the sugar association

July 28, 2021

Washington, D.C. – A significant majority of consumers understand real sugar originates from plants and is naturally-occurring, according to new research conducted by Quadrant Strategies for the Sugar Association.  Overall, the research shows consumer attitudes about real sugar are increasingly positive, while the favorability of artificial sweeteners has declined.

“The shift in consumer attitudes about sugar over the last three years shows consumers have a much deeper and clearer understanding of sugar’s plant origin, as well as its role in a balanced diet,” said Dr. Courtney Gaine, PhD, RD, president and CEO of the Sugar Association.  “That is good news and progress for facts, nutrition science and common sense over a lot of the misinformation around sugar we have seen in recent years.”

The study, based on feedback provided by a national, statistically representative sample of 1,500 adults across the U.S., shows:

Taken as a whole, the new research, when compared to the 2018 findings, shows a significant increase in consumers’ positive perceptions of real sugar and increased consumer skepticism of sugar substitutes.

“Real sugar is an ingredient that consumers know and recognize, and increasingly, consumers understand where real sugar comes from. In addition to its roles in many nutritious foods, sugar remains a source of fun and enjoyment for American families, playing a part in a balanced lifestyle,” concluded Dr. Gaine.

For more information about the need for complete and accurate labeling of artificial sweeteners in packaged food, click here.

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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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