A new study from the Sugar Association is the foundation for their latest campaign called Real Sugar. The study found roughly 30 percent of U.S. consumers know sugar comes from plants.
According to Dr. Courtney Gaine, president and CEO of the Sugar Association, while that number is jarring the consumers they talked with during their focus groups had never thought about where sugar came from.
“What is generally going on with consumers and food is even more important than the nutritional value,” said Dr. Gaine. “Consumers want to be connected with where their food comes from, more than probably any other factor. They want to understand the process, and they want it minimally processed.”
Dr. Gaine recognizes the confusion when it comes to the healthiness of food. Some studies will say Product X will help you live longer, and other studies say that same product will give you cancer. Gaine says consumers are bombarded with this contradictory information. Instead of focusing on health the Real Sugar campaign is about education.
“What we’ve learned, is once consumers know that sugar comes from plants, they feel better about consuming it in general,” she said. “Our goal is that consumers feel confident in incorporating sugar in moderation and part of a balanced diet. We want to demystify all of these myths around sugar—you don’t have to be afraid of it—and part of that is knowing where it comes from.”
The campaign focuses on showing videos and pictures of sugarbeet and sugar cane production, processing, and highlights some of the nation’s sugar growers.
“They can see big sugar isn’t some narrative from an evil conglomerate, but these are people—family farmers,” said Gaine. “They’re honest, trustworthy, and proud of what they do.”
For more information on sugar, visit sugar.org and watch Michigan Sugar’s social media for this information.