Luo Han Guo Extract Market in 2014
Luo Han Guo extract is gaining more acceptance and attention as a new sweetener, which is gradually on a par with stevia. The market growth reaches 8 percent in 2013, 11 percent in 2014, and the figure is expected to be 8 percent in 2015 if not considering the fact that the extract gains GRAS(generally recognized as safe) status in Europe, according to herbridge.com.
Luo Han Guo Extract Sales in 2012-2015 (ten thousand dollars)
Planting area Expands
The market is booming, which encourages more farmers to grow Luo Han Guo. Industry insiders are finding more places (about 200 thousand mou) to grow this herb except Guilin, including Shaoyang, Hengyang, Yongzhou and Huaihua city of Hunan province. The planting area hit 45 thousand mou in 2014, an increase of 20 to 30 percent from 2013, according to herbridge.com. As the demand for Luo Han Guo increases, the planting area will probably expand.
But the planting technique needs to be improved. The production is 1.0 to 1.2 tons per mou, and the average content of effective ingredients is 0.47 percent. If the production increases to 1.5 to 1.8 tons, and the average content to 0.7 percent, the extract’s production cost will decline 50 percent, which will make domestic players more competitive, according to herbridge.com.
Besides Guilin, manufacturers emerge in Hunan province. Hunan Huacheng Biotech ( Huachengbio ) is one of enterprises to increase Luo Han Guo producton line. GLG is working to apply patents for Luo Han Guo extract in China.
Several manufacturers are offering Luo Han Guo extracts in Japan, America and New zealand, of which Blue California has gained GRAS status. Cargill began put into production in autumn 2014.
Mogrosides will seize the market share from stevia, sucrose and sucralose. The future market will double or triple to hit $120-300 million, which also needs support by larger planting area.
The price of Luo Han Guo extracts will go down on mass production, management and technology improvement and reduced production cost. Of course, price war can’t be excluded, but it is not the main factor.
China is the only country to offer Luo Han Guo extracts, but domestic suppliers haven’t yet developed formula for table sweetener. Considering market competitiveness from other sweeteners, it will enhance the competitiveness for enterprises to develop Luo Han Guo extract sweetener formula.
The purification technology of Luo Han Guo extract is constantly improved, but still needs further breakthrough to reduce the production cost. So China can offer Mogroside sweetener with higher purity and lower cost.
Domestic manufactures also need to apply patents at home and abroad, and gain global mainstream certifications.
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