Canderel owner Merisant has unveiled the details of its plans for herbal-based PureVia sweetener brand in the UK.

It is set to launch the product in October or November, after the European Parliament approves PureVia's key ingredient the extract of the stevia plant for the EU.

PureVia was being launched as cubes and granules rather than the tablets used by many sweetener brands because Merisant wanted it to be seen as a direct replacement for sugar, said vice-president Hugues Pitre. "We want to recruit consumers who want to reduce their sugar consumption tablets are not a sugar format," he added.

In the UK, the range will comprise a pack of 65 cubes, an 80g-pack of granules and a pack of 40 granular stick sachets. Each cube or sachet is the equivalent of a teaspoon of sugar but contains zero calories. The company admitted PureVia would be more expensive than sugar, but said it had not yet set rsps.

The brand was launched in the US in 2008 after Merisant and PepsiCo linked up to develop stevia products, with PepsiCo using it in soft drinks.