Discontinued: The Mystery Behind Stores Stopping Monk Fruit Sales
Monk fruit, also known as luo han guo, is a small green melon native to southern China. While the fruit has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries, it has recently gained popularity as a natural sweetener, with monk fruit extract being added to a variety of products from beverages to baked goods. But despite its surge in popularity, some stores have recently discontinued selling monk fruit products, leaving consumers wondering what happened.
What is monk fruit and why is it gaining popularity?Monk fruit is a small green fruit that has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries to treat a variety of ailments. Unlike traditional sugar, monk fruit extract is extremely low in calories and has zero calories from fat or carbohydrates, making it an appealing natural sweetener for people watching their sugar intake for reasons like managing diabetes or weight loss. Moreover, unlike the often-tasteless artificial sweeteners, monk fruit extract has a pleasant, fruity taste and thus has been gaining widespread popularity for its use in a variety of sugar-free products.
In addition to its use as a sweetener, monk fruit has also been found to have potential health benefits. Studies have shown that monk fruit extract may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, which could help protect against chronic diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Furthermore, monk fruit extract has been found to have a positive impact on blood sugar levels, making it a promising natural alternative for those with diabetes.Another reason for the growing popularity of monk fruit is its versatility in cooking and baking. Monk fruit extract can be used in a variety of recipes, from sweetening beverages to baking desserts, without altering the taste or texture of the final product. This makes it a great option for those looking to reduce their sugar intake without sacrificing flavor in their favorite foods.
The rise of monk fruit as a natural sweetenerThe use of monk fruit extract as a natural sweetener can be traced back to the early 2000s, when the United States FDA approved its use as a food ingredient. Since then, monk fruit has grown in popularity as a sugar substitute, being used in various products such as yoghurts, soft drinks, and protein bars. The global monk fruit extract market recorded a revenue of USD 47 million in 2018, and it is expected to reach USD 300 million by 2025, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.
In addition to its use as a sweetener, monk fruit extract has also been found to have potential health benefits. Studies have shown that it may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and could potentially help with managing diabetes and obesity. As a result, monk fruit extract is increasingly being used in health supplements and functional foods. However, more research is needed to fully understand its health benefits and potential side effects.
The health benefits of monk fruit and its extractsIn addition to its low-calorie content, monk fruit extract is also rich in antioxidants which help to protect cells from damage caused by free radicals. As an example, a 2011 study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food showed that monk fruit extract had anti-inflammatory effects in rats with diabetes. Another study published in the Journal of Food Science in 2015 showed that monk fruit extract had anti-cancer properties, working effectively against skin and breast cancer cell lines. These research findings suggest that monk fruit may be an excellent alternative for those who want to sweeten their food and drinks without the adverse health effects of consuming ordinary sugar.
Furthermore, monk fruit extract has been found to have a positive impact on blood sugar levels. A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods in 2014 showed that monk fruit extract helped to lower blood sugar levels in mice with diabetes. This suggests that monk fruit may be a useful natural sweetener for those with diabetes or those looking to manage their blood sugar levels. Additionally, monk fruit extract has been shown to have a positive effect on gut health, with research indicating that it may help to promote the growth of beneficial gut bacteria. Overall, monk fruit extract appears to offer a range of potential health benefits beyond its use as a low-calorie sweetener.
Why stores are discontinuing monk fruit salesDespite its being touted as a healthy sugar alternative, some stores have stopped selling monk fruit extract. Reports suggest that key players in the food and beverage industry are decreasing their orders of monk fruit extract due to difficulty in obtaining a constant supply of the extract. This supply chain issue, in turn, results in a high price to the consumers, leading to reduced demand and ultimately discouraging stores from selling the product.
Additionally, there have been concerns raised about the safety of monk fruit extract. While it is generally considered safe for consumption, some studies have shown that it may have negative effects on the liver and kidneys when consumed in large quantities. As a result, some stores have decided to discontinue sales of monk fruit extract until further research is conducted to ensure its safety.
Examining the demand for monk fruit productsThe demand for monk fruit extract is rising due to its natural sweetness and low-calorie content, which is beneficial for people with diabetes or those who generally aim to reduce their sugar intake. Despite the increased demand, the availability of monk fruit extract is fairly limited. Reports suggest that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated the issue of supply-and-demand, leading to a significant rise in its cost. As a result, stores are discontinuing sales of monk fruit products to avoid high prices and offering cheaper alternatives.
However, some companies are investing in the cultivation and production of monk fruit extract to meet the growing demand. This includes expanding the cultivation of monk fruit in different regions and developing new technologies to increase the yield of monk fruit extract. Additionally, some companies are exploring the use of monk fruit extract in different industries, such as the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries, which could further increase the demand for this natural sweetener. Despite the current challenges, the future of monk fruit extract looks promising as more companies invest in its production and explore its potential uses.
The impact of COVID-19 on monk fruit salesThe COVID-19 pandemic has had a significant impact on the natural sweetener industry, which includes monk fruit. Reports indicate that disruptions in global supply chains and increased freight charges have driven up the cost of monk fruit, making it unaffordable for many suppliers and manufacturers. As a result, retailers have had to limit the sale of Monk fruit products to avoid pass-on cost to the consumers.
Furthermore, the pandemic has also affected the demand for monk fruit products. With many people staying at home and cooking more, there has been a shift towards using traditional sweeteners like sugar and honey, rather than exploring new alternatives like monk fruit. This has resulted in a decrease in demand for monk fruit products, further impacting the sales of the natural sweetener.On the other hand, some companies have been able to adapt to the changing market conditions and have found new ways to market monk fruit products. For example, some manufacturers have started offering monk fruit-based sweeteners in smaller packaging sizes, making it more affordable for consumers who are looking for healthier alternatives to sugar. Additionally, some companies have started promoting the health benefits of monk fruit, such as its low glycemic index and antioxidant properties, to attract health-conscious consumers. These strategies have helped some companies maintain their sales of monk fruit products during the pandemic.