FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 4, 2015
CONTACT: Phillip Hayes, 202-271-5734 (cell)
From the International Sweetener Symposium:
SANTA ANA PUEBLO, N.M.—Candy bar prices jumped another 10 cents this year to an all-time high $1.49, and sugar makes up just 1 percent of the cost, according to information released by the American Sugar Alliance (ASA) today at the 32nd International Sweetener Symposium.
ASA has been tracking sweetened product prices for more than 10 years and has researched candy bar prices as far back as 1908 – when the sweet treat only cost 2 cents. Candy price increases have been particularly prevalent since the 1980s, ASA found.
“Back in the ‘80s, a candy bar cost just 35 cents,” explained Jack Roney, the group’s economist, “but it’s more than quadrupled since then.”
Roney said the rise over the past three decades is significant because the price of sugar – the biggest ingredient in a candy bar – has remained virtually static since then, allowing food manufacturers to supercharge their profits on the backs of farmers and grocery shoppers.
“Food manufacturers paid 1.4 cents for a candy bar’s worth of sugar in the ‘80s, which represented roughly 4 percent of the product’s overall cost,” he explained. “Today, there’s 1.8 cents worth of sugar in a candy bar, or about 1 percent of its total price.”
The price of sugar has become a central theme in the ongoing debate over sugar policy. Candy manufacturers looking to gut America’s no-cost sugar policy are hoping to flood the U.S. market with subsidized foreign sugar. But Roney says Big Candy’s attacks are misleading and don’t paint an accurate picture of U.S. sugar prices.
“New economic research released in the past month show that U.S. consumers pay far less than the world average, and big food companies are getting one heck of a deal on sugar, too,” he said.
SIS International, a global market research firm, found in July that average retail sugar prices around the world were 20 percent higher than in the United States.
The International Sugar Organization examined wholesale sugar prices in 78 countries and found that food manufacturers in other developed nations have paid, on average, 41 cents per pound for sugar over the past 10 years. By comparison, U.S. food manufacturers paid less, averaging just 37 cents over the same period. And current U.S. prices are lower still – just 34 cents per pound.
For more information, visit www.sugaralliance.org