PureCircle produces and sells plant-based sweetener stevia

PureCircle produces and sells plant-based sweetener stevia

Stevia producer PureCircle has said sales of stevia will continue to grow as more markets look to reduce sugar intake. 

In its full-year 2016 results statement, issued yesterday, the plant-based sweetener company said macro trends continue to develop in favour of its products. Sales increases in the 12 months to the end of June were driven by "accelerating market adoption of stevia". 

The group said that stevia had been approved in India and Brazil in the past year. PureCircle also highlighted several sugar tax developments, including the impending implementation in the UK, potential tax increases in Mexico and its introduction in parts of the US

Other countries proposing legislation are: Colombia, Brazil, Portugal, South Africa, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Philippines, Australia, Saudi Arabia and Egypt, according to PureCircle.

Meanwhile, the company reported hold-ups with US customs, following allegations that shipments had come from a company accused of forced prison labour. The company said it had provided documentation to prove this was not the case. A 'number' of shipments remain in detention. "PureCircle remains committed to human rights and fair use of labour," the firm said. "As we expand our vertically integrated supply chain, we remain committed to traceability and transparency as we verify compliance with our global labour policy and supplier code of conduct and remain confident that this matter will be resolved in due course."

Company CEO Magomet Malsagov said that despite challenging market conditions, the company had made good progress.  

"The market for PureCircle stevia has continued to develop strongly with favourable regulatory developments and continued roll-out of ever larger food and beverage brands using stevia, he said. "Significant milestones in the year include the approval of high-purity stevia in India and Brazil, Reb M [Rebaudioside M] approval in Europe and the launch of our Zeta family of new ingredients, closing the taste gap for low- or no-calorie applications and opening up new F&B categories' adoption of stevia. These developments underpin our confidence in the long-term prospects for our business and support the investments we are making to increase production capacity and further product innovation."

In July this year, PureCircle expand its stevia footprint outside of China with a US$100m investment.