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US Sweetener and Sugar Market Report - September 2012

About the US Sweetener and Sugar Market Report

Sugar substitutes is the segment with the most to gain, if manufacturers and marketers will evaluate the slacking sales performance of late and address issues such as consumer attitudes that have kept the category from growing.

Among the topics addressed in this report are the sales performance of the market overall as well as the individual segments; issues driving the market now and in the future; a view of the retail landscape; the leading companies and brands within each segment; innovative marketing strategies; and consumer purchase and usage habits, opinions, and attitudes.

This report builds on the analysis presented in Mintel’s Sugar and Sweeteners—U.S., December 2010 report as well as the November 2008, November 2007, June 2006, June 2004 reports of the same title, and Sugar and Artificial Sweeteners—U.S., December 2002.

Sales figures for the syrup and molasses segment, as well as the honey segment, will not compare directly with the 2010 report because molasses was combined with syrups in this report rather than with honey as it was in the previous report.

This report covers the following:
  • sugar (white granulated, brown, and powdered)
  • table syrups and molasses
  • sugar substitutes, such as Splenda, Sweet’N Low, Equal, Truvia, etc.
  • honey.
All data and discussion are for tabletop sweeteners only. The following categories are excluded from this report:
  • sugar or other sweeteners used as ingredients by manufacturers
  • chocolate and other dessert syrups
  • refrigerated honey.

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Sales data
            • Consumer survey data
              • Advertising creative
                • Abbreviations and terms
                  • Abbreviations
                    • Terms
                    • Executive Summary

                        • The market
                          • Growth has been steady
                            • Figure 1: Total U.S. retail sales of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2007-12
                          • Sugar remains the leading segment
                            • Figure 2: Total U.S. retail sales of sugar and sweeteners in millions by segment, 2012
                          • Growth will continue through 2017
                            • Figure 3: Fan chart forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2007-17
                          • Market factors
                            • Commodity projections are favorable
                              • Demographics show a shift in the consumer
                                • Obesity must be factored in
                                  • Figure 4: Dieting, by gender, October 2010-November 2011
                                • The consumer
                                  • Splenda is the most popular sugar substitute
                                    • Figure 5: Top five sugar substitutes/artificial sweetener brands used plus store brand, October 2010-November 2011
                                  • Stevia usage is growing
                                    • Figure 6: Shifts in sweetener usage in last year, used more, by age, April 2012
                                  • Flavor matters more than anything
                                    • Figure 7: Sugar/sweetener characteristics of importance, by gender, April 2012
                                  • What we think
                                  • Issues in the Market

                                      • How will high obesity rates affect retail sugar sales?
                                        • How will aging Baby Boomers affect the sugar and sweetener market?
                                          • What can traditional retailers learn from the natural channel?
                                            • Which sweetener segment could most benefit from sampling tours?
                                              • In what areas might consumers be interested in further new product development?
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Packaging makes perfect
                                                  • Help consumers overcome taste perceptions of sugar substitutes
                                                    • Figure 8: Sugar/sweetener characteristics of importance, by gender, April 2012
                                                    • Figure 9: Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by gender, April 2012
                                                  • Taglines and jingles can help brands differentiate
                                                    • Figure 10: White granulated sugar, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                    • Figure 11: White granulated sugar usage, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                • Trend Applications

                                                    • Trend: Help Me Help Myself
                                                      • Trend: The Real Thing
                                                        • 2015 Trend: Old Gold
                                                        • Market Size and Forecast

                                                          • Key points
                                                            • Market continues steady growth
                                                              • Sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners
                                                                • Figure 12: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2007-17
                                                                • Figure 13: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at inflation-adjusted prices, 2007-17
                                                              • Fan chart forecast
                                                                  • Figure 14: Fan chart forecast of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2007-17
                                                                • Walmart sales
                                                                • Market Drivers

                                                                  • Key points
                                                                    • Sugar commodity economics
                                                                        • Figure 15: Sugar monthly price—U.S. cents per pound, July 2011-July 2012
                                                                      • Demographics
                                                                        • Young adults use the most sugar
                                                                          • Kids are the great influencer
                                                                            • Blacks and Hispanics stand out in their own ways
                                                                              • Figure 16: Population, by race and Hispanic origin, 2006-16
                                                                              • Figure 17: Households with children, by race and Hispanic origin of householder, 2010
                                                                            • Obesity epidemic
                                                                              • The U.S. stands out for heftiness
                                                                                  • Figure 18: Age-adjusted prevalence of being overweight, obese, or extremely obese, among adults aged 20 or older, 1988-2006
                                                                                  • Figure 19: Attitudinal questions, by gender, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                • Race plays a role in obesity
                                                                                    • Figure 20: Overweight and obesity rates for adults, by race/ethnicity, 2010
                                                                                • Competitive Context

                                                                                  • Manufacturers could partner with other industries
                                                                                    • Sweetened tea cuts into sugar substitute usage
                                                                                      • Figure 21: Household usage of instant iced tea mixes by type, April 2008-June 2009; October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                    • Jam, jelly take away from syrup and honey
                                                                                    • Segment Performance

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Sugar and honey are thriving segments
                                                                                          • Sales of sugar and sweeteners, by segment
                                                                                            • Figure 22: Total U.S. retail sales of sugar and sweeteners, by segment, 2010-12
                                                                                        • Segment Performance—Sugar

                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                            • Sugar maintains its strong appeal
                                                                                              • Sales and forecast of sugar
                                                                                                • Figure 23: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of sugar, at current prices, 2007-17
                                                                                            • Segment Performance—Syrups and Molasses

                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                • Syrup, molasses performed better in the down economy
                                                                                                  • Sales and forecast of syrup and molasses
                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of syrup and molasses, at current prices, 2007-17
                                                                                                • Segment Performance—Sugar Substitutes

                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                    • Sugar substitutes have challenges to overcome
                                                                                                      • Sales and forecast of sugar substitutes
                                                                                                        • Figure 25: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of sugar substitutes, at current prices, 2007-17
                                                                                                    • Segment Performance—Honey

                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                        • Honey drips with promotional power
                                                                                                          • Sales and forecast of honey
                                                                                                            • Figure 26: Total U.S. retail sales and forecast of honey, at current prices, 2007-17
                                                                                                        • Retail Channels

                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                            • Sales are evenly divided between supermarkets and others
                                                                                                              • Sales of sugar and sweeteners, by channel
                                                                                                                • Figure 27: Total U.S. retail sales of sugar and sweeteners, by channel, at current prices, 2010-12
                                                                                                            • Retail Channels—Supermarkets

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Supermarkets see sugar, sweetener sales rise
                                                                                                                  • Supermarket sales of sugar and sweeteners
                                                                                                                    • Figure 28: U.S. supermarket sales of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2007-12
                                                                                                                • Retail Channels—Other

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • Other retailers look to carry unique products
                                                                                                                      • Other sales of sugar and sweeteners
                                                                                                                        • Figure 29: Other sales of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2007-12
                                                                                                                    • Retail Channels—Natural Supermarkets

                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                        • Sugar is a growing business for natural supermarkets
                                                                                                                          • Figure 30: Natural supermarket sales of sugar and sweeteners, at current prices, 2009-11*
                                                                                                                        • Honey is the leading segment
                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Natural supermarket sales of sugar and sweeteners, by segment, 2009 and 2011*
                                                                                                                        • Brands of note
                                                                                                                          • Organic sweeteners are giving up share to non-organic
                                                                                                                            • Figure 32: Natural supermarket sales of sugar and sweeteners, by organic, 2009 and 2011*
                                                                                                                        • Leading Companies

                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                            • Private label continues to dominate
                                                                                                                              • Manufacturer sales of sugar and sweeteners
                                                                                                                                • Figure 33: FDMx sales of sugar and sweeteners by leading companies, 52 weeks, 2011* and 2012*
                                                                                                                            • Brand Share—Sugar

                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                • Private label loses sales to the two major brands
                                                                                                                                  • FDMx sales of sugar by leading companies
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 34: FDMx sales of sugar by leading companies, 52 weeks, 2011* and 2012**
                                                                                                                                • Brand Share—Syrups and Molasses

                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                    • Brands suffer in the down segment
                                                                                                                                      • Private label continues to dominate
                                                                                                                                        • FDMx sales of syrup and molasses by leading companies
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: FDMx sales of syrup and molasses, by leading companies, rolling 52 weeks 2011 and 2012
                                                                                                                                      • Brand Share—Sugar Substitutes

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • Innovation boosts brands
                                                                                                                                            • FDMx sales of sugar substitutes by leading companies
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 36: FDMx sales of sugar substitutes, by leading companies, 52 weeks 2011* and 2012**
                                                                                                                                          • Brand Share—Honey

                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                              • Private label continues to dominate
                                                                                                                                                • FDMx sales of honey by leading company
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 37: FDMx sales of honey, by leading companies, 52 weeks 2011* and 2012**
                                                                                                                                              • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                                                • New product launches reveal trends
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 38: Honey, syrups, sucrose, and artificial sweetener launches by subcategory, 2007-12*
                                                                                                                                                • Kosher leads as the top claim
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 39: Sugar and sweetener new product claims, 2007-12
                                                                                                                                                • New product examples
                                                                                                                                                  • New sweetener sources
                                                                                                                                                    • New formulations
                                                                                                                                                      • Blended sweeteners
                                                                                                                                                        • Environmentally friendly
                                                                                                                                                          • Private label expands
                                                                                                                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                                                            • Overview
                                                                                                                                                              • Brand analysis: Mrs. Butterworth’s
                                                                                                                                                                • Brand analysis: Splenda/Nectresse
                                                                                                                                                                  • Brands use Facebook as launching pad to other initiatives
                                                                                                                                                                    • Domino Sugar
                                                                                                                                                                      • Truvia
                                                                                                                                                                        • TV presence
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Stevia, Save Yourself, television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Splenda, Extra Boost, television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Sweet’N Low, What Was in That Cup, television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Truvia, No Artificiality, television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                                                      • Sugar and Sweetener Usage

                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                          • Sugar still reigns as top sweetener added to food and drinks
                                                                                                                                                                            • Sugar and honey are top choices for baking and cooking
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 44: Sugar and sweetener usage, by gender, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Young adults show above-average interest in several sweeteners
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 45: Sugar and sweetener usage, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Highest-income earners bake and cook with sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 46: Sugar and sweetener usage, by annual household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • White granulated sugar is popular with children in household
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 47: White granulated sugar usage, by presence of children in household, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: White granulated sugar usage, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: White granulated sugar usage, by household income, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Sugar substitutes used by less than half
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by presence of children in household, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                            • Most consumers use pancake and table syrups
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Pancake and table syrups, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 55: Pancake and table syrups, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                          • Reasons for Sugar Substitute Usage

                                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                              • Concern for calories is the leading reason to choose sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Reasons for sugar substitute usage, by gender, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Reasons for sugar substitute usage, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Reasons for sugar substitute usage, by household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                            • Frequency of Usage

                                                                                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                • Sugar substitutes are used most frequently
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 59: Frequency of use—Several times a day (or several food/drinks) a day, by gender, age, and annual household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 60: Frequency of use—About once a day, by gender, age, and annual household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 61: Frequency of use—Less than once a day, by gender, age, and annual household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                              • Where Sugar/Sweeteners are Used

                                                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Home is where sweeteners are most often used
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Where sugar/sweeteners are used, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Sugar/sweeteners used, brought from home, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Sugar/sweeteners used, supplied by restaurant, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                • Shifts in Sugar/Sweetener Usage in Past Year

                                                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Stevia is on a roll
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 65: Shifts in sugar/sweetener usage in last year, by usage shifts, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 66: Shifts in sweetener usage in last year, used more, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 67: Shifts in sweetener usage in last year, used less, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Innovation, Usage, and Interest

                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Reduced-calorie combination sweeteners show promise
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 68: Innovation usage and interest, by usage, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 69: Innovation usage and interest in reduced-calorie combination sweeteners, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 70: Interest in reduced-calorie all-natural combination sweeteners, by gender, age, HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 71: Interest in flavored sugar or sugar substitutes, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 72: Interest in highly portable sugar or sugar substitutes, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 73: Interest in sweeteners with added health benefits, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 74: Interest in natural semi-sweet sweeteners, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 75: Interest in vitamin-enriched sweeteners, by gender, age, and HH income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sugar/Sweetener Characteristics of Importance

                                                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Taste, sweetness, and price are the most important characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Sugar/sweetener characteristics of importance, by gender, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Sugar/sweetener characteristics of importance, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Sugar/sweetener characteristics of importance, by household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Attitudes Toward Sweeteners

                                                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sugar substitutes need image adjustment
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 79: Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by gender, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 80: Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by age, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 81: Attitudes toward sugar and sweeteners, by household income, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                                                            • Blacks consume the most white granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 82: White granulated sugar usage, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Domino is the leading white granulated sugar brand and especially with blacks
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 83: White granulated sugar usage, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Blacks also consume the most sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 84: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Splenda is the most-used sugar substitute brand
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 85: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by race and Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Aunt Jemima is the leading syrup brand among all groups
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 86: Pancake and table syrups, by race/Hispanic origin, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Whites add sugar to food/drinks while Hispanics go agave
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 87: Sugar and sweetener usage, by race/Hispanic origin, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Custom Consumer Groups—Region

                                                                                                                                                                                              • Sugar substitutes used more by Southerners
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by region, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by region, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Northeasterners, Midwesterners most likely to add sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 90: Sugar and sweetener usage, by region, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Midwesterners use sugar substitutes to avoid calories
                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 91: Reasons for sugar substitute usage, by region, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Westerners are the most into Truvia, a stevia sweetener
                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 92: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweetener brands used, by region, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                  • SymphonyIRI Group Builders Panel Data

                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Overview of sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                        • White granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—white granulated sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 93: Brand map, selected brands of white granulated sugar buying rate, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 94: Key purchase measures for the top brands of white granulated sugar, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Brown/powdered/flavored sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—brown/powdered/flavored sugar
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 95: Brand map, selected brands of brown/flavored/powdered sugar buying rate, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                  • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 96: Key purchase measures for the top brands of brown/flavored/powdered sugar, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                    • Sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                      • Consumer insights on key purchase measures—sugar substitutes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand map
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 97: Brand map, selected brands of sugar substitutes, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Brand leader characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Key purchase measures
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 98: Key purchase measures for the top brands of sugar substitutes, by household penetration, 2011*
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix—Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Characteristics of importance
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 99: Sugar/sweetener characteristics of importance, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Where sweeteners are used
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 100: Where sugar/sweeteners are used, by type, April 2012
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 101: White granulated sugar brands used, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Sweetener brands used
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 102: Sugar substitutes/artificial sweeteners, by annual household income, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 103: Pancake and table syrups, by age, October 2010-November 2011
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • U.S. population
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 104: U.S. population, by age, 2006-16
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          • Households with children
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 105: Households by presence of children, 2001-11
                                                                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix—SymphonyIRI Builders Panel Data Definitions

                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • SymphonyIRI Consumer Network Metrics
                                                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix—Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cargill Incorporated
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Cumberland Packing Corp.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Imperial Sugar Company
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Johnson & Johnson
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • PepsiCo Inc
                                                                                                                                                                                                                              • Pinnacle Foods Group Inc.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                              US Sweetener and Sugar Market Report - September 2012

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