Inaugural Celebration Spotlights Sugar’s Natural Origins from Sugar Beet and Sugar Cane Plants

WASHINGTON, October 6, 2022 – The sugar industry will come together to mark the first annual National Real Sugar Day on Oct. 14 as a day to celebrate real sugar with the people who bring it from farm to table and those individuals and families who enjoy it as part of a balanced diet.

“As the gold standard for sweetness, real sugar has helped us celebrate life’s sweet memories generation after generation. We feel it’s now time we celebrate sugar and its story – of the plants, the people, the process and, of course, the product,” said Courtney Gaine, Ph.D., RD, the Sugar Association President and CEO. “Real sugar has always been a favorite ingredient, but it is so much more than that. Real sugar, which comes from sugarbeets and sugar cane plants, provides many functions beyond sweetness. We hope National Real Sugar Day will spotlight real sugar’s natural origins and bring greater awareness to the many roles sugar plays in the food supply.”

Real sugar is grown and harvested on sugar beet and sugar cane farms. And the same pure sugar found naturally in the plants is what ends up in kitchens across the country.

Sugar is a versatile functional ingredient in food. Beyond providing sweetness, sugar is also used for balancing acidity, adding bulk and texture, fermentation, lowering the freezing point, and preventing spoilage. With all these valuable functions, sugar can’t simply be replaced by another single ingredient.

On Oct. 14, the sugar industry will showcase real sugar on the farm for all to see. Throughout the day, growers from across the country will host Facebook Live broadcasts from their fields to show how sugar beets and sugar cane are grown and harvested and for the public to learn a bit more about the people behind product. Like the Sugar Association on Facebook @moretosugar to watch the broadcasts from 9 am to 4:30 pm EDT.

As one of the world’s oldest documented commodities, sugar has been consumed by people all over the globe for thousands of years, with the earliest records of domestication of sugar cane dating back to 8000 BC in Papua New Guinea where the indigenous people chewed it raw. From there, it spread across the globe. In 1747, sugar was identified in beet roots, giving us the second crop from which real sugar is extracted today. In the United States today, about 9 million tons of sugarbeet and sugar cane is grown and processed in 17 states each year.

According to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, up to 10 percent of daily calories – can come from sugar. A healthy lifestyle is about a balanced approach to eating, physical activity and avoiding anything in excess. Balance means there’s room for real sugar.

How to observe #NationalRealSugarDay:

  • Bake or cook something with #RealSugar to share with family, friends, and online.
  • Share images of sugar beet or sugar cane harvest online with #RealSugar.
  • Pose with your favorite type of real sugar or sugar-containing food and post to social media.
  • Share real sugar-containing recipes online.
  • Share stories of where real sugar comes from by posting images of sugar beets and sugar cane.
  • Share images and stories of the farmers who grow real sugar.
  • Teach your class about where real sugar comes from with the Real Sugar Day lesson plan.

The Sugar Association and the broader sugar industry are planning now for National Real Sugar Day celebrations across the country. Contact us or follow us on social media @moretosugar leading up to and on the day of for updates!


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 12,000 beet and cane sugar growers, as well as processors and refiners of sugar. The U.S. sugar industry generates 142,000 jobs in 22 states and contributes $20 billion to the economy annually. For more information, visit, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and connect with us on Facebook.