Zevia has announced a breakthrough in ongoing efforts to improve its sweetener mix and use of stevia, the high-intensity, plant-based sweetener, the brand’s line of zero-calorie beverages.
Today, Zevia unveiled a new Non-GMO Project Verified stevia blend, made exclusively from the stevia plant. The formula will be implemented in all 14 flavors of Zevia Soda, four flavors of Zevia Sparkling Water, three flavors of Zevia Energy, two flavors of Zevia Celebrations and Zevia Tonic Water beginning this fall.
According to Zevia CEO Paddy Spence, this latest development is simply the next step in the company’s “intense improvement path” for the sweetener. As of 2013, Zevia has been using a stevia blend based primarily on the compound Rebaudioside A, with natural sweeteners erythritol and monkfruit added to balance the intense flavor.
Spence explained that by focusing on other sweetening compounds present within the stevia leaf, the company could create a purer Reb A formula using steviol glycocides and no additional ingredients.
“What’s great is we are a tiny company compared to Coke and Pepsi but we put a similar amount of focus and resources into research around the stevia leaf,” said Spence.
Creating a more authentic sugar-like taste with the simplest ingredients is the primary goal, Spence explains.
“The big stevia providers, like Cargill, are all talking about taking these blends of compounds from the leaf,” said Spence. “Cargill has a product they announced a couple of months ago that is based on fermentation with genetically modified enzymes. That’s a thing consistent with our philosophy — we are non-GMO, would never use non-GMO enzymes, and we don’t use the harsh chemicals that some of the conventional stevia processors use. The stevia industry in general is moving towards this type of solution, but we are the first folks to actually commercialize it and with a non-GMO verified stevia that doesn’t use any harsh chemicals.”
Spence added that Zevia will continue to seek out innovations in their key ingredient.
“Stevia is an eight-year-old sweetening ingredient,” said Spence. “I can guarantee you that we are going to continue to advance the taste of our product.