How to Find Stevia
Stevia is available as an ingredient in over 14,500 food and beverage products around the world including teas, soft drinks, juices, yogurt, soymilk, baked goods, granola bars, alcoholic beverages, chewing gum, cereal, salad dressings, confections and as a tabletop sweetener.
Table top stevia packets are common in North America, whereas tablets are more popular in Europe and Asia, and stevia liquids are preferred in South America. Other forms for stevia – such as crude stevia – may be found at alternative food stores and online, but this is not the form approved for foods and beverages by most countries.
Because stevia can be up to 350 times sweeter than sugar, you’ll need less of it to get the same level of sweetness, so it is not a 1:1 replacement.
Food labeling helps consumers make informed choices when purchasing food and beverage products to consume. Around the world, food policies have been put in place to ensure you have the ingredient information and the nutrients provided per serving at your fingertips on the package itself. Depending on what country you are in, you can usually find this information in an ingredient statement which lists the individual ingredients, or the nutrients on a nutrition label which lists each nutrient and the amount offered per serving.
Calories and key nutrients are generally listed on most food and beverage product labels. You will not see stevia listed not on the nutrition facts panel as it is a zero calorie ingredient and is not listed as a carbohydrate, fiber or added sugar. However, you will see the benefits it provides through the reduction in overall calories per serving, and/or in the reduction of grams of “added sugars” if that is listed on the nutrition label. The exact list of nutrients included and how they are spelled out on labels does vary country by country. In the ingredient statement, which will also be found on most packaged foods and beverages, you will see stevia called out. Ingredients are usually listed in descending order by weight, from most to least. Due to different regulations in each country, ingredients sometimes go by different names. For this reason, you may see stevia listed in the ingredient statement in these ways, but know that it is all the same:
- High purity stevia
- Stevia extract
- Stevia leaf extract
- Steviol glycosides
- Rebaudioside A (Reb A)
- Mintel Global New Products Database (GNPD) September 2017