Food-manufacturing and food-processing companies are pushing to rid their products of genetically modified organisms due to increased demand from customers. As consumers seek healthier lifestyles and diets focused on natural ingredients, companies have had to adapt to keep their sales up.
For example, The Hershey Company announced in early 2015 they would be removing GMO ingredients from almost all its products. Most notably, Hershey’s Kisses and Hershey’s Milk Chocolate Bars are no longer made with genetically modified beet sugar. Rather, they are being made with cane sugar.
Hershey’s isn’t the only company ridding their products of GMOs, but they are the most notable. While they haven’t yet committed to shedding GMOs from all their products, that point appears to be coming. Consumers are demanding it, and consumers usually win.
Where Can U.S. Producers Source Non-GMO Sugar?
Currently, most of the sugar grown in the United States is beet sugar, which can be genetically modified. In order to acquire non-GMO sugars, companies need to source internationally, with Brazil becoming a more and more enticing market.
Brazil is the largest cane-sugar producer in the world, although a lot of their natural cane sugar goes to create sugarcane ethanol (fuel), so they aren’t necessarily the largest producer of edible cane sugar. That could change, however, as more and more companies in the United States and elsewhere look to Brazil for the pure, non-GMO cane sugar.
What it Means for the Sugar Industry
Brazil has the perfect climate for cane sugar, which used to be the only type of sugar anyone wanted. Will their high level of production increase as more U.S. producers seek natural ingredients?
Or, will the beet-sugar producers in the United States start to remove their GMO crops and produce natural beet sugars?
The costs are generally higher with non-GMO ingredients, which means the price of cane sugar could climb significantly if companies look to source their cane sugars from Brazil and other foreign countries. Of course, there are costs to beet-sugar producers switching their business models as well.
With consumers demanding more natural ingredients, will they also bear the brunt of these price increases? In general, natural ingredients cost more, so it will be very interesting to follow these trends to see how the sugar industry handles these consumer demands.
We are committed to assisting you with your needs no matter the shifts in consumer demands. At Bremer, we carry both GMO beet sugar, and Non-GMO can sugar. Let us know what your consumers are demanding and how we can help.