Carmel-based Splenda celebrates 25 years of sweetness


Market research has shown that almost everyone recognizes the yellow packets of sweetener available in most restaurants and stores as Splenda. But what many people don’t know – including in central Indiana – is that the company that owns the brand is headquartered in Carmel.

Splenda, a zero-calorie sweetener, is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year with special packaging, recipes and giveaways. Since 2015, it has been owned by Heartland Food Products Group, which employs approximately 75 people in its corporate office in Carmel’s Clay Terrace. Globally, the company has 1,100 employees.

Eddie Pellegrino, a Carmel resident and president of Heartland Food Products Group, said Splenda is used 350 million times each day worldwide, leading to trillions of calories not being consumed.

“We make it easier to reduce sugar, (leading to) healthier and happier lives, because sugar has got a lot of consequences,” Pellegrino said. “So, we consider ourselves a health and wellness company.”

To celebrate its 25th anniversary, Splenda will give $2,500 to 25 families living with diabetes through its “25 Families for 25 Years” campaign. The funds may be used to offset medical costs, pursue education or cover other related needs.

Applicants must be diagnosed with diabetes or live with someone who has diabetes. As part of the application process, they must share how diabetes, or its management, has impacted their life and explain how $2,500 would be of assistance. Learn more and apply at

Splenda will also look to the past as part of its milestone celebration.

“Each month we’re recognizing a throwback recipe for the 25 years that the brand has been out there,” said Beth Ruge, Heartland senior director of consumer and health care marketing and a Carmel resident. “It’s a really fun way for people to be able to celebrate the recipes from 10 years ago and 20 years ago and remember the things they were making before.”

The business that would become Heartland Food Products Group was launched by Ted Gelov, a Purdue University graduate, in 1991. It initially manufactured food packaging, then condiments. Heartland became the first company to create a private-label sucralose sweetener in 2004, making it a competitor of Splenda.

When it purchased the Splenda brand from Johnson & Johnson, Heartland solidified its presence in the tabletop sweeteners market. By then, Heartland had also added protein shakes, coffee creamers, liquid water enhancers and other products to its offerings.

The Splenda brand has expanded under Heartland’s ownership, with new products including Splenda Stevia, Splenda Coffee Creamers, Splenda Diabetes Care Shakes and more.

In addition to manufacturing Splenda, which largely occurs in a facility near Michigan and Georgetown roads in Indianapolis, Heartland makes store-brand products for a variety of retailers.

Heartland also owns Java House, a cold-brew coffee brand.

Learn more at and


  • 75 Heartland employees based at Clay Terrace in Carmel
  • 1,100 people employed by Heartland worldwide
  • 15 million people are loyal users of Splenda
  • 50 million uses of Splenda occur daily worldwide
  • 100 billion+ yellow Splenda packets have been sold since 1991

Source: Heartland Food Products Group