Per capita sweetener deliveries show steady downturn largely due to reduced demand for high fructose corn syrup
Total caloric sweetener deliveries in the United States in 2018 totaled over 40.7 billion pounds (124.4 pounds per person) on a dry weight basis (water content removed), down 2 percent from 2017. The refined sugar share of per capita deliveries continues to rise as the corn-based sweeteners share, particularly high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), has trended downward since the early 2000s. On a per person basis, deliveries of HFCS have fallen 40 percent since 2000, while refined sugar increased by 5 percent over the same period. This period coincided with higher input prices from global commodity price spikes; growth of corn-based domestic ethanol production; increased availability of sugar supplies because of increased imports from Mexico; and greater attention to food labels by food manufacturers and consumers. Nonetheless, per capita refined sugar deliveries have declined slightly since 2016, suggesting a broader decline in caloric sweetener demand. Other caloric sweeteners, such as the corn sweeteners dextrose and glucose, honey, maple syrup, molasses syrups, and fructose syrups, make up a relatively minor share of total deliveries. This chart appears in the ERS Sugar and Sweeteners Outlook newsletter released in August 2017.
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