Ingredion to Acquire 75 Percent Controlling Stake in PureCircle
Ingredion is to acquire a controlling 75 percent stake in PureCircle, a US-based manufacturer of “next-generation” stevia leaf ingredients. Sugar reduction is part of Ingredion’s growth strategy, with the ingredients supplier pegging stevia as a core product. PureCircle has a proven track record for producing plant-based stevia, while this is Ingredion’s second significant announcement this week, closely following its plans to build an integrated modified starch facility in China designed to more than double its current capacity.
The deal is expected to close during the second half of 2020 subject to approval by PureCircle’s shareholders and receipt of the required regulatory approvals. Until the completion of the acquisition, Ingredion and PureCircle will remain separate, independent companies with separate product portfolios and go-to-market teams.
“Ingredion’s global go-to-market model combined with our formulation expertise will be highly complementary with PureCircle’s capabilities. We have tremendous respect for the business that PureCircle has built for nearly two decades and are excited to welcome them to the Ingredion family. We are ready to support this new phase of growth with stevia’s on-trend and sustainable solutions,” says Jim Zallie, President and CEO at Ingredion.
All of PureCircle’s ingredients begin with the stevia plant, which the company highlights as distinguishing its offerings from “stevia-like” synthetic sweeteners. The company works with farmers in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and North America to grow and source its proprietary stevia plants. Last August, the company launched its own branded ice cream made with the natural sweetener, which it highlights as working well in dessert applications such as ice cream, as well as in a wide range of beverage and food products.
Sweeteners, in general, are currently trending as governments clamp down on dietary sugar levels. The US government’s dietary guidelines suggest “an eating pattern low in added sugar,” while the UK has already introduced a sugar tax on beverages. Meanwhile, consumers are also trying to cut down independently, with an Innova Consumer Lifestyle and Attitudes Survey finding that nearly seven out of ten consumers across the countries surveyed (US, UK, France, Germany, China, and Brazil) have reduced their sugar intake.