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Sugar industry in the UK - statistics & facts

Sugar in the UK is produced from sugar beets. Only sugar beets and sugar cane have sufficient sucrose amounts needed for industrial sugar production. The British accelerated the spread of the sugar beet in Europe by blocking sugar cane imports into Europe during the Napoleonic wars. Today the UK produces 7.62 million tons of sugar beets. Originally the Germans were the first to cultivate and grow the plant after discovering the sugar content in beets. The wider UK industry that manufactures sugar generates sales of 867 million British pounds. Wholesale companies selling sugar, sugar confectionery, and chocolate in the UK made almost ten billion British pounds in sales. These wholesalers contributed 1.4 billion British pounds to the GDP of the UK.

Sugar production

The United Kingdom is the tenth largest producer of sugar beets in the world. Fields in the country are tied with fields in France for the third highest yield of sugar beets per hectare in Europe. The 7.62 million metric tons of sugar beets that the UK produced was worth 246 million British pounds and was turned into over a million metric tons of sugar.

Sugar consumption

Sugar is almost always consumed as an ingredient in food products where it is used as a sweetener. Consumers in the UK spent 12.5 billion British pounds on sugar, sugar confectionery and ice cream. Average weekly spending on sugar and preserves amounted to 21 pence. This translated to slightly more than 100 grams a week. UK sales of packaged food products with reduced sugar content neared 1.6 billion U.S. dollars in 2018. Against the backdrop of consumers which are ever more interested in their health and well-being, sales of low-sugar products are to be expected.

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Sugar industry in the United Kingdom (UK)

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