Stevia Nutra Corporation (OTCQB: STNT) – (The Company), an Agro-Management company focused on stevia agronomics, having just reported a successful first harvest, is developing plans to expand its production capacity of high quality stevia in Cambodia. This ramp up in production capacity coincides with a number of positive announcements by leading food and beverage brands to increase the use of the all-natural, zero calorie sweetener ‘stevia’ in their ingredient mix.
One clear example of this trend is Coca-Cola’s recent announcement that its regular Sprite will no longer be available in the United Kingdom, to be replaced with a version that uses the sweetener stevia, and has 30 percent fewer calories. The change by the world's biggest beverage maker comes in response to a government push calling on companies to address obesity. Coca-Cola already made a similar move with Sprite in France last year. Sprite is Coca-Cola's fifth most popular brand in the United Kingdom, after Coke, Diet Coke, Schweppes and Fanta.
The announcement came ahead of the airing of Coca-Cola's anti-obesity TV ad in the United Kingdom. That ad first aired in the United States in January amid increasing fire over the role sodas play in fueling obesity rates. New York City, for example, is looking to enact a first-in-the-U.S. ban on sugary drinks bigger than 16 ounces in restaurants, movie theatres and other venues. Coke has already been experimenting with reduced-calorie versions of Sprite and Fanta that use stevia in select U.S. markets since this summer 2012.
"It's pretty clear where the trend line is pointing”, said Stevia Nutra President, Brian Dicks. “The big food and beverage brands and manufacturers are addressing the “obesity-battle”, and consumer demands, with new healthier products and formulations that are lower in calories. Stevia really hits the sweet spot because it delivers on taste, calories and is naturally derived from a plant, not from a lab. There is not enough stevia grown in the world to meet current demand and Stevia Nutra intends to expand its operations and capacity dramatically to take advantage. It’s very simple. Consumers want stevia; we will grow it.”Stevia Nutra CEO, Dr. Hilary Rodrigues further noted, “We applaud Coca-Cola, with its global reach and influence on consumer tastes, for taking proactive steps in expanding stevia use as a food and beverage ingredient. In doing so they are extending the benefits stevia offers to consumers, especially those battling diabetes and other obesity related illnesses.” About Us Stevia Nutra: Stevia Nutra is an Agro-Management company focused on stevia agronomics which includes plant breeding, proprietary agricultural practices and post-harvest techniques. Stevia Nutra intends to invest heavily in R&D and IP acquisition and manage large-scale plantations for the production of high value stevia products.