The future of the EU isoglucose market may look sweet, but it is also full of uncertainties. According to a new report from Rabobank – Will Starch Grains Beat Sugar? – the impending change in EU sugar policy in 2017 could trigger a shift from sugar to isoglucose use.
Rabobank believes that isoglucose production could take off, particularly in grain and starch-rich but sugar-poor countries such as Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria. At the same time, other regions in the EU are also set to capture some of the growth. The actual market potential for isoglucose in the EU remains to be seen, but it will depend on various factors including isoglucose prices vis-à-vis sugar prices, beverage and food manufacturers’ willingness to use an alternative sweetener, as well as consumer preference.
“Since agricultural production and consumer preferences differ from country to country within the EU, the end of quotas in 2017 presents various potential scenarios and opportunities for players in the region”, state Rabobank analysts Vito Martielli and Ruud Schers.
Currently, isoglucose quotas limit the total EU production for domestic consumption to 720,000 tonnes per year, about four per cent of the EU caloric sweeteners market. Most of this production takes place in the eastern EU. The key question for determining any shift in production is how much demand there will be once the quotas are lifted.
Source: Confectionery Production