A Business Plan for the Future of Steviol Glycosides as a Sugar Substitute

Product Name:

Squirrel Sweetener

Squirrel Sweetener bubble water

Squirrel Sweetener bubble tea

Squirrel Sweetener cookies

Squirrel Sweetener cakes


Reason: Currently, in addition to common sugars such as sucrose, maltose, and glucose, the sweet substances on the market are mainly sweeteners. There are three types of sweeteners: synthetic sweeteners such as aspartame, sugar alcohols such as xylitol, and natural sweeteners such as stevia glycosides. However, the current market mainly uses artificially synthesized sugars and sugar alcohols as substitutes. These sugar substitutes are mainly produced from petroleum or crops, and carry a certain risk of causing diseases (including cancer, diarrhea, etc.). The production of these sugar substitutes consumes more energy compared to the models we have developed. We need to explore low energy production methods in order to achieve carbon neutrality as soon as possible, alleviate atmospheric pressure on the Earth, and contribute to environmental protection. And natural sweeteners have emerged as a healthy substitute in everyone's sight. However, natural high temperature resistant and high sweetness products such as siraitin and glycyrrhizin are on the edge of the public's attention because their taste is not close to sucrose. However, the stevia glycoside developed and produced by our team has the closest taste to sucrose and can reach a sweetness of about 300 times that of sucrose, making it a promising development substance.

How : Firstly, conduct relevant research and development in the laboratory to study how to quickly produce steviol glycosides while ensuring yield and controlling toxic byproducts. Attempt to simulate a small production line mathematically and compare it with the actual construction of a small production line. If profitable results are obtained, financing can be considered. Before completing this step, we need to promptly carry out copyright protection, including domestic and international patent registration, as well as domestic and international trademark registration. Finally, carry out large-scale production line construction and implement construction projects to prepare the company for listing.

Content: Firstly, due to my team's early start and innovative and unique production methods, our goal is to become a leading supplier of stevia glycosides. As a supplier, simply producing raw materials is not enough. We need to broaden our development path. While producing raw materials, we can also focus on market demand and produce products such as bubble water or zero sugar cakes to increase our sales.

Potential Customers

For a wide range of consumers of stevia glycosides, it can be said that it is suitable for all ages. For each different group, there are corresponding audience points, which can be mainly divided into three groups: healthy population, diseased population, and overweight or obese population

For healthy individuals: Sweeteners are no different from regular sucrose and do not increase or reduce the metabolic burden on the kidneys or liver. Their main purpose of consuming sweeteners is to maintain their figure or have a certain weight loss need.

For the sick population: the intake of sweeteners such as erythritol will cause unsafe diarrhea, while acesulfame will increase the burden of liver and kidney metabolism of diabetic patients, steviol glycoside can reduce the burden of liver and kidney metabolism and reduce the rise of blood sugar, as well as a certain health care effect. This has been demonstrated in both traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine.

For overweight or obese individuals: the main goal is to reduce sugar and fat intake, increase muscle mass, and achieve weight loss. Stevia glycosides, as a sweetener, can bring sweet enjoyment to these populations, but with extremely low calories, they can help achieve their goal of reducing fat and increasing muscle. Moreover, stevia glycosides have some health benefits for the heart, brain, and blood vessels, and can also assist in weight loss to a certain extent.

Some evidence from the World Health Organization

Sugar substitute products help us control sucrose intake and improve some diseases caused by obesity. Bring corresponding sweet taste enjoyment to those who have already contracted the disease.Diabetes, as a disease with high incidence rate in the world, brings them sweet taste enjoyment, which is very meaningful. Here are some introductions about diabetes and incidence rate from the World Health Organization.(Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose (or blood sugar), which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys, and nerves. The most common is type 2 diabetes, usually in adults, which occurs when the body becomes resistant to insulin or doesn't make enough insulin. In the past 3 decades, the prevalence of type 2 diabetes has risen dramatically in countries of all income levels. Type 1 diabetes, once known as juvenile diabetes or insulin-dependent diabetes, is a chronic condition in which the pancreas produces little or no insulin by itself. For people living with diabetes, access to affordable treatment, including insulin, is critical to their survival. There is a globally agreed target to halt the rise in diabetes and obesity by 2025.

About 422 million people worldwide have diabetes, the majority living in low-and middle-income countries, and 1.5 million deaths are directly attributed to diabetes each year. Both the number of cases and the prevalence of diabetes have been steadily increasing over the past few decades.)*(WHO tab_1)(https://www.who.int/health-topics/diabetes#tab=tab_1)


STRENGTHS: Independent intellectual property rights: We have developed a new production model ourselves, introducing all key genes into Escherichia coli and inducing expression. This belongs to our independent intellectual property.

Natural safety: This substance is native to stevia and is a product of natural plants. It has a long history of medicinal use in traditional Chinese medicine and has certain health benefits in Western medicine.

Good taste: The taste is close to sucrose, and the sweetness is about 300 times that of sucrose, making it a good choice as a substitute for sucrose.

WEAKENESSES: Higher price: If the laboratory method can achieve mass production, the price may be two to three times that of ordinary sweeteners, which is not cost-effective enough for enterprises using stevia glycosides

Lack of team experience: The team members, mainly young players, lack work experience and have a lot to learn about investment and financing.

OPPORTUNITIES: There is a potential market: it is suitable for a wide range of people, whether it is disease patients who need sugar control, fitness groups, or the general public, who can become our consumer group, and the consumer group will not change significantly due to age changes

Wide applicability: covering various consumer groups, including patients of different ages and diseases, etc

There are a large number of procurement opportunities for enterprises: food manufacturers, additive distributors, etc. may bring opportunities for bulk procurement

THREADS: Product value and positioning: The product has high value and may not be able to lower prices in the short term, posing a high risk for the market.

The risk of product production mode being replicated: The biological fermentation production mode is a relatively new production mode, and the key genes have been announced, resulting in the risk of product production mode being replicated.


  • Direct competitor:Enterprises that currently produce traditional sweeteners such as aspartame and xylitol
  • Indirect competitor:Enterprises producing new sweeteners, such as momordica grosvenorii glycosides
  • Future competitor:Faster production methods, better production lines, and lower production costs

Development Plan

We plan to synthesize our product steviol glycoside using the simplest nutrient of living organisms - glucose. The iteration of laboratory products includes the iteration of genomes and the iteration of basic synthetic materials in the laboratory. The iteration of the genome mainly involves the iteration of related glycosyltransferases. We need to screen out more efficient and long-lived glycosyltransferases. For the raw materials, we plan to develop and use different raw materials to synthesize the products we need, including using agricultural waste, waste plastics, and other products to produce steviol glycosides. For its bacterial carrier, we use the currently safer Escherichia coli as the carrier for fermentation, but we plan to use yeast with longer lifespan and more optimized performance as the carrier in the future to further improve synthesis efficiency and reduce synthesis costs.

A business model

Must include:

Before formulating our business model, we studied the profit model of Guangzhou Jiete Co., Ltd. But in the actual business model, we can learn from the business models of Wal Mart and Starbucks by creating our own brand and producing and selling our own brand products. If we establish our own company, we can also learn the same commercialization model. At present, China is a diversified consumer market for sweeteners, with sugar consumption being the main focus. However, compared to the global sweetener consumption market, the consumption level of domestic residents, including high magnification chemical synthetic sweeteners such as sucralose, is significantly lower than the world average consumption level. 【1】 This provides a good opportunity for us to enter the consumer market with stevia glycosides. At present, sucralose has been approved for use in about 80 countries such as the United States. It is widely used in Japan and has been added to over 500 types of food to date. 【2】 Sucralose has a wide range of applications, and no matter how much it is approved for use, natural substances such as steviol glycosides are more easily accepted by the government and will be easier to enter the market. Especially for a product that has a taste similar to sucrose, can be baked, and has a sweetness of about 300 times that of sucrose. If the price is lower than or equal to the common sweeteners on the market, we can occupy a certain market share. Cost reduction can be achieved through biological fermentation, while other small business culture promotion can be achieved through online platforms. And we can not only sell raw materials to large manufacturers, but also produce secondary products for sale, such as bread and pastry products with shelf life or bubble water products with shelf life. These are all helpful for us to make profits and reduce our company's initial losses due to assembly lines and labor.

Company commercialization concept

First:Focusing on the development of stevia glycosides

No matter how time and demand change, we remain focused on achieving our goals and strive to achieve sustained excellence in business performance and customer orientation.

Second:Quickly focus on the target audience

We aim to become a company that responds quickly, proactively, and flexibly, always committed to meeting customer needs quickly and efficiently. Quickly produce innovative and competitive new products.

Third:Quickly globalize stevia glycosides

As a global enterprise, we aim to maximize our company's advantages and commercial potential, becoming a leader in the global market. All employees worldwide adhere to and implement the same fundamental principles and values, and summarize their work practices.

Introduction to Simulated Company Structure

As a newly started small enterprise, we have decided to adopt a vertical management model to reduce management costs. As the core department of the company, it mainly consists of research center, production center, and marketing center. In addition, there are financial centers and administrative centers. The research center is responsible for the iteration of laboratory content research, while the production center is responsible for controlling costs and providing cost feedback to the research center, providing feedback on the corresponding material costs required for production. The marketing center is responsible for investigating market demand and seeing market opportunities. Finance and Administration are mainly responsible for financial and administrative management. This relatively low cost of management helps the company get started.

Time line structured for future development

As a company, although we have not yet been listed or established, or rather we have just completed the laboratory steps, we have not even completed the laboratory iteration perfectly. But a timeline plan can tell us what we should do next and what is right. Perhaps this timeline is not enough for us or needs improvement, but it currently clearly guides our market path.


The so-called PDCA is a very basic mode of doing things. This mode P is both the beginning and the end. P can be setting standards or summarizing experience. D is to implement the plan and execute it. C is to analyze the current situation and identify the reasons. This is to check the degree of matching between the plan and the execution results to determine the effectiveness of the plan. In the early stages of a company's entrepreneurship, it helps the company quickly climb to a new level and lay the foundation for becoming a large company.




【1】【2】The present situation and development trends of sucralose HU Guo—hua,YANG Xu-yan,LIU Ya-li (Department of Food Science and Engineering East China University of Science and Technology,Shanghai 200237)