Tate & Lyle has acquired Sweet Green Fields (SGF), a global stevia solutions business. The deal simplifies the existing relationship of both companies by creating a fully integrated supply chain and commercial organization.
The acquisition also extends Tate & Lyle’s presence in the faster-growing Asia Pacific region with dedicated stevia production and research and development facilities located in Anji, China.
SGF brings a broad portfolio of stevia products and a fully integrated stevia supply chain to Tate & Lyle, including leaf sourcing, leaf varietal development, established agricultural programs and cost-efficient manufacturing.
The acquisition also strengthens Tate & Lyle’s position as a provider of sweetener solutions with the capabilities to create F&B products that are lower in sugar and calories and with cleaner labels for global customers.
“This move supports our strategy to grow our sweetener solutions portfolio and our purpose of ‘Improving Lives for Generations’ by helping us to deliver tasty food and beverages with less sugar to consumers worldwide,” says Tate & Lyle CEO Nick Hampton.
“Tate & Lyle is the ideal company to take Sweet Green Fields forward, supporting F&B customers across the globe and enabling healthier consumer diets,” adds Dean Francis, CEO, Sweet Green Fields.
A blossoming partnership
Tate & Lyle began its partnership with SGF in 2017, becoming the exclusive global distributor of SGF’s portfolio of stevia-based ingredients and solutions. Then, it acquired a 15 percent equity holding in SGF the following year.
Tate & Lyle’s acquisition of the remaining shares of SGF simplifies the existing relationship by creating a fully integrated supply chain and commercial organization, unified research and development capabilities and combined strengths to accelerate innovation and optimize production technologies.
Sweet Green Fields revenue for the year ending December 31, 2020, is expected to be around US$50 million, including revenue for products Tate & Lyle currently sells as distribution agents.
Stevia raises the bar
Stevia has been leading the way in the sweetener space for some time. The sweetener also works well with other flavors in the F&B sector.
Recent regulatory approval for stevia in F&B products has been a win for food manufacturers who want to utilize the high-intensity, zero-calorie sweetener with natural and clean attributes.
Manufacturers and consumers looking for sweeteners to reduce or remove sugar in a formulation or application intake are looking for a sweetness that sugar manifests and taste and mouthfeel, which offers a more sugar-like taste profile.
Consumers seeking low-calorie solutions are looking for natural or nutritious substitutes rather than artificial sweeteners.
According to an Innova Market Insights’ 2018 survey, nearly seven out of ten consumers across the countries surveyed (US, UK, France, Germany, China and Brazil) have reduced their sugar intake.
In the year ended March 31, 2020, Tate & Lyle’s stevia revenues grew by 23 percent, making it an essential contributor to New Products revenue growth.
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