Tate & Lyle is claiming its newest product - a blend of sugar and herbal extract stevia - halves the sugar consumers need to use.

Light at Heart is almost entirely pure cane sugar, with the remainder of the product (less than 1%) a mix of a natural flavouring and stevia extract, which is hundreds of times sweeter than sugar.

Despite being added in such a tiny quantity, the sweetness of the stevia means consumers need only use half as much Light at Heart as they would standard sugar, claimed Tate & Lyle Sugars.

The product has already been picked up by the big four supermarkets and will be launched in 450g tubs in white and brown varieties (rsp: £2.19 and £2.49 respectively), next month.

The company said it was confident Light at Heart would add value to the sugar and sweetener category by attracting non-users to the market, while also bringing in current sweetener and light sugar users. “Some sugar users might be also attracted to the new proposition and trade up to Light at Heart, which is perceived as an added-value alternative for certain consumers,” said Tate & Lyle senior VP for sales and marketing Andrew Jones.

Tate & Lyle is targeting the family market and is flagging up that the product can be used in baking as well as treated as a more traditional sweetener.

The launch will be supported by national print and radio advertising, experiential marketing, sampling, online support and educational PR activity aimed at mums with young families. The push is designed to show how easy it is to switch from regular sugar to Light At Heart because all consumers need do is use half as much.

Tate & Lyle has joined the ranks of producers who have launched sweeteners using stevia extract since the end of November, when the EU gave the green light for the extract to be used in the UK. Canderel owner Merisant launched its PureVia stevia-based sweetener, while Cargill has rolled out its Truvia products.