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Natural Sweetener: Monk Fruit

Monk fruit, also called luo han guo, is a member of the melon family that is most commonly found in Asia and China. Monk fruit’s pulp contains compounds called mogrosides, which provide desired sweetness in food and drink and are typically cited as 200-300 times sweeter than sucrose. But amongst its competition, monk fruit is not always the alternative sweetener manufacturers choose. Its difficulty to grow combined with high export costs makes monk fruit an expensive sugar replacement. Monk fruit is seemed to be looked at as a premium natural sweetener.

The demand for sugar reduction solutions with a natural image suggests a bright future for monk fruit sweeteners. It has seemed to find success in products where consumers prioritize attributes such as naturalness over cost. Monk fruit is often being used in products that use premium or trendy claims, such as those linked to naturalness or diet trends. Additionally, it is being used in premium products that command a higher price point. In the five years, the average price per 100ml/g in US$ of launches with monk fruit was $4.43, compared with $2.80 for launches with any intense sweetener.

Product launches in the past 5 years containing monk fruit vs. other intense sweeteners.
Source: Mintel GNPD

Monk fruit is commonly used in combination with other ingredients linked to sugar reduction to deliver desirable attributes. Just like other alternative sweeteners, it does not provide the sugar-like taste consumers are after just by itself. Manufacturers are using it in combination with other sweet ingredients like erythritol, sucralose, and stevia. In the five years, 31% and 16% of product launches with monk fruit as an ingredient also contained stevia and inulin, respectively.

Product launches in the past 5 years containing monk fruit and other ingredients linked to sugar reduction.
Source: Mintel GNPD

Not only is monk fruit a sweetener we distribute, but our R&D experts know how this premium natural sweetener works in combination with other sweeteners. We use it in our recently launched line of sugar replacement and reduction blends, Legacy™SWEET. These blends are adaptable to virtually all products and come extremely close to mimicking the taste of sugar. Although monk fruit is pricier than other sweeteners, its naturalness is very appealing to consumers. If you are looking to reduce or eliminate the sugar in your product utilizing monk fruit, get in touch with us today.

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