Cargill launches campaign for sweetener from stevia

by Jeff Gelski
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MINNEAPOLIS — Cargill is launching a national integrated marketing plan for its Truvia natural, plant-based sweetener through television, print and on-line advertising, the Minneapolis-based company said Dec. 15. Truvia is a zero-calorie sweetener that features Rebaudioside A purified from Stevia rebaudiana.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration allows the use of stevia-based sweeteners in dietary supplements. The F.D.A. received a Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) filing from Cargill dated May 20. In the filing, Cargill seeks the use of Rebaudioside A purified from Stevia rebaudiana as a general-purpose sweetener in foods, excluding meat and poultry products, The F.D.A. had yet to respond to the petition on Dec. 15.

Four 30-second TV spots featuring the Truvia tabletop sweetener will air nationally on network and cable television. Print and on-line ads will run on media properties focused on women, wellness and epicurean topics. The campaign also will include coupons, in-store and consumer sampling programs.

"The marketing campaign to launch Truvia tabletop sweetener is designed to inform consumers that for the first time, there is a natural great-tasting zero-calorie sweetener that comes from a leaf, not a lab," said Zanna McFerson, director of Cargill Health & Nutrition.

The Dec. 15 issue of The Wall Street Journal reported the Coca-Cola Co. planned to market three flavors of a juice drink in its Odwalla brand line that featured sweeteners extracted from the stevia plant. The Coca-Cola Co. declined to comment for the story.

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