More and more, consumers are looking for healthier food choices. Two major trends driven by this change include a desire to reduce sugar consumption and interest in natural and organic foods. In fact, NPD Group’s 2017 Eating Patterns in America study showed that for the first time, the number of people who check for sugar on nutritional labels surpassed those checking for calorie count. In the wake of the ever-changing consumer landscape, stevia sweeteners have recently emerged as the top low-calorie sweetener on the market. Stevia sweeteners offer consumers the best of both worlds with a natural, low calorie sugar substitute.
Despite the fact that research shows almost half of all low-calorie sweetener users are purchasing stevia for use at home, it’s uncommon to see stevia offered in foodservice settings. Restaurants that don’t offer a stevia option, however, are missing out an opportunity to improve the guests experience. “Currently, we only see about 10 percent of foodservice establishments offering stevia sweeteners, leaving a great opportunity for restaurant s to delight guests by making a simple addition to their sugar caddies,” Amy Kleppinger, brand manager at SPLENDA Naturals says.
The slow adoption of stevia in foodservice may be due to the fact that some consumers say stevia has an unpleasant aftertaste. Taste is the most important criteria in sweetener selection in foodservice making this a serious drawback to offering many of the products available in the market today. This challenge turned into inspiration for the SPLENDA Brand, which has developed an alternative to address consumer desire for a great tasting, natural option: SPLENDA Naturals Stevia Sweetener.
SPLENDA Naturals is made with a sweeter part of the stevia leaf, Reb D, that has no bitter aftertaste. Until now, the only stevia sweeteners in the market were made with Reb A that can have a bitter aftertaste. SPLENDA Naturals is not only the best tasting stevia available but also contains no artificial ingredients, added colors, or flavors and is made using only non-GMO ingredients. “We think this combination of great taste, natural ingredients, and no sugar and calories is the future of the stevia market,” Kleppinger says.
While packets are the form that restaurant guests are the most accustomed to seeing, SPLENDA Naturals is also available in a granulated form that can be used in recipes as a sugar replacement. In addition to providing a sugar-free, no calorie alternative in beverages, it is an excellent option for breakfast menus featuring baked goods and smoothies. “We are confident that SPLENDA Naturals is the best choice for restaurants because it’s the best-tasting stevia option out there,” Kleppinger says. “It offers guests a natural option without sacrificing taste.”7