Agave: A Naturally Sweet Success Story

Agave is a true example of less equaling more.

That’s because Agave is lighter than honey and 125 percent sweeter than sugar, so the consumer, the foodservice operator, the baker and anyone else who uses sweeteners in their food can use less and sweeten more.   

Agave’s crisp, clean taste makes it the perfect choice for sweetening beverages, meals and desserts.  Being able to use less while gaining a similar amount of sweetness also saves money.

Because it is a natural sweetener, Agave is also the choice of a new wave of consumers – the Millennials aged 18 to 28 – who are looking for more natural foods.  Similarly, the rising tide of vegans often substitutes Agave for honey.

Thus, Agave has grown at a rate of compound average growth rate of +35% in the last five years and last year saw a seven percent rate of growth in retail sales. Agave_americana

Indigenous to Mexico, the Agave plant has long been sought after for its naturally sweet nectar. This coveted succulent thrives in the rich sandy soils of Mexico, where Sugar Foods harvests its own brand called Naturel® Agave.

When the Agave plant has grown for 7-10 years, its leaves are cut off to reveal the core, “la piña,” which contains honey-like nectar. The nectar is then extracted from the piña, filtered, and heated at a very low temperature to turn it into naturally sweet syrup.

Agave nectar is a popular sweetener for processed foods within the natural foods communities in such products as soda and ice cream. Unlike honey and maple syrup, both of which have very distinct flavors as well as sweetness, Agave is clean, clear and without its own taste characteristics.

There are a variety of benefits to using Agave sweeteners:

  • Low on the Glycemic Index – for those that look for alternatives to sugar in baked goods and other healthy recipes, Agave nectar or agave syrup has a lower glycemic index than table sugar, but is even sweeter.  The index measures how the sugars in a food or drink interact with blood sugars. Those at risk for diabetes sometimes use agave instead of sugar.
  • Calcium – With a low glycemic rating, high insulin, and calcium, agave nectar aids calcium absorption for bone density and overall health.
  • Calories – Cup for cup, agave nectar has a much lower calorie count than conventional sugar. Agave has 300 calories per 100 grams while sugar has 387.
  • Organic Label – A plant-based sweetener, Agave nectar is derived from natural desert vegetation, which allows for its organic designation.

In addition to traditional baking recipes, you can use Agave as a sweetener in caramel apples, flan, oatmeal, glazed popcorn balls and drinks like lemonade and iced tea.  There are literally hundreds of uses for this natural sweetener.

However Agave is used, you can be assured that you will ultimately be getting more from less and what could be sweeter than that?

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