Pepsi awaiting government nod to use stevia as sweetener
December 16, 2009
Soft drinks and snacks producer PepsiCo India on Wednesday said that it may use stevia as an alternative sweetener if the government permits it to do so.
"If the government gives an approval and allows us (PepsiCo India) to use an alternative sweetener, then we might use stevia as an alternative for sugar in soft drinks," PepsiCo India executive director Geetu Verma told PTI.
The company has recently sought governmental permission to use alternative sweeteners following the steep rise in sugar prices due to scarcity of sugarcane. However, Ms Verma said that getting the approval may take anywhere between six months to two years.
Asked whether the company would be increasing the prices of its sugar-based products, Ms Verma said that though there is a pressure on the company due to high input costs such as rising sugar prices, there are no such rate-hike plans as of now.
Stevia is a South American native sweetener plant of the sunflower family. It has been used for sweetening for centuries in Paraguay and has been in use since the past 400 years across the world. — Yogesh Sapkale