The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of innovation, with activity driven by taste, environmental sustainability, and convenience, as well as the growing importance of food safety, alternative proteins, and food waste reduction. In the last three years alone, there have been over 450,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in Consumer: Artificial sweeteners.

However, not all innovations are equal and nor do they follow a constant upward trend. Instead, their evolution takes the form of an S-shaped curve that reflects their typical lifecycle from early emergence to accelerating adoption, before finally stabilising and reaching maturity.

Identifying where a particular innovation is on this journey, especially those that are in the emerging and accelerating stages, is essential for understanding their current level of adoption and the likely future trajectory and impact they will have.

40+ innovations will shape the consumer industry

According to GlobalData’s Technology Foresights, which plots the S-curve for the consumer industry using innovation intensity models built on over 110,000 patents, there are 40+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.

Within the emerging innovation stage, hydrogel dressings, dextrin-based compositions, and safety injection needles are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Cheese substitutes and beverage terpene sweetener are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are chewing gum compositions and anabolic muscle supplements, which are now well established in the industry.

Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry

Artificial sweeteners is a key innovation area in consumer

Artificial sweeteners are non-natural sugar substitutes that are added to food or beverages to make them taste sweet. These sweeteners are much sweeter than the same amount of table sugar and are thus required in very small amounts. Most artificial sweeteners claim to contain no calories and are thus preferred by health seekers.

GlobalData’s analysis also uncovers the companies at the forefront of each innovation area and assesses the potential reach and impact of their patenting activity across different applications and geographies. According to GlobalData, there are 40+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of artificial sweeteners.

Key players in artificial sweeteners – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry

‘Application diversity’ measures the number of different applications identified for each relevant patent and broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.

‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of different countries each relevant patent is registered in and reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.

Patent volumes related to artificial sweeteners

Company Total patents (2010 - 2021) Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies
Ingredion 643 Unlock company profile
PepsiCo 285 Unlock company profile
Cargill 279 Unlock company profile
Tate & Lyle 258 Unlock company profile
Conagen 165 Unlock company profile
Royal DSM 120 Unlock company profile
Firmenich International 104 Unlock company profile
Evolva Holding 75 Unlock company profile
Givaudan 61 Unlock company profile
EPC Natural Products 46 Unlock company profile
Kotobuki Realty 34 Unlock company profile
Symrise 29 Unlock company profile
Nestle 27 Unlock company profile
Red Bull 26 Unlock company profile
Kraft Heinz 26 Unlock company profile
International Flavors & Fragrances 25 Unlock company profile
Unavoo Food Technologies 25 Unlock company profile
Takasago International 24 Unlock company profile
Chromocell 22 Unlock company profile
CJ CheilJedang 22 Unlock company profile
San-Ei Gen F.F.I. 22 Unlock company profile
Manus Bio 21 Unlock company profile
Almendra 18 Unlock company profile
Thermo Fisher Scientific 17 Unlock company profile
Celanese 17 Unlock company profile
Amyris 16 Unlock company profile
Nutrinova 16 Unlock company profile
Krueger 16 Unlock company profile
Grupo Ferrer Internacional 13 Unlock company profile
Coca-Cola 11 Unlock company profile
Saraya 11 Unlock company profile
Ajinomoto 11 Unlock company profile
BioVittoria 11 Unlock company profile
Ogawa & Co 11 Unlock company profile
Otsuka Holdings 11 Unlock company profile
Biotechnology Research And Information Network 10 Unlock company profile
Evolva Nutrition 10 Unlock company profile
Merisant Company 9 Unlock company profile
Archer Daniels Midland 9 Unlock company profile
Lennham Pharmaceuticals 8 Unlock company profile
Hunan Nutramax 8 Unlock company profile
Nexba 7 Unlock company profile
Phyto Tech 7 Unlock company profile
Samyang Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Procter & Gamble 6 Unlock company profile
Core Intellectual Properties Holdings 6 Unlock company profile
Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings 5 Unlock company profile
Mitsubishi Shoji Foodtech 5 Unlock company profile
EPC (Beijing) Plant Pharmaceutical Technology 5 Unlock company profile

Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics

Ingredion is one of the leading patent filers in artificial sweeteners. Some other key patent filers in the artificial sweeteners space include PepsiCo, Cargill, Tate & Lyle, and Conagen. Recently, Tate & Lyle has announced an addition to its artificial sweetener portfolio: ERYTESSE Erythritol. The expansion increases the company’s capacity to assist clients in meeting the demand for healthier goods with less sugar and calories.

In terms of application diversity, Evolva Nutrition leads the pack, while Ginkgo Bioworks Holdings and Evolva Holding stand in the second and third positions, respectively. By means of geographic reach, Kraft Heinz holds the top position, followed by Evolva Nutrition and Merisant.

While more customers throughout the world are embracing low-calorie food and drink, the market for artificial sweeteners as a whole is being driven by the availability of sugar replacements.

To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.

GlobalData, the leading provider of industry intelligence, provided the underlying data, research, and analysis used to produce this article.

GlobalData’s Patent Analytics tracks patent filings and grants from official offices around the world. Textual analysis and official patent classifications are used to group patents into key thematic areas and link them to specific companies across the world’s largest industries.