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Scott Jagow: Thankfully, I don’t have any pressing — I mean, depressing — economic news to report this morning. So, I’m starting with this: A new sweetener hits the market today. It’s called Truvia. It’s all natural, made from an herb called Stevia. Stevia is apparently 300 times sweeter than sugar, if you can imagine that. So now in addition to the yellow, blue and pink packets, you can choose the green one. Alisa Roth has more on Truvia.
Alisa Roth: The sweetener comes from the leaves of a plant that grows in Latin America. You can already buy it as a supplement-in health food stores. But this is the first time it’ll be sold like any other sugar substitute.
Coca-cola and Cargill are teaming up to sell the stuff. And Coke says it’ll eventually start putting the stuff in diet sodas.
John Sicher is editor and publisher of the trade publication Beverage Digest. He says the diet soda business is big, but it’s declining. Stevia might be a way to gain some new followers:
John Sicher: With Americans having a growing interest in natural products, combining that with an interest in low-calorie products, beverage executives think that a natural, no-calorie sweetener would be something which would enable them to add products to their portfolio.
He says he doesn’t expect beverage makers to change the formula for their regular sodas.
In New York, I’m Alisa Roth for Marketplace.