On Saturday, October 14, the American Sugar Cane League alongside the collective national sugar industry will celebrate the people and the plants that make real sugar possible on the second annual National Real Sugar Day.
Last year, the American Sugar Cane League (which represents the Louisiana sugarcane producers and millers), together with the Sugar Association and its other members, founded National Real Sugar Day as a way to spotlight the individuals and communities connected to the sugar industry and introduce the general public to where sugar comes from.
A remarkable component of this year’s celebration includes a collective, industry-wide donation including nearly 200,000 lbs. of sugar and approximately $33,500 in financial contributions to local food banks, shelters, soup kitchens, clubs and more extending a helping hand and providing support to communities across 14 states. In Louisiana, the American Sugar Cane League donated $250 each to Second Harvest in New Orleans, Second Harvest in Lafayette and the Greater Baton Rouge Food Bank. Louisiana Sugar Refining donated 5,200 pounds of sugar to Second Harvest.
“Louisiana is the birthplace of the American sugar industry,” said Bryan Simon, president of the American Sugar Cane League. “We’ve been growing it for more than 200 years and we’re grateful for a commodity that has provided us with our livelihoods.”
Several sugarcane farming families participated in National Real Sugar Day activities on social media. The Mariah and Stephen Simoneaux family of Plattenville and Maggie and Patrick Engemann family of Baton Rouge were Louisiana’s public faces of National Real Sugar Day 2023. Their video features can be found on the Louisiana Sugarcane YouTube channel. Also, producer Lance Gaudet of Napoleonville and sugar mills Lula-Westfield Sugar Factory in Assumption Parish and Louisiana Sugarcane Cooperative (LASUCA) of St. Martin Parish supplied social media photos for National Real Sugar Day.
Real sugar comes from sugarcane and sugar beets grown on farms. In the United States, those farms are found in 14 states. Sugarcane grows in Louisiana, Florida and Texas and sugar beets are grown in California, Colorado, Idaho, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, Oregon, Washington and Wyoming. Georgia, Maryland, and New York also play important roles in refining sugar, rounding out an industry that sweeps across the country.
Connecting consumers to the people and the plants behind the sugar found on supermarket shelves and pantries across the U.S. is an important objective of National Real Sugar Day, but according to, the Sugar Association President and CEO Courtney Gaine, Ph.D., RD, “From those who make real sugar possible to those who enjoy it, National Real Sugar Day is an opportunity for everyone to celebrate and learn more about sugar than they knew before.”
Under the theme “Real People. Real Plants. Real Sugar.,” the sugar industry encourages the public to partake in the festivities and learn something new about real sugar on the National Real Sugar Day event webpage. Resources include a lesson plan for educators, a social media toolkit, and opportunities to hear from sugar producers and SAI member companies directly from the fields and factories.
How to Celebrate National Real Sugar Day
- Donate sugar to your local food bank.
- Bake or cook something with #RealSugar to share with friends, family and online.
- Share images of sugar beet or sugar cane harvest online with #RealSugar.
- Pose with your favorite type of real sugar or sugar-containing food and post to social media.
- Share your favorite real sugar-containing recipes.
- Share stories of where real sugar comes from by posting images of sugar beets and sugar cane.
- Teach your class about where real sugar comes from with our National Real Sugar Day lesson plan.
Follow along on social media @moretosugar and #NationalRealSugarDay this week to stay up to date on the happenings.