturers operating worldwide in different countries. Some major global market players are developing new products according to the latest industry trends such as Cargill Incorporated, Tale & Lyle, ADM, DuPont, and JK Sucralose. Additionally, various manufacturers provide a free sample as soon as they introduce products in the market to foster customer relationships. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic had a negative impact on the sugar substitutes industry as it disrupted the supply chains and manufacturing processes. As industries were shut down during the period to reduce the spread of the infection, a demand and supply gap in raw materials was created in the market. This created an opportunity for manufacturers to identify the market needs and expand their business through market expansion or by launching new products. Furthermore, consumers are also willing to experience new food products, which are healthy and environmentally sustainable. This led to increased sales and also created an opportunity to ensure increase in the sugar substitutes market share.
An Infographic Representation of Sugar Substitutes Market
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The research report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as competitive landscape, type, and application. Besides this, it offers insights into the market sugar substitutes market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors mentioned above, the report encompasses several factors contributing to the market's growth in recent years.
Value (USD Billion)
Fortune Business Insights says that the global market size was valued at USD 7.50 billion in 2021 and is projected to reach USD 12.86 billion by 2029.
.The market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.20% during the forecast period (2022-2029).
Saccharin is the leading type segment in the global market.
Negative health impacts due to over consumption of sugar drives the market growth.
Cargill Incorporated, Tale & Lyle, ADM, Ingredion Incorporated, and Roquette Freres are a few of the top players in the global market.
North America is expected to hold the highest market share throughout the forecast period.
Food & beverage segment is expected to be the fastest-growing segment during the forecast period.
Complicated manufacturing process resulting in high product prices is a major market restraint.
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