Understanding the dynamics and structure of sugar consumption is vitally important in assessing the future of the world sugar economy. At the global level, there has been nearly flat or slow growing direct or table-top consumption but rapid growth in industrial (or indirect)
consumption through sugar-containing products. Without statistical information of the changing structure of sugar consumption it is hardly possible to understand which segments of the market are the growth points. Yet the availability of coherent data on different uses of sugar leaves much to be desired. In 2010, the ISO provided a pioneering work on the subject with a comprehensive survey of the structure of sugar use in different countries in “Industrial and Direct Consumption of Sugar – International Survey”, MECAS(10)18.
This new survey updates key data pertaining to the structure of sugar use with the goal of enhancing our understanding of the key drivers of sugar consumption by the food and beverages sector. The surveyed countries were responsible for 75% of global sugar consumption in 2015. Given our sample’s breadth of coverage in terms of both the volumes of sugar consumption and geographical distribution, the calculated shares of particular segments within the domestic market may be considered as a reasonable indicator of global trends and illustrative of the world distribution of direct and industrial consumption. The collected data and ISO estimates show that industrial use of sugar keeps growing faster than direct consumption. In global terms, overall consumption of sugar shows an aver- age annual growth by 1.92% (2005-2015) which can be compared to the growth rate in direct consumption of only 0.40% while an average annual growth rate of
industrial use of sugar is as high as 2.7% and that of sugar use by soft drink manufacturers is even higher (nearly 4.0% a year).