PepsiCo and Whole Earth Sweetener are introducing PureVia, a zero-calorie, all-natural sweetener made from the South American stevia plant.
The sweetener will make its debut in a nutritionally enhanced PepsiCo beverage, SoBe Life, which is launching in Latin America, starting with Peru. The beverage will come in three flavor blends: Tropical Pomegranate, Strawberry-Kiwi and Orange-Tangerine.
PureVia tabletop sweetener will arrive in the U.S. this fall before being offered in beverage and food products worldwide.
"Consumers have always been looking for a beverage that is natural, tastes great, and has no calories, and SoBe Life with PureVia answers the call," said Massimo d'Amore, CEO of Purchase, N.Y.-based PepsiCo Americas Beverages. "This will have great appeal to health-conscious people who are looking for hydration and natural ingredients."
PepsiCo intends to market PureVia in beverages and foods, while Whole Earth will market the brand as a tabletop sweetener.
"What's unique about PureVia is that we've identified a way to extract the purest part of the stevia leaf to reveal the cleanest and most consistent taste," said Paul Block, CEO of Merisant, and its subsidiary, Whole Earth.
As a tabletop sweetener, PureVia can be used instead of sugar in both hot and cold beverages, as well as sprinkled on cereal and fruit. It will be available for purchase at food and grocery stores across the United States and at PureVia.com later this fall in 40-stick cartons.
The active sweetener in PureVia is Reb A, an all-natural, purified component of the stevia plant, which is about 200 times as sweet as sugar. Reb A is the sweetest, purest part of the stevia leaf.
Less pure forms of stevia are now marketed in the United States as dietary supplements and have been used for years by consumers in countries including Brazil, Japan and South Korea.
In an unprecedented partnership, PepsiCo and Whole Earth will jointly own and market PureVia globally. The two companies have agreed to buy the sweetener from PureCircle, a supplier of pure Reb A, which also will have the exclusive license to market Reb A under the PureVia brand in some categories.
Formed in 2006, Chicago-based Whole Earth introduced its first sweetener brand, Sweet Simplicity, the following year. The company is a wholly owned subsidiary of Merisant, the maker of Equal and Canderel, and a global leader in the manufacture, marketing, and distribution of tabletop sweeteners, with sales in over 90 countries.