Monk fruit company doubles its supply

by Jeff Gelski
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New food and beverage launches with monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, increased by 75% in the United States in 2014.

GUILIN, CHINA — Monk Fruit Corp., previously known as BioVittoria in the United States, on June 11 said it had doubled its supply of monk fruit for the 2015 harvest because of increased demand for high-intensity sweeteners extracted from monk fruit. In addition, Monk Fruit Corp. has completed a new round of equity to fund future growth and has completed a corporate rebranding.

“The new investment has allowed us to significantly increase our grower network and fruit supply, cementing our position at the top of the industry,” said Frank Lan, chief executive officer and founder of Monk Fruit Corp. “Monk Fruit Corp. now has a raw material supply chain that will produce at least twice as much fruit as our nearest competitor this year.”

While formerly known as BioVittoria in the United States, Monk Fruit Corp. formerly was known as Guilin GFS Bio-Tech Co. in China.

“The change of the name reflects the fact that our business is exclusively focused on the cultivation, processing and marketing of monk fruit, and that we are the only company to do this,” Mr. Lan said. “At the same time, it communicates our more than decade-long history of innovation, focus and leadership in the monk fruit industry.”

London-based Tate & Lyle, P.L.C. in April 2011 entered into a five-year strategic partnership agreement with Monk Fruit Corp., then known as BioVittoria, for the exclusive global marketing and distribution rights for Monk Fruit Corp.’s monk fruit. Tate & Lyle now markets its monk fruit sweeteners under the Purefruit brand name.

New food and beverage launches with monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, increased by 75% in the United States in 2014 when compared to 2013, according to Monk Fruit Corp. In the first four months of this year, U.S. launches have nearly doubled when compared to the same time period last year, according to Monk Fruit Corp.

Thorrold, general manager of sales and marketing for Monk Fruit Corp.

“Working with our partner Tate & Lyle, we have built confidence among food and beverage companies in our monk fruit products, and that is now transferring into a number of exciting product launches in global brands,” said David Thorrold, general manager of sales and marketing for Monk Fruit Corp., which has offices in China, New Zealand and the United States.

New product activity has occurred mainly in dairy (particularly ice cream and yogurt), cereals and bars, sports nutrition (particularly with added protein), tea (both leaf and ready-to-drink), juice drinks, ready-to-drink coffee and waters.

Monk Fruit Corp. grows all its monk fruit in the Northern Guangxi Province in the Guilin area, which the company described as the “Napa Valley of monk fruit.” Monk fruit, a protected fruit in China, may not be taken out of China to be grown anywhere else.
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