Sweet Green Fields USA LLC (SGF), a leading integrated producer of stevia sweeteners, is celebrating its 10 years in the stevia sweetener business. In an era when many stevia sweeteners are available in the market, SGF has achieved significant growth and won industry recognition as a pioneer in both stevia cultivation and innovation.
The history of SGF dates back to 1999 when the founder Bill Francis and Sweet Aloha Farms bred and grew its own stevia varieties, and innovative methods to process high purity stevia extract in a commercial setting. With the first U.S. patent granted for high efficiency Reb A extraction technology, SGF was formed in 2007 and began to sell stevia products throughout the world with the commitment to promote healthy living. By the summer of 2015, SGF had grown into one of the largest, privately held stevia companies by merging with its long-standing supplier. As a fully integrated supplier, the business has continued to rapidly develop ever since then.
“SGF started in 2007 with a hand full of proprietary stevia plants and a patented process – no fields, no factory but just a few people with a dream” said Dean Francis, CEO, SGF. “Today we coordinate the growth of thousands of tons of stevia leaf around the world and have created thousands of jobs along the way. It has taken a lot of hard work by our team to build this company to where we are today.”
When asked about the foundation of SGF’s growth, “It’s all about innovation and taste – this is where we start to change the game,” Dean Francis replied. “The stevia products that were available more than five years ago are still widely used by formulators today, even though many improved stevia sweeteners have become available. Some customers still consider that the performance of stevia sweeteners has not evolved since those days and do not feel confident that great-tasting, lower calorie products can be made with stevia sweeteners. We are rebuilding customer’s confidence in stevia by providing great-tasting next-generation, leaf-based stevia products.”
SGF’s products that have changed people’s preconception of stevia include Intesse™ and Optimizer Stevia™. Intesse™ delivers a clean sweet taste at higher sugar reduction levels without taste modifiers. This proprietary product has consistently shown a great sugar like taste in sensory testing. Optimizer Stevia™ sweeteners allow manufacturers to improve the taste compared to more traditional stevia sweeteners such as RA97. Specifically designed for partial replacement of sugar and HFCS, these products deliver a balanced sweetness profile and significant cost savings over RA97.
The unique stevia sweetener portfolio has allowed SGF to rapidly increase its share in the stevia sweetener market serving a growing number of brands and customers globally. To accelerate its growth and make its stevia sweetener portfolio available globally, SGF recently entered into a distribution partnership with Tate & Lyle who is now promoting SGF’s stevia sweeteners through its global sales distribution and applications laboratory network.
“Passion and focus on stevia and its ability to enable healthy living is what I believe has driven SGF to become a profitable stevia company,” said Francis. “We are thankful to our customers for their faith in us, they made this anniversary possible.”
As the global demand for stevia sweeteners continues its rapid growth, SGF will continue to focus on innovative new products along with improving the supply chain, developing better stevia plants, enhanced agronomic practices and more efficient manufacturing processes. SGF looks forward to serving customers with more innovative products for many years to come.