Stevia to Go Mainstream Thanks to Coca-Cola?

Coca-Cola and Cargill have announced that they plan to begin using a stevia sweetener in their products. Stevia will be found in products that are sold in countries where stevia has been approved. In 2007 Coca-Cola and Cargill announced that they were excited to create their own stevia sweetener that they would call Rebiana.

Stevia: The Natural Sweetener of the Future?

Stevia is a natural sweetener that has gained the interest of many in recent years. This sweetener comes from a plant that is native to South America. The plant has shown the capability to provide natural sweetness to products and would easily be able to pull its weight against the current artificial sweeteners already on the market. The only thing currently holding stevia back is that it has only been approved in a handful of countries for commercial use, including Japan, Brazil, and China, but the United States, Canada, and Europe have yet to give the nod to the substance as a food additive.

Despite not yet being approved, Coca-Cola and Cargill were excited about the idea of using Stevia in their beverages. The tide is turning and more and more consumers are looking for more wholesome, natural products and many market analysts believe that Coca-Cola will be setting a trend by looking outside of the artificial sweeteners that are currently available. In hopes of getting such products in production and onto store shelves Coca-Cola filed 24 different patent applications for the ingredient and the two companies are expected to petition the US Food and Drug Administration for approval in the near future.

While the patents and use of the ingredient have not yet been approved in the United States, the corporate duo will not wait to start their marketing. Coca-Cola and Cargill have said that they will start marketing Rebiana and products made with the ingredient where there is already approval and then they will simply take this marketing strategy elsewhere as regulations change. A Cargill spokesman said, “We will sell in the markets where regulatory approval already exists and we’ll work through the paths for regulatory approval in other countries around the world, including the US,” which proves that the companies are excited about taking their interest in this product to a very commercial and successful level. The representative went on to say that stevia will not only be used in beverages, but also in different foods.

Coca-Cola is expected to have the initial rights to use Rebiana in their beverages but then the pair of companies is expected to make the ingredient available for use in other products. Basically, the market will be wide open for use with this stevia based product and many food and beverage manufacturers in the west are simply keeping their fingers crossed waiting for the substance to be approved so they can start marketing more natural but great tasting products to their customers.

The creation of Rebiana/stevia sweetener is not just one that will benefit Coca-Cola and Cargill as this is a product that will be widely available, if it is approved by the FDA. It will give manufactures a less obvious choice when they are looking to make their food and beverage items more appealing to those that don’t want calories but do want something that tastes good and doesn’t have artificial sweeteners. Many market analysts believe that the USDA will follow the countries that have approved it and allow for Rebiana, a stevia based sweetener, to begin being used in the very near future. This is no doubt a development that should be exciting for manufacturers of these products as well as for those that consume them!

Comments

17 Responses to “Stevia to Go Mainstream Thanks to Coca-Cola?”

  1. Angelica on February 8th, 2008 12:15 pm

    Thank you so much for the information on this herb. I cook for my diabetic grandmother who loves sugar, and this seems like a healthy alternative.

  2. Merritt Adams on February 12th, 2008 12:23 pm

    Stevia from the web rearch I have done, appears to be a better alternative. It would appear to have lobbyists working against what would be a heathier alternative. I support Coca Cola and would ask our law makers to make this available to the American public.

    Merritt Adams

  3. Christian on March 13th, 2008 9:57 pm

    This Product seems to have Great potiential fo success around the Woprls, more information is required for aquiring this Product

  4. ANGIE HUCKS on March 17th, 2008 7:04 am

    I am addicted to Coke Classic and if they can use Stevia to make a good tasting Coke product w/o the after taste of diet soda I will be on the bandwagon!

  5. Leslie on April 18th, 2008 7:58 am

    I’ve been using Stevita brand stevia for 5 yrs & am sooooo excited to hear that Coke & Cargill are FINALLY banding together to get it passed the FDA. I’ve written the FDA many times & they have such lame excuses to let it pass. The real reason is money. Wisdom brand has their products sitting on the shelf at my local Walmart but they had to almost triple the price after paying all the fees to get it passed the FDA. Stevita wants to keep their price low so (so far) has refused to go that route. I’ve tried 4 brands total & Stevita is the best although I can say the process is getting better. The early products were grassy or licorice tasting. The newer ones don’t really have a taste, if you buy a good brand. Power to Coke & Cargill !!!

  6. Eriberto Descalso on April 23rd, 2008 12:33 pm

    I am a product manager of a beverage company here in the Philippines.. I want to know more about the Stevia product and on how can we use this in our main stream production of lets say pack fruit juices and stuff.

    Please write to me directly. Thank you and good day!

  7. penny avent on April 26th, 2008 12:41 pm

    i will be very happy when coca-cola starts using stevia in there products!!for four years, i have stopped eating & drinking everything with aspartame & spenda! i have been using stevia, & i just love it!! with no side effects at all!! i hope many more food companys will use stevia also.

  8. Ed McKinley on April 30th, 2008 11:31 pm

    I have prostate cancer and do not use sugar. I have used stevia packets for over 7 years.
    I like the taste in coffee, tea and oatmeal.

    Happy to hear that some mainstream businesses are going natural. My daughter used aspertame causing her to lose mental concentration and memory. She has switched to stevia. Much better!

    Ed McKinley

  9. Paula Suddreth on May 12th, 2008 8:08 pm

    Very thankful to hear that Coca-Cola plans to have a stevia-sweetened soft drink, and hope that this happens quickly. Have been a Coke fan for many years, but have given up sugar as much as possible, and do not want to consume anything sweetened with aspartame. We hear nothing good about that product. Am currently drinking only coffee and tea sweetened with stevia.

  10. Hiltrud Jones on September 11th, 2008 2:50 am

    The only question I have is: How pure will this “Rebiana” be? The stevia I am using is standardized to 90% steviosides and 40% rebaudioside. This is pretty much the highest standard (and probably the most expensive I assume). How far will this “Rebiana” be processed and chemically altered to be cheap enough for the industry??? With Splenda we were told in the beginning that it is natural since it is made from sugar. But it is in fact a chemical with adverse health effects. Will “Rebiana” be the new Splenda? I just don’t like the name in the first place, it already sounds like a chemical. Why not just leave it with Stevia, the plant name? Since this seems impossible I am getting the impression that the finished product will probably be a chemically altered so-called natural product. I might be wrong (I hope)….

  11. Karen on October 4th, 2008 8:51 pm

    I wrote Coca-Cola over 10 years ago and suggested they use Stevia instead of all these artifical (and harmful) sweetners. They returned my letter and said something about they could not take suggestions. I realize the FDA has been a huge problem. If Coca-Cola does this I will be thrilled. I don’t know why so many people put faith in the FDA when they approve drugs and chemicals that kills us and resist approving what will keep us healthy and well. When do you believe this will be on the market? Can’t be soon enough for me. :)

  12. Amy on December 4th, 2008 9:31 pm

    I have been using Stevia for approximately 5 years now and am very pleased with this sweetener. There are some that are better quality than others, but doing the research pays off with a healthy sweetener, with virtually no increase in the glycemic index…..that alone should send a loud message to the FDA….don’t they know that diabetes kills a large majority of people in this country!!! While I don’t drink soft drinks, I am thrilled to see a company really consider public health along with their profit margin, rather than at the expense of the public health. I do have many friends and family that this will benefit if approval is gotten. Way to go Coke

  13. Rob on January 11th, 2009 8:54 pm

    this is such a pile of bull I don’t know where to start. The only reason Stevia hasn’t been approved in the US is because it threatens all of the other artificial sweetners. Notice how they are applying for use of Stevia as a PROCESSED and Copyrighted sweetener called Rebiana”. Then ONLY that product is approved for use by the FDA, not Stevia itself, but ONLY Rebiana. Guess who makes out as the millionare? The only ones who get the FDA approval on a Stevia based sweetener. %$#@That. I heard Stevia plants are on the list of plants to potentially ban because they are such a threat to commercial sweeteners. be wary of the corporate interests in Stevia they may be trying to take the simple use of this plant away.

  14. Gary on March 13th, 2009 9:06 pm

    The funny thing that no one realizes is that the aspartame and artificial sweetener movement was put through by coca cola and pepsico! They pushed it through years ago through an FDA approval loophole. Ironically they (the artificial) sweeteners are linked to MANY health problems running the gamout all the way to weight gain to cancers! Maybe Coca Cola is looking to bring back the Karmic balance. lol. Honestly, with the huge health movement it is pure marketing savvy and a better health alternative if you drink these products. Stevia is a great herb to use to sweeten and no blood sugar spikes! Long story short… The big companies aren’t exactly on your side, they probably realize all the huge medical ramifications to be soon dispelled. As well as keeping their pocket books fat as ever! At least it is heathier though!

  15. Happy Vegetable » Blog Archive » Sweet Stevia on March 22nd, 2009 12:44 pm
  16. Carolyn on October 18th, 2009 4:13 am

    I am tickled to see Stevia products coming soon. Diet Coke, is so yuky. Hopefully, we will have a great tasting soda for diabetics and all health conscious users of these products.

  17. Wendell on November 29th, 2010 2:47 pm

    I dont know why mainstream media makes such a big deal over these big corps that are now getting on the bandowagon of using Stevia. Sodas with stevia have been around for at least the last 7 years in Health Food Stores and for the uber savvy like me, I’ve always bought a flavored seltzer water and added liquid stevia to taste and was satisfifed with the results. Stevia producers in the U.S. and healthy conscious soda makers have had to market their products under a diet aide cause of the deep pockets of Sugar makers and subsitute sugar makers like Splenda and Aspartme who have blocked the way for these products by use of the FDA. Google it…

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