The study was based on a survey of consumers across the US in May 2011, and also found that stevia ranked highly alongside other natural sweeteners like sugar and honey for overall positive impression.
PureCircle’s vice president global marketing & innovation Jason Hecker said: “We had a hypothesis in early 2009 that the stevia market needed to be looked at very differently from earlier high intensity sweeteners. Traditionally, branded sweeteners have had much greater awareness and positive impression than their unbranded counterparts. Overall, the trends with stevia are the reverse. The data indicates that consumers find the unbranded message, in fact, to be the most natural. Perhaps this shouldn’t be completely surprising as the commonly used term for the sweetener is also the name of the plant.”