the sugar association

WASHINGTON, Aug. 9, 2022 – The Sugar Association (SAI) today announced the celebration of the first annual National Real Sugar Day, taking place October 14, 2022, as a day to celebrate real sugar with the people who bring it from farm to table and those individuals and families who enjoy it as part of a balanced diet.

“Many consumers are confused about how real sugar fits into their diet, but according to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, there is room – up to 10 percent of daily calories – for sugar in a balanced diet,” said Courtney Gaine, Ph.D., RD, SAI president and CEO. “For thousands of years, sugar has helped us celebrate life’s sweet memories, so we thought it was time to turn the tables and officially celebrate real sugar and the many roles it plays in our lives.”

In a March 2021 survey, U.S. consumers listed sugar most frequently when asked to name any ingredients that come to mind that make food or beverages enjoyable to eat or drink. On the flip side, while people say it is their favorite ingredient, almost half of consumers are unsure where sugar comes from with 46 percent unaware that real sugar comes from plants. There is a lot of opportunity for the industry to increase awareness around what real sugar is. Real sugar has been a part of our diets for thousands of years, and there is so much to share about the many functions sugar has in food.

Real sugar is grown and harvested on sugar beet and sugar cane farms. And the same pure sugar found naturally in the plant is what ends up in kitchens across the country.

Sugar is a versatile and irreplaceable functional ingredient in food. Without sugar, ice cream wouldn’t be so creamy, crackers wouldn’t be as crispy, and breads wouldn’t be so light and airy. Beyond providing sweetness, sugar is also used to balance acidity, add bulk, or prevent spoilage. Additionally, sugar is used in the production of medication, to make bioplastics for planes, and can extend the life of your fresh cut flowers. With all these valuable functions, sugar can’t simply be replaced by another single ingredient.

As one of the world’s oldest documented commodities, sugar has been consumed by people all over the globe for thousands of years, with the earliest records of domestication of sugar cane dating back to 8000 BC in Papua New Guinea where the indigenous people chewed it raw. From there, it spread across the globe. In 1747, sugar was identified in beet roots, giving us the second crop from which real sugar is extracted today. In the United States today, about 9 million tons of sugar beet and sugar cane is grown and processed in 17 states each year.

How to observe #NationalRealSugarDay:

SAI and the broader sugar industry are planning now for National Real Sugar Day celebrations across the country. Contact us or follow us on social media @moretosugar to get involved. Follow #NationalRealSugarDay leading up to and on the day of for updates!

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The Sugar Association, founded in 1943, is the scientific voice of the U.S. sugar industry. The association is committed to making a difference by continuously supporting scientific research and sharing its knowledge that there’s more to sugar by increasing consumer understanding of and confidence in the role that sugar plays in a nutritious, balanced and enjoyable diet. The Sugar Association represents nearly 12,000 beet and cane sugar growers, as well as processors and refiners of sugar. The U.S. sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs in 22 states and contributes $20 billion to the economy annually. For more information, visit www.sugar.org, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and connect with us on Facebook.

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