BATH, UNITED KINGDOM — Zenith International estimates worldwide sales of stevia should rise 14% this year to 4,670 tonnes for an overall market value of $336 million. A stevia market report from Zenith International forecasts the global market for stevia will reach 7,150 tonnes by 2017, which is equivalent to $578 million.

“Reduction in sugar remains key for manufacturers, and, with consumers now also beginning to shun artificial sweeteners, stevia’s natural provenance and near-zero caloric positioning place it at a distinct advantage,” said Simon Redwood, a market intelligence consultant for Zenith International, based in Bath and a consultancy that advises the food and drinks industry.

New product launches, including Coca-Cola Life in several global markets, drove growth in the stevia market over the past year, according to Zenith International. Beverages remain the focus of stevia’s use, and its use also grew in tabletop sweeteners and pharmaceuticals over the past year.

“Health motivation in key Asian markets such as India and Indonesia remains lower, and it is expected to be some years before stevia really takes off in these countries,” Mr. Redwood said. “When it does, the potential for stevia will be truly realized.”