Youssef Hamayet: HYET Sweet was initially founded to supply sucralose to the European food and beverage industry. Within a short time, it had built up a complementary sweetener and special sugars product portfolio and, in 2015, it acquired an aspartame manufacturing site in France. After adding exclusive access to sucralose and acesulfame K, the company is able to satisfy a wide range of demands with its global products and services.
In the late 1980s, the introduction of aspartame and acesulfame K triggered a tremendous amount of development of low-calorie and sugar-free products. Since then, the market for low and no-calorie products has grown worldwide by about 4.5% a year, and is predicted to reach $112 billion in 2022. In the US and Europe, the low-calorie market is mature and is dominated by aspartame in combination with acesulfame K. Innovations are now more about new combinations of well-known sweeteners. The world is looking for novel uses of aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose, and, to a lesser extent, steviol-glycosides (stevia) mixes, which suffer from aftertaste issues.
The highest use of these is still in beverages, which is surely a reflection of consumer taste expectations. A new drink made with a well-selected sweetener mix, in combination with a popular flavour, is an extremely good base for market success. As the pressure from politics and society forces the industry to turn to sugar-free and low calorie beverages, manufactures will use combinations of aspartame, acesulfame K and sucralose in mainstream products. New offerings will probably use special sugars that have a low glycaemic impact.
The permanent availability of affordable, calorific food and beverages in the West has created health issues. Data on the problems caused by being overweight applies to nearly every industrialised area in the world and this is something about which consumers are concerned. Tasty, non-calorific foods are therefore required. Well-formulated, delicious and calorie-free alternatives are easily integrated into daily lives without consumers being aware of missing anything.
In the long run, only great-tasting products will become part of a daily diet. With this in mind, HYET Sweet expects that wellformulated combinations of high-intensity sweeteners will be crucial in beverages and other food categories.
A substantial group of consumers is attracted by all-natural claims. In reality, using all-natural ingredients does not necessarily offer more security, or preclude abuse or misleading claims.
If something has been added to a product in order to falsely suggest that a valuable ingredient is present, it doesn't matter whether that additive is natural or not. Ingredients and additives, whether they are naturally derived or manmade, ought to be safe to use as long as the manufacturer has remained in line with the applicable food laws.
Participating in the food and beverage market with products that are just based on attractive claims, while failing to provide the tastes that consumers expect, is not the basis of a sustainable business.