The consumer industry continues to be a hotbed of patent innovation. Activity is driven by guided health, sugar substitutes, and natural sweeteners and growing importance of technologies such as personalized nutrition, vegetable proteins, and sustainability. In the last three years alone, there have been over 662,000 patents filed and granted in the consumer industry, according to GlobalData’s report on Innovation in consumer: recombinant steviol glycosides. Buy the report here.
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 stabilizing 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.
30+ 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 116,000 patents, there are 30+ innovation areas that will shape the future of the industry.
Within the emerging innovation stage, microencapsulated proteins, plant-based cheese substitutes, and texturized vegetable proteins are disruptive technologies that are in the early stages of application and should be tracked closely. Botulinum toxin, beverage pods, and filled confectionary manufacturing are some of the accelerating innovation areas, where adoption has been steadily increasing. Among maturing innovation areas are anabolic muscle supplements and protein-fortified beverages, which are now well established in the industry.
Innovation S-curve for the consumer industry
Recombinant steviol glycosides is a key innovation area in consumer
Steviol glycosides are sweeteners that are prepared from stevia plant extracts. Being much sweeter compared to sugar, just a small amount of steviol glycosides is sufficient to match the sweetness provided by regular sugar. A recombinant microorganism can be defined as an organism that contains parts from different species, genera, or individuals. Such recombinant microorganisms can be used to produce steviol glycosides. These recombinant organisms can be engineered to obtain recombinant genes encoding UDP-gylcosyltransferases (UGTs) and steviol biosynthetic enzymes.
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 30+ companies, spanning technology vendors, established consumer companies, and up-and-coming start-ups engaged in the development and application of recombinant steviol glycosides.
Key players in recombinant steviol glycosides – a disruptive innovation in the consumer industry
‘Application diversity’ measures the number of applications identified for each patent. It broadly splits companies into either ‘niche’ or ‘diversified’ innovators.
‘Geographic reach’ refers to the number of countries each patent is registered in. It reflects the breadth of geographic application intended, ranging from ‘global’ to ‘local’.
Patent volumes related to recombinant steviol glycosides
|Company||Total patents (2010 - 2021)||Premium intelligence on the world's largest companies|
|Ingredion||496||Unlock company profile|
|Conagen||254||Unlock company profile|
|Cargill||234||Unlock company profile|
|Theca-Cola||192||Unlock company profile|
|Evolva||170||Unlock company profile|
|Royal DSM||157||Unlock company profile|
|Kotobuki Realty||130||Unlock company profile|
|PepsiCo||57||Unlock company profile|
|Firmenich International||43||Unlock company profile|
|Tate & Lyle||34||Unlock company profile|
|Amyris||33||Unlock company profile|
|Coca-Cola Europacific Partners||30||Unlock company profile|
|Zhucheng Haotian Pharm||15||Unlock company profile|
|CJ||15||Unlock company profile|
|Manus Bio||15||Unlock company profile|
|Evolva Nutrition||14||Unlock company profile|
|Johnson & Johnson||11||Unlock company profile|
|Symrise||11||Unlock company profile|
|Thermo Fisher Scientific||7||Unlock company profile|
|Heartland Consumers Power District||7||Unlock company profile|
|OptiBiotix Health||6||Unlock company profile|
|Hunan Nutramax||6||Unlock company profile|
|Ginkgo Bioworks||5||Unlock company profile|
|Almendra||4||Unlock company profile|
|Agricultural Research Organization - the Volcani Center||3||Unlock company profile|
|Abunda Nutrition||3||Unlock company profile|
|Orochem Technologies||3||Unlock company profile|
|Merisant US||2||Unlock company profile|
|Beijing Gingko Group||2||Unlock company profile|
|Porsche Automobil||2||Unlock company profile|
|SweeGen||2||Unlock company profile|
|Lee Thomas A||2||Unlock company profile|
|EPC (Beijing) Plant Pharmaceutical Technology||2||Unlock company profile|
|Sweet Green Fields International||2||Unlock company profile|
|Chromocell||1||Unlock company profile|
|Government Of Israel||1||Unlock company profile|
|TC Heartland||1||Unlock company profile|
|Qufu Shengren Pharmaceutical||1||Unlock company profile|
|Nippon Paper Industries||1||Unlock company profile|
|EPC Natural Products||1||Unlock company profile|
Source: GlobalData Patent Analytics
In terms of patents filed, Ingredion is the leading company in the recombinant steviol glycosides space, followed by Conagenand Cargill. In July 2023, Ingredion launched PureCircle Clean Taste Solutions, an assortment of stevia products that are tailored to food and beverage applications.
In terms of application diversity, Evolva Nutrition is the leading company, while Orochem Technologies and Abunda Nutrition stood in the second and third positions, respectively.
By means of geographic reach, Conagen leads the pack, followed by Amyris and Cargill.
With more consumers looking to restrict their sugar intake while consuming beverages, the usage of steviol glycosides as sugar substitutes will grow in the coming years. To further understand the key themes and technologies disrupting the consumer industry, access GlobalData’s latest thematic research report on Consumer.