Sweetener Market Grows in Costa Rica

More and more brands are starting in a market that is beginning to become saturated.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A new product has recently hit the light or low calorie sweetener market, which are increasingly offering alternatives to those seeking a sugar substitute for their food and drink.

La Liga Agrícola de la Caña de Azúcar (Agricultural League of Sugarcane) has entered the market with the product Natuvia, a natural sweetener produced in the country in partnership with the Stevia Global Institute, who produce Stevia, natural fruit extracts which are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar and possess virtually no calories.

While new products continue to arrive appealing to different market niches, the debate over whether the market has become saturated or not continues.

Brenes Caesar's article in elfinanciero, notes, "According to Jose Alberto Mora, the Purchasing Manager for Auto Mercado, on average one new product a year enters the market, Natuvia and PureVia were the last to join.
And how could they not? According to research by IT, the percentage of housewives who consume these products at least once a week increased from 23% in 2008 to 32.7% last year.
Enrique Vidal, the owner of Teleno Nieves, which has been trading Low sugar Stevia since 2007, agrees. Although Vidal has seen an increase in sales, he believes that Costa Ricans still prefer artificial substitutes. However, Mora believes there is room for others to grow. For example, the Stevia brand now corners 15% of AutoMercado’s sales in this product category, and has shown sustained growth in recent years. "

More on this topic

Protectionists Back to the Burden

July 2019

Arguing that local production must be protected, Costa Rican sugar manufacturers demand that, in addition to the 45% common levy already charged on imported sugar, an additional tariff must be imposed.

The request was made by Liga Agricola Industrial de la Caña de Azucar (Laica) to the Ministry of Economy, Industry and Commerce (MEIC), as businessmen claim that there is an exponential growth in sugar imports in recent years, which has put in check the Costa Rican sugar cane sector.

Growing Consumption of Natural Sweeteners

October 2014

Projections are for growth of 5% a year in the demand for natural sweeteners with no calories up to 2017, occurring mainly in developed markets such as Europe, Japan and North America.

From a statement issued by the Costa Rican Foreign Trade Promotion Office (PROCOMER):

Costa Rican Sugar Production Increases

December 2009

Sugar production for the 2009/10 harvest will sum 7.3 million sacks of 50 kilograms.

Data from Laica, the Industrial Sugar Cane Association, explains the increase as a result of favorable climate in the regions where sugar is grown.

Edgar Herrera, Laica director, told Nacion.com: "In Costa Rica, 12.000 farmers grow sugar cane in 53.000 hectares. This industry accounts for 25.000 direct jobs and 100.000 indirect ones".

Laica Invests $5 Million in Costa Rica

March 2009

The new investment was made in a new specialized facility for the production of liquid sugar located in Alajuela.

Ana Cristina Camacho wrote in the El Financiero website: "The new Laica facility joins the existing industrial complex in El Coyol, Alajuela, which has experienced rapid growth in real estate investment for industrial, manufacturing and commercial use in the last few years.

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