World Sugar Consumption



At the beginning of the 20th century, a world population of 1.6 billion people consumed roughly 8 million tonnes of sugar, i.e. just over 5kg per capita per annum.

Considerable expansion took place until 1980, when world sugar consumption reached nearly 90 million tonnes, i.e. an annual growth rate of 3.1%.

After going through a sluggish growth in the 1990s, which hardly exceeded 2,2% per annum, sugar consumption has grown at an healthy rate since the early 2000s, notably in Asia (+4,9% p.a.), the Middle-East (+4,6% p.a.) and Africa (+4,1% p.a.).

Today, a world population of just above 7 billion people, of which 75% (5,5 billion) are concentrated in Asia (4.4 billion) and Africa (1.1 billion), consumes roughly 173 million tonnes of sugar, that is 24 kg per capita on average, with the lowest level seen in the most populous continent (Africa and Asia  with average at respectively 16,8 and 17,3 kg per capita), and the highest in America and Europe (average at respectively 43,8 kg and 36,7kg per capita).

The 10 largest sugar consuming nations represent roughly two-thirds of total world consumption.

White sugar consumption in developed countries can be considered as saturated (flat/low population growth and maturity of food markets), whereas developing countries are considered as growing markets, particularly in Asia, and, to a lesser extent, in the Middle-East and Africa.


Below is data from Euromonitor showing the average sugar consumption per capita in different countries around the world  .


Whilst consumption in Africa and Asia remain markedly lower than sugar consumption in developed regions, this trend looks to be changing with large growth in sugar consumption expected due to increases in population sizes, increases in average incomes, and changing dietary patterns.

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