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The company says the higher Reb A yield will ultimately lower stevia’s cost-in-use.
Stevia supplier Howtian (China) reports it harvested the industry’s highest-ever yield of Reb A this season. The company says it achieved up to a 12% average Reb A yield from its stevia crop this growing season, which it calls a milestone for the company and the industry. Ultimately, it says, the higher yield will lower the cost-in-use of stevia.
Howtian’s Project Shennong spent the past decade investing in R&D to develop stevia plant varieties with higher steviol glycoside yields, then testing and scaling those for mass production.
“Ten years ago, the average Reb A yield of the stevia plant was about 4.0% and has increased to about 7.0% over the years,” said Tom Fuzer, Howtian’s vice president of market strategy, in a press release. “We are delighted to announce that this season, we have achieved a minimum 9.5% Reb A yield, with some plants as high as 12% average yield, which is the highest ever seen in the stevia industry.”
The company calls this a “turning point as stevia costs approach parity with artificial sweeteners.” Historically, stevia has cost 6-15 times more than artificial sweeteners.
“Companies once compelled by cost constraints to choose artificial sweeteners now no longer need to compromise,” Fuzer said. “We anticipate the adoption of stevia to accelerate significantly in the most price-sensitive markets, including beverages, snacking, and sports nutrition.”