Stevia is important. That’s for sure. But how important ? It’s still too soon to tell, though there are early signs. The pioneering US products seem to be doing well. Both Coke and Pepsi appear to be considering launches under even bigger brand names. Stevia’s main drawback is that it isn’t sufficient as an all natural intense sweetener when used by itself. It works best when blended with other sweeteners, but can’t use the all natural claim if blended with so called artificial sweeteners. This, it turns out, could be a blessing. Consumers don’t yet quite believe that they can have an all natural zero calorie drink. They do believe that regular products can be naturally improved to give a lower calorie content. This emphatically wasn’t the case a few years ago when various companies tried mid calorie products. At the time, however, they had to depend on artificial sweeteners. I wonder if it is possible that regular carbonates could migrate to lower calorie positions over the next few years. Or will the scientists have come up with a competitive natural sweetener that works as well without any calories at all ? Viable, certainly. Enviable, probably.