Highlighting real people, real plants, and real community impact

WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Saturday, October 14, the Sugar Association (SAI), along with the organization’s 15 members, will celebrate the people and the plants that make real sugar possible on the second annual National Real Sugar Day.

Alongside its member companies, the Sugar Association founded National Real Sugar Day as a way to spotlight the incredible individuals and communities connected to the sugar industry and introduce the general public to where sugar comes from.

A remarkable component of this year’s celebration includes a collective, industry-wide donation including nearly 200,000 lbs. of sugar and approximately $33,500 in financial contributions to local food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, clubs and more extending a helping hand and providing support to communities across 14 states.

“We believe it’s the people and the plants behind real sugar that make this ingredient and industry so special,” the Sugar Association President and CEO Courtney Gaine, Ph.D., RD said. “Our industry encompasses multigenerational farmers, truck drivers, mill, factory and refinery workers, all dedicated to working together to bring real sugar from the fields to our tables. It’s fitting that this year the industry is choosing to celebrate by giving back to the communities that help foster this farm to table journey.”

Real sugar comes from sugar beets and sugar cane grown on farms. In the United States, those farms are found in 14 states. Sugar beets are grown in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming and sugar cane grows in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. Georgia, Maryland, and New York also play important roles in refining sugar, rounding out an industry that sweeps across the country.

Connecting consumers to the people and the plants behind the sugar found on supermarket shelves and pantries across the U.S. is an important objective of National Real Sugar Day, but according to Gaine, “An integral aspect of our celebration is not only celebrating those who make real sugar possible but also those who enjoy it. One of the goals for the day is for each person to learn a little bit more about real sugar than they knew before,” Gaine said.

Under the theme “Real People. Real Plants. Real Sugar.,” the Sugar Association is providing various ways for the public to partake in the festivities and learn something new about real sugar on the organization’s event webpage.

Resources include a lesson plan for educators, a social media toolkit, and opportunities to hear from sugar producers and SAI member companies directly from the fields and factories.

How to Celebrate National Real Sugar Day

Follow along on social media @moretosugar and #NationalRealSugarDay this week to stay up to date on the happenings.


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 11,000 beet and cane sugar growers, as well as processors and refiners of sugar. The U.S. sugar industry generates 151,000 jobs in 24 states and contributes $23 billion to the economy annually. For more information, visit www.sugar.org, follow us on X (formerly Twitter) and Instagram, and connect with us on Facebook.

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