OAK BROOK, ILL. – PureCircle Ltd. and British Sugar Group Plc on July 26 signed a memorandum of understanding to form The Natural Sweetness Company, a sales and marketing joint venture owned equally by both parties. The joint venture will seek to develop and market a range of products that combine the benefits of both sugar and stevia and offer reduced-calorie, sweet applications for the food and beverage industries.

The Natural Sweetness Company will operate across British Sugar’s territories of the United Kingdom, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, China and Africa.

PureCircle has global headquarters in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and a U.S. office in Oak Brook. PureCircle USA, Inc. and Imperial Sugar Co., a refiner and distributor of sugar products, recently formed a joint venture called Natural Sweet Ventures, L.L.C. that is based in Sugar Land, Texas.

“When we were looking for global partners, British Sugar was the stand-out choice across all measures in its core markets,” said Magomet Malsagov, c.e.o. and president of PureCircle. “As we work together it is clear that there is a strong alignment in how we see the sweetener market developing.”