Paul Freeman, EMEA marketing manager, Tate & Lyle, told FoodProductionDaily.com sweeteners are seldom sold in the Middle East, as they are not widely used in the region, because traditionally Arab nations like sugar.
Tasteva Stevia sweetener
Among the prototypes on display at Gulfood Manufacturing in Dubai were its tropical juice drink, Rebalance, made with Spenda Sucralose and a raspberry lime tea with Tasteva Stevia sweetener and Promitor soluble gluco fibre.
The no-calorie Tasteva maintains a ‘full sugar' mouthfeel and reduces calories by 30% and total sugar by 50%.
“Splenda low calorie sugar alternative is one of the most widely used sweeteners globally, with 22m consumers using it every day,” said Freeman.
“It is accepted by consumers and we are bringing that to the region here because the locals love sweet things but at the same time, there is a growing awareness of obesity and diabetes in this part of the world. We are offering an alternative to sugar, which has a great taste but is healthier.”
Freeman added Tate & Lyle was scaling up its presence in the region and opened an office in Dubai last year, which it is now expanding.
Sugar & calories reduction
“We are a global specialist food ingredient company growing in all regions of the world. The Middle East is a key emerging market for us and we just invested in our commercial team here with the required technical knowledge and expertise,” he said.
“We are now ready to collaborate with manufacturers here and develop products. We want to be the expert partner that we have not been in the past directly here.
“It’s about collaboration and helping companies to maximise existing formulas and recipes, especially in relation to sugar and calorie reduction.”
The company is moving to a larger office in JLT, Dubai and has six employees including a director, sales and technical support. It hired Dominique Floch as regional sales director, MENA who joined the firm in August.
“It is the first time we have had an office in Dubai as before we were present through agencies,” added Freeman.
“The location and timing is right to raise our awareness in the region. Customers in MENA like to meet clients face to face and establish relationships. We are doing this step by step at a medium pace.
“We will adapt our ingredients and offering to the region and we are working on proposals to bring to the market now with a new formula, and we hope to make an announcement at the beginning of next year.”