Stevia Takes a Back Seat

There is a new challenger in the no-calorie alternative sweetener race. Stevia may still be king, but monk fruit (a small gourd-like fruit native to China) is building its own power base.

It may be an indication that not everyone is enamored of stevia right now. Stevia may not have lived up to its promise yet, said Tom Vierhile, innovation insights director for market research firm Datamonitor. “Monk fruit is trying to pursue the same type of growth path that stevia took. One of the major categories you see it break out into is tabletop sweeteners.”

A noted difference is that monk fruit sweetener is coming from an actual fruit, which may be easier for consumers to buy into than stevia, which comes from an herb.