Aspartame disturbance or market iteration

Recently, the news that Aspartame may cause cancer has turned many consumers’ “happy water” into “depressed water”. On June 29, some media reported that the International Agency for Cancer (IARC) under the World Health Organization (WHO) was expected to list Aspartame as a “substance that may cause cancer to humans” on July 14, which aroused widespread concern in the market. It must be noted that the carcinogenic evidence given by IARC is probabilistic evidence. Even if Aspartame is listed as a “substance that may cause cancer to humans”, the existing beverage containing Aspartame on the market can be safely drunk in general.

In recent decades, with major chemical manufacturers strengthening their research and development of food additives, the iteration of food additives has been accelerating. For example, the recent popularity of sugar free beverages, although some consumers pay more attention to health and reduce sugar intake, is also related to the continuous development of sugar substitute chemicals. For example, it was only in the 1970s that Xylitol was put into commercial production, but now its market is tepid because of the impact of new products with better taste. Aspartame has a history of only 60 years, but now it has been impacted by Sucralose, acesulfame, Erythrose and other products. At present, synthetic sugar substitutes account for 68.5% of the market share, while Aspartame accounts for 36.2% of the market share of synthetic sugar substitutes, with a market scale of about 4.7 billion dollars. This proportion may seem significant, but in fact, in 2010, the proportion of artificially synthesized sugar substitutes in the global market was 91.84%. In the last ten years, it is a rising star like Erythrose that has increased the market share of natural sugar substitutes from less than 10% to more than 30%, squeezing out the market of Aspartame. In other words, Aspartame itself has entered a recession period in the market and is shrinking at a rate of 15% every year.

What’s more, Aspartame itself has always had health problems. The reason why Aspartame has a considerable market share lies in its mature synthesis method and low cost. In 2021, France launched a study on the relationship between artificial sweeteners and cancer incidence rate with a sample of 100000 people, which showed that the overall cancer risk of consumers of artificial sweeteners increased by 13%. Among them, Aspartame and acesulfame increased the cancer risk by 15% and 13% respectively, and Aspartame increased the risk of breast cancer by 22%. However, this research belongs to “isolated syndrome cannot be established”. In addition, Aspartame has a low proportion in beverages, so it is generally considered safe to use Aspartame. After this storm, the market pressure of Aspartame has increased, and the market’s phase out of Aspartame is bound to accelerate.

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