Sugars and Sweeteners in Processed Foods and Beverages

Published - Jun 2007| Analyst - Charles Forman| Code - FOD018C
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Report Highlights

  • In 2006, the domestic market for refined sugar in foods and beverages was about 4.6 million metric tonnes (MT). At a CAGR of 2%, this market should grow to a little over 5 million MT by 2011.
  • The U.S. market for corn-derived sweeteners was about 11.9 million MT in 2006 and should grow at a CAGR of 1.9% to approximately 13.0 million MT in 2011.
  • The total market for the four current commercial HIS in the U.S. was about 13,400 MT in 2006, and should grow at about 3.3% per year reaching a market of 22,100 MT in 2011.
  • Other caloric sweeteners include so-called sugar alcohols, also called polyhydric alcohols or polyols. They are increasing in popularity with a 2006 market in the U.S. of 205,000 MT, and are projected to grow at 2.3% to 230,000 MT in 2011.


In some important respects, the sweeteners industry and its markets are generally considered mature, especially sugar (sucrose), which is a genuine agricultural commodity. However, the industry and its technology have evolved in several important areas, especially in high-intensity sweeteners (HIS). The latter, also called non-nutritive or noncaloric sweeteners, have become increasingly strong and competitive products, most importantly in developed countries.

With increasing focus on an overweight and increasingly obese population in these developed countries (with the greatest focus on the U.S.), the HIS market has expanded, both in sales and in the number of products available. Other sweeteners (i.e., other than sugar) enjoy significant markets, the largest of which is high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), the major sweetener in caloric soft drinks and other drinks such as regular Coca-Cola and Pepsi Cola. The U.S. market for HFCS is so large that it has now far surpassed the market for sugar.

Given the growing demand within this industry, BCC Research is providing this report as an update to a previous report published in spring 2003 that forecast from 2002 to 2007. This updated study re-examines the status of the sugar and other sweetener industries in the U.S., introduces and discusses what types of sweeteners are used in major end-use commercial food and beverage products, and analyzes and forecasts their growth potential over the 5-year period from 2006 to 2011. Although focused on the U.S., this report also places the U.S. sugar and sweetener industries in their global context.

Driving this market is the age-old consumer liking for sweetness in the diet, which is creating a personal and public health dilemma. The simplest and oldest way to add sweetness is with sugar. Unfortunately, sugar is highly caloric and can easily contribute to weight gain, cause dental caries (cavities), and contribute to the onset of diabetes. Consumers want both sweetness and low or no caloric intake from the source of the sweetness, and this desire has created an active technological base and marketplace for products of this kind.

Continuing and growing concerns about dental caries, diabetes, and general weight gain and obesity-related disorders have created the need for manufacturers and food/beverage processors to look at their processed food product. As a result, food and beverage product designers and marketers must reconsider the additives they use in their products. They must consider what alterations must be made to meet consumer demand for something that is both sweet and low-calorie or non-carbohydrate.

The actions of companies in this broad industry over the past generation or so have built a large and growing sub-industry in sweeteners that are alternatives to sugar. These alternatives are of several types, which include (1) caloric alternatives used primarily for cost reasons and is led by HFCS, (2) other sweeteners like sugar alcohols (polyhydric alcohols or polyols) that may have fewer calories than sugar and do not cause dental caries or increase glycemic index, and (3) noncaloric or HIS-like saccharin and aspartame that add no calories at all to products.


This report covers:


  • Sugar, corn-derived sweeteners like HFCS, sugar alcohols, and other less commercially important caloric sweeteners, and the four current HIS on the U.S. commercial market: aspartame, acesulfame-K (Ace-K), sucralose, and the oldest product, saccharin.
  • Market analyses, with 5-year forecasts.
  • The influence of international activities and business on the domestic market.
  • The sources from which sweeteners are derived, applicability and functionality, caloric content, and benefits and drawbacks for each.
  • Driving forces such as government regulations, technological advances, research and development of new additives, and international factors, and how these forces can promote or retard the development and marketing of current and new sweeteners.
  • Company profiles of major companies in the sweeteners business, including sweetener manufacturers and processors, as well as food and beverage processors.



Extensive searches were made of the relevant literature and the Internet, including many leading trade publications, as well as technical compendia, government publications, and information from trade and other associations. Much of the product and market information was obtained from principals involved in the industry. Information for company profiles was primarily obtained directly from company sources, especially the larger, publicly owned firms. Other sources included directories and articles.


Dr. Charles Forman has over 50 years of chemical engineering and business experience in private business, the healthcare industry and at a major not-for-profit educational association. He is an expert on the worldwide chemical process industries, with specialization in healthcare, petroleum and petrochemicals, specialty and agrichemicals, plastics, and packaging. He has written many market research reports for BCC Research on subjects including polymers and plastic packaging, petroleum processing, healthcare policy and products, food and feed additives, chemicals/petrochemicals/specialty chemicals, pesticides, and biotechnology.

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Published - Apr-2003| Analyst - Paula Kalamaras| Code - FOD018B

Report Highlights

  • World production of sugar reached about 135.1 million tons in 2002.
  • This production will grow at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 7%, to reach 145.1 million tons in 2007.
  • U.S. consumption of sugar alcohol is nearly 79% of total sweetener production.
  • By 2007, sugar alcohol and HIS consumption is slated to rise as much as 15%/year.
  • Aspartame makes up almost half of the total U.S. production and consumption of HIS.


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