Pyure: Organic Sweetener Brand with a Focus on Supply Chain Integrity
In the year 1700, sugar was a commodity only the rich could afford, and average, global, per capita consumption stood at about four pounds per person per year. Two hundred years later, people were consuming over 90 pounds of sugar per year. Today, the average American consumer easily consumes more than 150 pounds of sugar per day, or just under a half-pound of sugar daily. Interestingly enough, diabetes continues to rise in connection with our increasing sugar intake. Today, roughly 10.5 percent of the population in the United States some form of diabetes. High levels of refined sugar consumption have also been related to a number of other serious health problems, including an increased risk of dying from heart disease, higher possibilities of developing gout, and dangerous suppression of the immune system by depressing white blood cell functioning.
Despite the fact that most people understand the connection between high sugar intake and negative health consequences, the sugar industry continues to grow at alarming rates. Fortunately, today there are several companies bringing to market natural sweeteners that allow you to satisfy your sweet tooth without compromising your health. Natural sweeteners made from stevia, agave nectar, coconut sugar, honey, monk fruit extracts, and date paste are increasingly popular with consumers.
According to one market analysis, “US demand for natural alternative sweeteners is forecast to rise 6.9% per year through 2021, outpacing growth in the overall US sweetener market. With demand for sugar and HFCS flat or on the decline, natural sweeteners will fill a greater niche in the market, replacing both conventional and artificial sweeteners, including aspartame and sucralose. Consumers have increasingly preferred products with the “all-natural” or “clean label,” providing double-digit annual growth opportunities for stevia, agave nectar, coconut sugar, and erythritol over the past 10 years.”
Pyure® is one company that has stepped in to bring consumers healthier, alternative sweeteners sourced from natural Stevia.
Who is Pyure ®?
Since 2008, Pyure Brands, LLC has been developing several retail products made from Stevia, including extracts, single-service packets, and all-purpose blends and spreads. The company also has a commercial branch and supplies wholesale natural Stevia sweeteners to hundreds of food, beverage, and nutraceutical companies around the planet.
Stevia is a zero-calorie sweetener that is sourced from a perennial plant that grows natively throughout South America. After harvesting the leaves of the Stevia plant, the leaves undergo a steeping process that results in “Reb A”, which is a fine white powder that is 350 times the sweetness of table sugar.
As the American public slowly begins to wake up from their sugar-induced coma, Pyure has been at the forefront of providing individual consumers and other commercial manufacturers with organic, certified non-GMO Stevia. Their retail products are currently sold in retailers such as Walmart, Amazon, Whole Foods Market, Wegmans, and HEB. Just last year, the company was named to Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Private Companies and is one of only 11 food and beverage companies that has made the list four times.
The company´s founder and CEO Benjamin Fleischer says that “our three-year growth rate of 145% is an amazing accomplishment. It’s a reflection of our incredible team and their commitment to improving our business every day.” He goes on to say that the company is committed to “changing consumer perception about natural sweeteners and sugar reduction because the category leaders have been unable to do so.”
In an industry that is expected to grow from USD 6.35 billion in 2018 to USD 10.27 billion by the end of 2026, how has Pyure been able to cement its status in the market?
The “Always Will” Promise Offered by Pyure ® Brands
Food and beverage companies understand that the obesity and diabetes epidemics are driving consumers to demand healthier alternatives to highly refined sugar from sugar cane and sugar beets. In the race to capture the growing market of natural sugar substitutes, however, many large companies are cutting corners and using dubious methods for processing natural sweeteners like Stevia. In fact, some Stevia-based sweeteners made and used by the large soft drink corporations require about 40 steps of heavily chemical processing. Other popular Stevia-based sweeteners include artificial flavors, high levels of glucose, and other ingredients and additives that certainly diminish the healthy and natural qualities of a natural sweetener plant that has been used by South American cultures for thousands of years.
Pyure Brands has sought to distance itself from these “adulterated” forms of highly processed Stevia-based products. In order to increase transparency to both their retail and commercial customers, the company has created an “Always Will” promise. This promise states that Pyure always will:
- Source single, high quality species of Stevia year round for consistent quality.
- Isolate and use only the very sweetest part of the Stevia leaf.
- Avoid chemicals, additives, and artificial processes.
- Use sustainable, responsive practices to reduce impact on our environment.
- Remain dedicated to creating a healthier planet by donating a portion of our proceeds to diabetes education and other social and environmental causes.
- Provide deliciously sweet and healthy alternatives to sugar and other high-calorie sweeteners.
- Sell stevia products and only stevia products. We’re proud to say we have no ties to “Big Sugar” and we never will.
This pledge by Pyure separates them from the dozens of other artificial and natural sweetener brands that incorporate Stevia into their products. By embracing an ethic of transparency and sticking with their core values, the company has also been able to expand customer loyalty and customer retention figures. According to one recent study by Label Insight, 73 percent of consumers say they’re willing to pay more for a product that promises total transparency while almost four out of every ten consumers said they would be willing to switch brands in search of greater product transparency.
The study also determined that if a company or brand does not willingly share information regarding their product, consumers will hit the internet in search of that information. In the digital age, hiding or masquerading product information can actually cause brands to lose customers. Pyure Brands, LLC might have higher manufacturing costs due to their commitment to only using organic, non-GMO Stevia plants and not using chemicals, additives, or artificial processes. However, the commitment to providing the best and most natural Stevia on the market has earned the trust of both individual and corporate/commercial customers and is driving their sustained growth.
Supply Chain Integrity: A Key Element of Sustainable Business Practice
Supply chain integrity is defined as “a set of policies, procedures, and technologies used to provide visibility and traceability of products within the supply chain.” Though Stevia is a rapidly emerging specialty crop that many farmers in the United States are turning to, it continues to be mostly grown in countries such as Paraguay, China, and Kenya. As a part of our globalized food system, it would be easy for natural sweetener companies like Pyure to simply ignore the social and environmental costs that come with growing, harvesting, processing, and exporting Stevia to U.S. consumers.
Pyure Brands, however, considers supply chain integrity, along with an ethic of transparency, to be one of the cornerstones of their business success.
According to Fleischer, “our retail brand depends on the same stevia that we supply to hundreds of food, beverage, and nutraceutical companies. We take enormous pride in the quality, taste, and sourcing of our product. I put quality ahead of quantity as the foundation of my business. My name is on every retail product that we sell because quality and integrity are paramount at PYURE.”
Fleischer understands that a huge part of the population interested in health, wellness, and more nutritious food options do not simply want to replace highly refined sugar with other refined sweeteners. Rather, people are looking for sugar substitutes that actively contribute to healthier lifestyles and different nutrition and wellness goals and values that are central to their lifestyles and identities.
Following this understanding, Fleischer ensures that Pyure Brands, LLC is “dedicated to supplying superior-quality organic, non-GMO and conventional stevia from a supplier with whom we have an intimate relationship. We monitor every aspect of our supply chain through frequent visits and independent audits. As the industry regulatory landscape evolves, we remain vigilant in our efforts to continuously improve our supply chain.”
Supply chain integrity isn’t necessarily easy in a globalized food system where producers are often made invisible and middlemen multiply along every step of the process. However, Pyure has shown that making a commitment to developing a strong and long-lasting relationship with a supplier is a prerequisite for brands that truly want to guarantee their customers the healthfulness and quality of the products that they supply.