Wal-Mart Stores Inc. will soon be carrying a store-brand version of the artificial sweetener Splenda, under the name "Altern."
This could put Wal-Mart into serious competition with Tate & Lyle, the manufacturers of Splenda. Tate & Lyle is attempting to determine whether or not Altern infringes on the Splenda patent.
Wal-Mart claims that Altern is manufactured using a different process that is not covered by the patent.Wal-Mart will sell the product in its supercenters, which are its largest stores. Wal-Mart has over 2,000 such stores in the United States alone. Altern is therefore likely to put a dent in Splenda sales, which could mean trouble for Tate & Lyle, as Splenda accounts for a significant portion of their annual profit.