MINNEAPOLIS — Truvia Nectar, a new liquid sweetener sold in a squeeze bottle at retail, offers the sweetness of honey but with half the calories, according to Cargill, Minneapolis.
“What we have found is that by combining stevia with honey and a sugar blend, we are able to deliver the same quality, taste, texture, mouthfeel of honey but with half the calories,” said Brian Nau, global Truvia brand leader for Cargill.
Consumer perception led Cargill to choose honey as a partner for its Truvia stevia.
“When you talk to consumers about the gold standard for sweetening, honey is just right there at the top,” Mr. Nau said. “It doesn’t really get any better than natural honey.”
Stevia extracts, naturally sourced from stevia plants, are 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, he said. Because of stevia, Truvia Nectar has twice the concentration of sweetness as honey, which means consumers may use only half the amount of Truvia Nectar to achieve the same sweetness level as honey.
The sugar in Truvia Nectar helps with crystallization issues.
“Honey naturally is going to crystallize,” Mr. Nau said. “The sugar in the product is going to help to minimize crystallization.”
Sugar also helps to blend the flavors.
“If it were just honey and stevia, you wouldn’t get the same overall taste quality and mouthfeel,” he said.
Consumers may add Truvia Nectar to such items as oatmeal, cereal, and hot and cold beverages, Mr. Nau said. The Truvia web site lists 20 recipes that feature Truvia Nectar. The recipe items range from Buffalo hot wings, a gold rush cocktail and a cinnamon glazed sticky bun to sweet tea, grilled asparagus soup and an orange jewel smoothie.
Truvia Nectar comes with suggested retail prices of $3.99 for a 100-gram/3.52-oz squeeze bottle and $6.99 for a 300-gram/10.58-oz squeeze bottle. The national roll-out of Truvia Nectar is under way. It already is found in Hy-Vee, Target and Publix stores.
Cargill has yet to offer Truvia Nectar as a sweetener for food and beverage companies.
“We have had some inquiries from some of our beverage customers,” Mr. Nau said.
Truvia Nectar joins three other Cargill Truvia products sold at retail. Truvia tabletop sweetener packets have 0 calories and contain stevia extracts. A Truvia baking blend of Truvia and sugar comes with 75% fewer calories per serving than sugar. A Truvia brown sugar blend designed for home baking contains Truvia and brown sugar and has 75% fewer calories than brown sugar.“The market for people who really just want to consume less sugar is much broader, much bigger than the market of people who want 0 calories,” Mr. Nau said.