Canderel is preparing to launch its PureVia natural sweetener in the UK and to go head to head with Cargill’s new brand Truvia.

Both brands are set to launch in autumn, pending the anticipated EU approval of stevia leaf extracts, which give them their sweetness.

Merisant, which makes Canderel, said it was extending PureVia’s distribution from the US and France to the UK in a bid to match the £10m first-year sales target for the UK set by Silver Spoon for Truvia last month [Silver Spoon expects top Truvia reception, 29 January].

As well as granules, PureVia will also be available in a cube format a key difference to Truvia, said Merisant.

Silver Spoon might have a 40-year heritage in the UK, but PureVia would benefit from Canderel’s market-leading position as the UK’s biggest sweetener brand, it said. “Canderel enjoys a strong heritage customer base and has a great business model in the UK, so we are positive about the likely performance of PureVia,” said Helen Wood, senior brand manager at Merisant UK.

The US-based company developed the sweetener in collaboration with PepsiCo in 2009 and the fmcg giant will have the rights to use it in its soft drinks, snacks and cereals in the UK. In the US, Truvia features among the ingredients in Coca-Cola’s better-for-you drinks such as Sprite Green, which is not yet available in the UK.

PureVia enjoyed a successful launch in France last March, according to Merisant, and is set to hit £6m first-year sales there, giving it a 65% share of the sweetener market.