Sugar can be found everywhere — in your favorite ice cream, soda, cookies, etc. But where does this delicious sweetener comes come from? Who are its major producers? And who are its biggest consumers?
Join us as we explore the most recent sugar industry statistics and reveal the most compelling stats and facts about one of the world’s favorite sweeteners, the raw materials it’s made of, its top-producing countries, etc.
Let’s dive in!
Top 10 Sugar Industry Statistics and Facts
- India was the world’s biggest raw sugar producer in 2021/2022.
- India was also the world’s greatest sugar consumer in 2021/2022.
- There were 48.9 million metric tons of sugar in stock worldwide in 2020/2021.
- Brazil exported a whopping 25.65 million metric tons of sugar between 2021 and 2022.
- The US sugar industry’s economic impact amounts to $23.3 billion.
- Canada produced and distributed 1.28 million tons of refined sugar in 2018.
- Granulated industrial sugar accounted for the largest market share (41.2%) in 2019.
- Florida is the largest sugarcane-producing state in the US.
- The global sugar consumption in 2021 / 2022 totaled 175.5 million metric tons.
- The US sugar consumption amounted to 11.3 million metric tons in 2021/2022.
General Stats and Facts About Sugar
1. Sugar is one of the oldest commodities in the world.
(The Sugar Association)
It was first domesticated back in 8000 BC in New Guinea.
2. Table sugar comes from two major crops — sugarcane and sugar beets.
As much as 80% of sugar comes from sugarcane, while only 20% originates from sugar beets. Sugarcane is typically grown in tropical and subtropical environments, while sugar beet crops are more common in temperate climates of the Northern hemisphere.
3. There are about six types of added sugar in foods.
They include sucrose, various syrups, dextrose, honey, table sugar, and sugars from concentrated fruit/vegetable juices.
4. Sugar-sweetened beverages are the most common source of added sugar for Americans.
(Dietary Guidelines for Americans)
As much as 24% of added sugar intake comes from sweetened beverages. Sweet snacks and desserts account for 19%, while coffee and tea make up 11% of the intake.
Sugar Industry Facts and Stats
Now let’s take a look at the current state of the sugar industry and explore the latest statistics concerning the current market value, the biggest sugar companies, etc.
5. The US sugar industry’s economic impact amounts to $23.3 billion.
(American Sugar Alliance)
The US sugar industry also generates over 151,000 jobs in the US.
6. Brazil-based Cosan is one of the world’s top sugar companies.
Other top sugar-manufacturing companies include:
- Associated British Foods (the UK)
- Wilmar International (Singapore)
- Mitr Phol Sugar Corp (Thailand)
- Thai Roong Ruang Group (Thailand)
- Nordzucker (Germany)
- Sudzucker (Germany)
- Tereos (France)
- Cargill (the US)
7. There was a total of 48.9 million metric tons of sugar in stock worldwide between 2020 and 2021.
Total sugar stocks are expected to reduce by about three million metric tons (to 45.36 million metric tons) by 2023.
8. The global sugar industry market size amounted to $37.62 billion in 2021.
(Fortune Business Insights)
Experts predict that the market will further expand, growing to $46.56 billion in 2029 at a CAGR of 2.72%.
9. The global sugar market hit a volume of 185 million tons in 2021.
Experts predict further sugar industry growth in the future, stating that it could reach 206.6 million tons by 2027, growing at a CAGR of 1.8%.
Sugar Production Facts and Stats
How much sugar gets produced every year? What are the top sugar-producing countries? What’s the most common raw material used in sugar production?
Read on and find out!
10. The global sugar production amounted to 181.18 million metric tons in 2021/2022.
The number represents a slight increase in comparison with the previous season (when the global sugar production amounted to 181.01 million metric tons).
11. India was the world’s biggest raw sugar producer in 2021/2022.
India produced 36.88 million metric tons of raw crystal sugar that season. It was closely followed by Brazil, which produced 35.35 million metric tons of raw sugar.
The rankings of the two countries differed in 2020/2021 — Brazil ranked first with 42.05 million metric tons produced, and India followed with 33.76 million metric tons.
12. There are currently over 110 sugar-producing countries in the world.
(International Sugar Organization) (USDA)
The sugar industry leaders in production include Brazil, India, the EU, Thailand, and China.
13. The US produced 8.37 million metric tons of sugar in 2021/2022.
This made the US the sixth-ranking country on the list of the world’s top sugar producers.
14. Florida is the largest sugarcane-producing state in the US.
Florida alone produced about 17.14 million tons of sugarcane in 2021. Other top-producing states, Louisiana and Texas, produced 14.73 million tons and 1.15 million tons of sugarcane, respectively.
15. Sugar beets account for 55–60% of the total sugar production in the US.
This makes sugar beets the leading raw material for sugar manufacturing in the US. The remainder (40–45%) of US sugar is produced using sugarcane.
16. According to sugar industry statistics, about 937,500 acres of sugarcane were harvested in the US in 2021.
The figure is slightly lower than the previous year (when the total area of harvested sugarcane amounted to 947,600 acres). The highest figure was recorded in 2001 (when the total area of harvested sugarcane amounted to nearly 1.03 million acres).
17. The Russian Federation was the world’s largest sugar beet producer in 2020, having produced 33.92 million metric tons of sugar alone.
The Russian Federation was closely followed by the US and Germany, which produced 30.5 million metric tons and 28.62 million metric tons of sugar that year, respectively.
18. Brazil was the world’s largest sugarcane producer in 2020, having produced 757.12 million metric tons of sugarcane that year.
Brazil alone produced more than twice as much sugarcane as the second-ranked India, which produced 370.5 million metric tons in 2020.
19. Brazil exported a whopping 25.65 million metric tons of sugar between 2021 and 2022.
This made Brazil the largest sugar exporter in the world that season. And this information doesn’t come as a surprise. After all, Brazil is one of the largest sugar markets in the world.
Thailand (10 million metric tons), India (8.78 million metric tons), Australia (3.3 million metric tons), and Mexico (2.05 million metric tons) also showed up on the list of the world’s top five sugar exporters.
20. The Canadian sugar industry produced and distributed 1.28 million tons of refined sugar in 2018.
(The Canadian Sugar Institute)
Canadian sugar is produced mainly from raw cane sugar imports (90%) and Canada-grown sugar beets.
21. The EU is estimated to produce 16.3 million metric tons of sugar in 2022/2023.
The figure doesn’t come as a surprise, as the EU is the world’s third-largest sugar producer.
22. The EU accounts for 20% of the world’s total beet sugar production.
This makes the EU the world’s largest producer of beet sugar.
23. Brown sugar is expected to grow at the fastest CAGR in the 2020–2027 forecast period.
Experts expect this category to grow at a CAGR of 7.5% in the forecast period.
24. Granulated industrial sugar accounted for the largest market share (41.2%) in 2019.
This is the most used type of sugar in the kitchen, so the high demand isn’t surprising.
Sugar Consumption Facts
Now let’s take a look at some of the most interesting facts related to sugar consumption. How much sugar should we take? How can sugar affect our health?
Let’s find out!
25. Americans consume about 270 kcal of added sugars a day.
(Dietary Guidelines for Americans)
This translates to a whopping 17 tablespoons of sugar a day.
26. High sugar diets can increase urinary excretion of chromium by up to 300% and chromium deficiency.
(Havard T.H. Chan) (Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental)
Chromium is an important micronutrient that helps with blood sugar level regulation. Chromium deficiency may cause hyperglycemia and pre-diabetes symptoms.
27. Daily sugar consumption shouldn’t exceed 5% of the daily calories you get from food and drinks.
In other words, adults should limit their sugar consumption to 30 g per day. Children aged 7–10 should limit their intake of free sugars to 24 g a day and those aged 4–6 to 19 g a day.
28. Regular intake of sugar-sweetened beverages can increase the risk of type 2 diabetes.
(American Diabetes Association)
Research shows a possible link between type 2 diabetes and sugar consumption. According to a study, consuming sugar-sweetened drinks 1–2 times a day can increase your chance of developing type 2 diabetes by 26%.
29. Fructose, one of the building blocks of sugar, can induce leptin resistance.
(Cleveland Clinic) (NIH)
Leptin is an appetite-regulating hormone. One of its main functions is to inhibit hunger. Diets high in fructose may decrease leptin’s ability to suppress hunger, leading to almost constant hunger. This way, fructose may contribute to obesity.
Sugar Consumption by Country
Everybody eats sugar in one form or another. And no wonder — it’s present everywhere, from your favorite sweet drinks to pastries, desserts, and other foods. Now, let’s find out who are the most and least devoted fans of this popular carbohydrate.
Let’s dive in!
30. Sugar consumption worldwide amounted to 175.5 million metric tons in 2021/2022.
Global sugar consumption is expected to further increase to an estimated 178.84 million metric tons in 2022/2023. The increased interest in sugar can be ascribed to its wide availability, which is a result of better agricultural technology, an increase in the world trade of sugar, etc.
31. India is currently the world’s largest sugar consumer, having consumed 29 million metric tons of sugar between 2021 and 2022.
It’s followed by the EU (17 million metric tons), China (15.5 million metric tons), the US (11.3 million metric tons), and Brazil (9.8 million metric tons).
32. The Democratic Republic of Congo was the smallest consumer of sugar in 2019.
Sugar consumption in this country amounted to a meager 2.7 kg (nearly 6 lbs) per capita, which is over 20 times less than the first-ranked Cuba, which consumed a whopping 51.5 kg (113.5 lbs) of sugar per capita.
Other small sugar consumers in 2019 included Myanmar (3.1 kg (6.8 lbs) per capita) and Burundi (3.37 kg (7.4 lbs) per capita).
33. Sugar consumption in the United States amounted to 11.3 million metric tons in 2021/2022.
Statistics show that sugar consumption in the US increased by about one million metric tons in the past decade (from 10.1 million metric tons in 2011/2012 to 11.3 million metric tons in 2021/2022).
34. The US consumed 33.1 kg (nearly 73 lbs) of sugar per capita in 2019.
This is 11.8 kg (about 26 lbs) less than its record high in 1972 (44.9 kg or nearly 99 lbs per capita) and 6.5 kg (14.3 lbs) more than its record low in 1985 (26.6 kg or 58.6 lbs per capita).
35. The US’s sugar consumption between 2021 and 2022 amounted to 11.3 million metric tons.
This was a slight increase in comparison with the previous year (when sugar consumption amounted to 11 million metric tons).
Sugar is an invaluable carbohydrate omnipresent in virtually every diet.
Though sugar carries certain health risks (especially when it comes to excessive intake), it’s essential for supplying your cells with energy. And it can serve as literal “food for thought” since glucose from it is the brain’s preferred fuel source.
So, don’t be afraid to indulge in your favorite sugar-containing sweets now and then. Just make sure not to go overboard and consume too much sugar at once.
Where does sugar come from?
Sugar comes from two main plant sources — sugarcane and sugar beet. As many as 80% of the world’s sugar comes from sugarcane, while the remaining 20% originates from sugar beet.
How many grams of sugar per day should you take per day?
Adults should limit their free sugar intake to about 30 g (seven cubes or a little over two tablespoons) per day. Children aged 7–10 should consume up to 24 g of free sugars a day, and those aged 4–6 should take no more than 19 g per day.
There’s no official recommended daily sugar intake for children under the age of four, but it’s recommended that they limit their intake of sweetened food and beverages.
How big is the sugar industry?
The current global sugar production amounts to 181.18 million metric tons. The industry is expected to slightly expand in the future and produce about 182.89 million metric tons in the following season (2022/2023).
What is the market cap of the sugar industry?
The sugar industry’s value was $37.62 billion in 2021. It’s expected to further grow from $38.58 billion in 2022 to $46.56 billion in 2029.
Is the sugar industry growing?
If you ask experts, the answer is yes.
According to sugar industry statistics, the sugar industry is expected to reach $46.56 billion by 2029, growing at a CAGR of 2.72%.
- American Diabetes Association
- American Sugar Alliance
- Cleveland Clinic
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Dietary Guidelines for Americans
- Fortune Business Insights
- Havard T.H. Chan
- Helgi Library
- Helgi Library
- IMARC Group
- IMARC Group
- International Sugar Organization
- Metabolism – Clinical and Experimental
- The Canadian Sugar Institute
- The Sugar Association