Analysts predict that luo han guo, or Chinese monk fruit, will gain momentum as an emerging natural sweetener. This is one product that is definitely catching the attention of food and beverage manufacturers around the world and holds great appeal for consumers’ growing desire for natural products. Monk fruit is up to 300 times sweeter than sugar, and for customers looking to reduce calories naturally while maintaining great taste, it can be the hook that differentiates one product from the next.
While a search in Mintel’s global new product database (GNPD) shows only five U.S. product launches in the past year, many beverage manufacturers have shown interest in working with this natural sweetener.
Monk fruit attained GRAS status in 2010, and as it becomes more readily available, food and beverage companies will surely begin exploring the possibilities. There may be the potential to combine monk fruit with other natural sweeteners, like stevia and sucrose, to deliver a sweetness profile that fulfills consumers’ expectations on both taste and wellness.
Keep a watchful eye as the next wave of innovation from the beverage industry moves into commercialization to see if luo han guo makes its way onto those ingredient declaration statements! And of course, FONA is here to help you choose flavors that are compatible with monk fruit and any other new sweeteners that enter the market!