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Jennifer Grebow is editor-in-chief of Nutritional Outlook.
The magnesium supplements market is still largely untapped, with lots of potential for growth.
Magnesium’s growth hasn’t slowed. Magnesium, the second most popular mineral on the market, is still projected to eventually overtake the current number-one standalone mineral, calcium.
“Magnesium sales are seeing consistent year-on-year growth, and 2018 was no different,” says Samantha Ford, business development director for ingredient supplier AIDP Inc. (City of Industry, CA). “Magnesium is the second-highest-selling mineral, just behind calcium, but is expected to surpass calcium sales within the next three years.”
In the U.S. today, magnesium is alarmingly underconsumed; government estimates suggest that at least half of the population today does not meet Estimated Average Requirements (EAR) for magnesium.1 This deficiency is concerning, as magnesium is a critical nutrient implicated in hundreds of reactions in the body.
Patrick Sullivan, Jr., CEO of magnesium supplements brand Jigsaw Health LLC, says: “It’s commonly cited that magnesium is involved in over 325 biochemical reactions in the body, but that number is from the 1950s and was a ‘best guess’ by Harvard medical professor Dr. Bert Vallee.” The actual number could be much higher-even as high as 3,751 reactions, Sullivan, Jr., says, citing recent findings by magnesium researcher and author Morley Robbins (a.k.a. “Magnesium Man”). “That’s the reason I refer to magnesium as the ‘conductor of the mineral orchestra,’” Sullivan, Jr., adds.
Magnesium’s health benefits are wide reaching, encompassing bone health, heart health, and brain health. Recently, Nutritional Outlook wrote about growing interest in magnesium for muscle function and performance.2 Considering this country’s underconsumption of magnesium, the magnesium supplements market is still largely untapped, with lots of potential for growth.
On a global scale, market research provider Euromonitor International forecasts that volume consumption of magnesium ingredients will grow nearly 11% during 2017-2022. And SPINS numbers looking at ingredient sales during the 52 weeks ending November 4, 2018, also show magnesium’s growth in some key areas, and especially in the natural retail channel. Magnesium ranked 9th on the list of top-selling ingredients in the natural channel. In this channel, sales grew 16% last year, to $35.8 million. Magnesium also saw positive growth in the specialty gourmet channel, where SPINS estimates sales grew nearly 13%, making it the 17th-top-selling ingredient in that channel.
Success is happening across the board. Jigsaw Health and AIDP Inc.-a brand owner and an ingredient supplier, respectively-say they saw double-digit sales growth for their magnesium products or ingredients in 2018, and that they expect to see the same kind of success in 2019.
“Consumers are really grasping the importance of magnesium in the diet-not just for bone and heart health, but also in the realm of cognition,” says AIDP’s Ford. Drilling down to health conditions, SPINS numbers indicate small to medium boosts for magnesium in the areas of digestive health (mainstream channel), bone health (mainstream channel), mood (natural channel), and heart health (natural channel).
Companies are now focused on making magnesium ingredients easier for product formulators to work with. Ford says that AIDP’s flagship magnesium ingredient, Magtein (mainly for cognitive health), “can be easily formulated into finished products such as beverages, bars, chocolate, coffee, gummies, and more.” Last year, another ingredient supplier, Marigot Ltd. (Cork, Ireland), added a water-soluble magnesium ingredient to its Aquamin line of marine-derived, multimineral-complex ingredients.
Absorption is another focus. Jigsaw Health’s MagSRT product, for instance, is a time-release magnesium supplement that Sullivan, Jr., calls “the only time-release magnesium supplement with a peer-reviewed clinical trial.” The 91-subject study3, published in the Journal of the American College of Nutrition last year, found that subjects who supplemented with MagSRT for at least 30 days significantly improved their magnesium status. Last year, ingredient supplier Maypro Group (Purchase, NY) announced an ex vivo study4 which found that a proprietary magnesium ingredient the company distributes, Sucrosomial, created by Alesco S.r.l., has a liposomal structure that improves magnesium absorption.
More ingredients, more products, more customers. It all points to an attractive future for this ingredient. Sullivan, Jr., also credits consumer word of mouth for helping to spread magnesium awareness, as both he and AIDP’s Ford say that magnesium’s benefits are often improvements consumers can actually feel. “I believe the steady growth of magnesium revenue makes it a trend rather than a fad,” says Sullivan, Jr.
2019 Ingredient Trends to Watch for Food, Drinks, and Dietary Supplements: