Associated British Foods' Silver Spoon, Cargill partner for U.K. distribution, marketing of Truvia tabletop stevia-based sweetener; latest figures value U.K. market for low-calorie sweeteners at £50M

UNITED KINGDOM , January 26, 2011 (press release) – Two leaders in sweetness, Silver Spoon, part of Associated British Foods, and Cargill, have today announced an exclusive strategic partnership for UK distribution and marketing of Truvia™ branded tabletop, the first stevia-based, zero calorie sweetener. This announcement comes ahead of anticipated EU approval of stevia extracts later this year* and heralds the UK's first taste of an entirely new sweetener category – zero calorie sweetness from the leaves of the stevia plant.

After only two years on the US market, the Truvia™ brand has become the number one stevia-based sweetener, and opened a new category of sweetness. This innovation attracted new consumers to the market and grew a previously stagnant retail sweetener category by 18 percent. As such, it has become the third best-selling of all the non-sugar sweeteners – a market currently valued at $685 million (£434 million) in the U.S. – overtaking Merisant's Equal® (aspartame) – Canderel® in Europe – for the past 12 months. Latest figures value the UK market for low calorie sweeteners at £50 million.**

The partnership brings together the leading sugar brand in the UK, Silver Spoon, and Truvia™ sweetener, the stevia sweetener innovation developed and pioneered by Cargill. The combined strengths of Silver Spoon's extensive retail knowledge and marketing expertise and Cargill's leading U.S. product are expected to result in Truvia™ sweetener quickly capturing consumer interest in the UK. On receipt of regulatory approval, the product will be available through the Silver Spoon network to all major UK supermarkets, restaurants, hotels and other food distribution outlets.

Silver Spoon will jointly market the product with Cargill, building brand awareness through advertising and in-store programmes. Under the terms of the partnership, the sweetener will be co-branded with the Silver Spoon and Truvia™ logos appearing on packaging.

Tony Lucas, Marketing Director of Silver Spoon said: "The introduction of stevia-based sweeteners to the UK market will be one of the most significant category developments in this country in years. As the number one supplier to the UK retail sugar and sweetener market, we are excited to bring this new innovation to our retailers and UK consumers. The partnership with Cargill and the Truvia™ brand will help us achieve this goal."

Truvia™ is the brand name for a great-tasting, naturally derived, zero calorie sweetener made with rebiana, the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf. Cargill was the first to develop, introduce and market this new category of sweetness beginning in 2008 with U.S. regulatory acceptance. Truvia™ sweetener provides consumers with a new choice to manage sugars and calories in their diets and offers a new option for overall well-being. The Truvia™ consumer product has a unique crystalline form and proprietary natural flavour system. Cargill manages its stevia supply chain from field to table and uses its formulation expertise to bring consumers the optimum taste in naturally derived zero calorie sweetness.

Zanna McFerson, assistant vice president, Cargill Health & Nutrition and director, Truvia™ Enterprise said: "This partnership is a significant and exciting milestone in anticipation of the European market entry for the Truvia™ brand. Cargill has a long history of working with Associated British Foods, making Silver Spoon our number one choice of partner for bringing Truvia™ tabletop sweetener to consumers in the UK."

Truvia™ rebiana, the ingredient, is also driving growth and innovation in food and drink products with more than 100 industry leaders actively partnering with Cargill to develop new products.

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* In April 2010 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) published a Scientific Opinion confirming that steviol glycosides, sweeteners extracted from the stevia plant, are safe for use in foods and beverages.

** Source: ACNielsen Homescan Panel all retail channels, four weeks ending 25/12/10.
About Truvia™ brand

Truvia™ sweetener is a great tasting, zero calorie sweetener, made with rebiana that originates from the best-tasting part of the stevia leaf. Truvia™ rebiana is also used as an ingredient to sweeten foods and beverages.

In addition to the consumer product, the ingredient, Truvia™ rebiana, is used by food and beverage companies in their consumer packaged goods. Truvia™ rebiana is also available in France in Coca-Cola Fanta Still® juice drink and Eckes-Granini juice drinks under the Joker™ and Réa™ brands.

For more information, visit www.truvia.com
About Associated British Foods and Silver Spoon

Associated British Foods (ABF) is a diversified international food, ingredients and retail group with sales of £10.2 billion and 97,000 employees in 44 countries.

ABF aims to achieve strong, sustainable leadership positions in markets that offer potential for pro?table growth, and deliver quality products and services that are central to people's lives.

Silver Spoon, one of a number of well known brands that form ABF's UK Grocery Division, is the leading supplier of sugar and sweetener to the UK's retail and foodservice markets.

For more information about Associated British Foods, visit www.abf.co.uk

For more information about Silver Spoon, visit www.silverspoon.co.uk
About Cargill

Cargill is an international producer and marketer of food, agricultural, financial and industrial products and services. Founded in 1865, the privately held company employs 131,000 people in 66 countries. Cargill helps customers succeed through collaboration and innovation, and is committed to applying its global knowledge and experience to help meet economic, environmental and social challenges wherever it does business.

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