Stevia looms large at SupplySide West

Stevia-sweetened concept beverages were in abundant supply at SupplySide West, held in Las Vegas from Nov 11 to 14 at the Venetian & Sands Expo. SupplySide West is an annual trade show showcasing the ingredients that are used in the beverage, food and dietary supplement industries.

Many of the beverage samples at the show featured rebaudioside A (the most common sweetener derived from the Stevia plant) either by itself or in conjunction with another natural sweetener. Still relatively new as a beverage ingredient, reb-A continues to present a formulation challenge. In some instances, formulators are adjusting concentrations of reb-A in attempts to improve its flavor profile and eliminate aftertaste in beverages.

To address some of these challenges, SupplySide West featured a seminar entitled, “Stevia: Trends, Product Development and Regulatory Update” to discuss health and safety studies for the product as well as purity criteria, shopper attitudes toward the product and usage trends and drivers within the sweetener category overall. 

Branded mixes of functional beverage ingredients were also prevalent among the beverage samples at the show. One such functional ingredient, l-theanine, is an amino acid commonly derived from tea leaves, and could be found in Taiyo International’s Suntheanine – a product that is, according to that company, increasingly present in relaxation drinks.


Another prominently featured functionality, skin care, was featured in HydraBella Plus, a concept beverage designed to showcase an array of ingredients from DSM’s “Beauty from Within” nutritional platform. (Coverage of this year’s show is sponsored by DSM Nutritional Products. For more on DSM, visit 

Overall, Supplyside West 2009 seemed to buck another trend, that of declines in trade show participation, drawing 4 percent more attendees and 7 percent more exhibitors than it did in 2008. For a look at some of the companies BevNET visited check out our Photo Gallery