“Technical benefits are always a plus, but the best thing we can do is to identify what problem we are solving with our ingredients,” Sebastien Merchet, nutrition business development manager for North America at Seppic, told NutraIngredients-USA.
“With the rise in the functional food category—especially drinks, stick packs, and snacks—we really found a home for Givomag due to its taste.”
The dedicated Givomag website, which the company launched just this month, explains that the ingredient is a water-soluble magnesium ingredient bound by a glycerophosphate anion, making the form a chelate (bound at two points instead of just forming one bond), which helps protect the magnesium throughout digestion.
The website is part of what Merchet calls a marketing push to hasten Givomag’s penetration into the US market. “This means that we don't only promote its highly bioavailability but also its advantages for being used in trendy delivery systems such as drink mixes, beverages, gummies, chews, and so forth, and mixing well with probiotics for example,” he said.
Widespread confusion about magnesium persists
According to a survey conducted by magnesium supplement manufacturer Jigsaw Health a few months ago, nine out of 10 consumers are aware of magnesium but nearly seven out of 10 are unaware of the specific health benefits it provides.
With a sample of 2,003 responses from participants throughout the US ages 18 and up, the survey revealed that only 17% of participants were currently taking a magnesium supplement, though studies have shown that magnesium intake in the US is ‘suboptimal.’
In 2016, Tim van de Gehuchte, Isaltis business development manager for minerals, said that magnesium has been overlooked in the past, dubbed as the ‘forgotten mineral’ as much more attention was being paid to calcium.
Magnesium to surpass calcium by 2020?
Despite persisting confusion, sales data from SPINS indicated that US sales of magnesium supplements across natural, specialty, gourmet and conventional multi-outlet channels grew 15.2% to $85,217,687 in the 52 weeks ending Jan. 24, 2016, projected to continue to rise until 2020.
By increasing a marketing push for magnesium inclusion in non-pill delivery formats, Merchet said that the company hopes to tap onto the growing functional food and beverage trend.
“Consumers have definitely become more educated and aware. We have seen that the consumer is less likely to blindly follow trends, and more likely to know what their bodies actually need,” Merchet said.
“Trends will always be around, but, through the channels we have access to, we are starting to see a better balance. With that, we can see the beginning of a rise in popularity for magnesium. We've seen magnesium pop up in some popular health and wellness blogs, for example.”