Tate & Lyle has said that sales of its flagship sucralose product have not felt a negative impact from the loss of its legal battle to prevent companies importing sucralose to the US.

Earlier this year, Tate & Lyle lost its legal battle to block cheap imports of sucralose into the US, claiming that it had patent protected the manufacturing process.
 
The news sent the company's shares tumbling, as investors worried that the group would see its market share eroded and lose customers to cheaper imports of sucralose.

However, this morning (23 July) the company said that it had seen an "encouraging" start to the year, with first-quarter sales exceeding expectations.

In particular, the company said: "Sucralose traded above our expectations."

A spokesperson for the UK sugar and ingredients company told just-food that the legal blow had not affected US sales of sucralose, sold under the Splenda brand.

"We have not seen any impact from that. The lawsuit was to stop people from importing sucralose - which they were already doing. We dominate the sucralose market, we have a very strong position."

The spokesperson said that Tate & Lyle was technologically more advanced than its competitors because the company "has been making sucralose for a long time". 

"Our technology is ahead of most of our competitors. We produce superior quality and hygiene and have lower costs. This is why we have a good relationship with a number of large food manufacturers."

In order to remain ahead of the competition, Tate & Lyle confirmed that it is still investing in developing its sucralose offering.