Corn may still be king, but corn sweeteners remain under siege
Consumption of corn sweeteners per capita in 2017 fell 1.3 percent from 2016 consumption. This decline was caused by a more dramatic drop for high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) alone, which saw a YOY decline of 4.0 percent. Consumption of glucose corn syrup and dextrose grew by 5.5 and 7.8 percent, respectively, according to figures published by USDA.
Sugar consumption per capita did decline as well, though just by 0.7 percent. The question, of course, is whether the added public interest in more “natural” ingredients and in “clean labels” will win over concerns about calories and added sugars this year. The fact that food deliveries of sugar are estimated to have fallen nearly half a percent in 2017/18 may suggest that a significant rebound is unlikely.
In 2017, the U.S. public’s per capita consumption all caloric sweeteners reached its lowest point since 1987—a thirty-year low. So far, consumption in the 2010s has averaged just under 129 pounds, dry basis, of caloric sweeteners per capita, which is a decline of more than 7 percent from the previous decade.
U.S. sugar & corn sweetener consumption per capita history
Source: USDA, McKeany-Flavell
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