Lisa Shea
Splenda Press Mentions

May 2, 2004 - Splenda
A Reuters reporter quoted me in an article about Splenda, an artificial sweetener. The article was carried in many newspapers.

CHICAGO (Reuters) - It doesn't get much sweeter than this.
By Deborah Cohen

With no special advertising or publicity, Splenda, the sugar replacement from Johnson & Johnson's McNeil Nutritionals Worldwide division, is riding the hottest trend in food today -- low-carbohydrate eating popularized by the Atkins Diet.

"It's wild," Colin Watts, McNeil's president, said in a recent interview. "We've doubled the business within just the most recent 18 months."

Drug maker J&J doesn't break out Splenda's results. But sales surpassed those of rival Equal in early 2003, and now command about a 47-percent share of U.S. sugar substitute market at retail, according to Watts. The market is worth an estimated $1 billion.

Watts, 38, forecasts that within a few years, Splenda itself will grow to at least $1 billion in sales at retail and to restaurants and other food service outlets, in part because historical sugar junkies are cutting back on calories and carbs amid the growing U.S. obesity crisis.

Splenda is getting much of its lift from Atkins and its more moderate offshoot, the South Beach diet, whose dieters embrace the product because of its ability to withstand the high heat of baking and cooking without breaking down or losing flavor.

Splenda's little yellow packets recently became a staple at Starbucks coffee shops around the United States and it has gained increased popularity as a sweetener in low-carb foods such as Unilever Plc's Wishbone Carb Options dressings.

"The product is growing like gangbusters," said Bruce Cranna, a Leerink Swann analyst. "It almost sells itself."

The reason: Splenda is made from sugar by a process that bonds the sugar molecule sucralose with chlorine atoms. The result is that the sweetener has no calories and less than one carbohydrate gram per teaspoon; it passes through the body without being broken down.

It received U.S. regulatory approval as a general purpose sweetener in 1999 and McNeil took it national in 2000. Splenda's zealous following claim that it tastes more like real sugar than Merisant Co.'s Equal and Nutrasweet brands, made from aspartame, or Cumberland Packing Corp.'s Sweet 'N Low, the granddaddy of artificial sweeteners, which contains saccharin.

"Sweet flavor, no aftertaste or funny flavors," wrote Lisa Shea, a reporter for Bella Online, a women's issues Web site.


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