Robert Jonsson, a partner at Ingredient Marketing International, wrote a detailed report outlining his experience at Stevia World Europe. We are happy to present part 1 of this detailed report, where he outlines the highlights of the conference.
The Stevia World team of the well-known Singapore based conference organizer Centre for Management Technology (CMT) successfully launched the European version of their global Stevia World series of conferences to the food & beverage industry on November 18 in Frankfurt.
The event was a runaway success with delegates participating from not only Europe, but also virtually all parts of the world, demonstrating the attraction of the Stevia World Europe program and the immense interest in this emerging high-intensity sweetener.
After four GRAS approvals in the US early this year stevia extract has already captured 11% of the US tabletop market within the same number of months after FDA approval. This is a breathtaking pace of market penetration by any historical standards in such a competitive market segment. Should this soon repeat itself in other segments of the market, stevia extract is set to open a new chapter in the world of high intensity sweeteners. Consumers and industry alike are quickly recognizing stevia extract as being the missing link in the sweetener world between zero calories, taste and naturalness.
In Frankfurt Stevia World Europe’s comprehensive program provided delegates with a profound insight into the features and benefits of stevia extract within a one-day time frame. High caliber speakers from all over the world managed to bring a complex message across with simplicity and clarity without being superficial.
Conference chairman Mr. Angus Flood, Head Intl. Marketing at Pure Circle in his legendary freewheeling style managed to give the event an easygoing and relaxed atmosphere despite the seriousness of the topics.
The conference was honored by the presence of the three global stevia pioneers known by insiders as the “Asian Father of Stevia” Mr. Toyoshige Morita, the “American Father of Stevia” Mr. James A. May and the “European Father of Stevia” Dr. Jan Geuns.
If there would be a “Son of Stevia”, the title doubtless would to go to conference panelist Mr. Joel Perret of the GreenSweet Company who thanks to his incredible tenacity and optimism has recently prompted the French AFFSA authorities to approve stevia extract as a high-intensity sweetener. Considering the hurdles involved, this is a monumental achievement and pivotal for the advancement of stevia to finally obtain the long awaited and much deserved European wide approval.
Mr. Perret’s admirable capability in explaining complicated matters in a simple way must apparently have had a convincing effect even on French regulators. During this conference he skillfully demonstrated his art by uncovering the secrets of stevia extraction to the audience in 30 minutes.
The conference program which was tailored for the European audience provided delegates with answers to “all you wanted to know about stevia, but never had anybody to ask”. It covered market analysis, regulatory, product quality, cultivation, flavor masking & sweetness enhancement and Asian marketing experiences.
It closed with a panel discussion about the future of stevia, featuring executives from Nestlé, Firmenich, PureCircle, Sweet Green Fields and Wisdom Natural Brands.