>> The world might be losing its sweet tooth. And that's bad news for anyone who grows or sells sugar. For the past decade, demand for the sweetener has grown at about 2% per year. But now, analyst group Platts Kingsman say growth could slow to about half that rate.
Reuters commodities correspondent Anna says the trend started in rich countries.>> In developed markets the key driver has been a growing understanding of the potential link between health problems like obesity and diabetes and sugar.>> At least 17 countries and a number of US cities now put extra tax on sugary drinks.
11 more nations are considering something similar. In the past, booming demand in the developing world might have made up for that. As people get richer, they tend to eat more sugar. But now that is changing, too. Sugar sales in India, the world's biggest consumer, are set to fall by 1 million tons this season according to forecasters.
Local factors at play there, including an end to sugar subsidies for poor families. And it's a similar story in other developing markets.>> In South America in the growing economies like Brazil. These really tough sort of economic conditions following recessions have really dampened appetite. And so, there's also corn syrup, which in some markets is just, is too cheap and too competitive.
>> Does all this mean the world is about to hit peak sugar? It's too early to say that for sure, but it is a headache for the industry even so. With production exceeding demand, prices for their product look likely to fall. Like many of their costumers, that could leave shorter firms with some slimming down to do.