According to data supplied to NutraIngredients-USA from SPINS, US sales of calcium and calcium formula supplements were down 3.5% to $177.91m in the 52 weeks to January 21, 2012.
This reflects a 4.1% drop in sales in the conventional channel to $145.9m and a 1% drop in sales in the natural channel to $32m.
This compared with a 7.8% rise in overall US retail sales of vitamins and dietary supplements to $2.476bn in the conventional channel and a 9.1% rise to $748.134m in the natural channel over the same period.
Combined channel sales were up 8.1% to $3.224bn.
Huber: Enjoying ‘steady demand growth for our calcium carbonate powders’
However, calcium suppliers contacted by NutraIngredients-USA said they were surprised by the lackluster figures as they were seeing steady growth in sales to the US dietary supplement market.
Keith Sorrell, marketing communications manager at Huber Engineered Materials, which supplies calcium carbonate powders to the dietary supplement and OTC trade, said demand was such that his firm had recently announced plans to expand its Quincy, Illinois manufacturing facility to increase production capacity.
He added: “Huber Health and Nutrition has enjoyed steady demand growth for our calcium carbonate powders and granulations in recent years.
“We have enjoyed steady growth in our business as we have expanded our capabilities and customer base. In order to keep up with growing demand and maintain a high level of service, we have invested in additional capacity for both calcium carbonate powder and granulation.
“In 2012 we anticipate double-digit growth in both product categories, and in the dietary supplement and OTC markets. “
Corn Products International: Demand for Aquamin still strong
Meanwhile, Corn Products International/National Starch, which supplies Marigot’s Aquamin calcium ingredient to the US market via subsidiary GTC Nutrition, said: “We can report that we are still experiencing strong and growing demand for Aquamin calcified mineral source.
“This is primarily due to the fact that Aquamin provides unique benefits compared other sources of calcium to the market, such as calcium carbonate, which include:
- Organolepetic benefits - Aquamin provides a smooth mouthfeel and non-chalky texture
- Aquamin has a unique mineral matrix of calcium, magnesium, and trace minerals
- Aquamin is environmentally friendly, sustainable and sourced from marine red algae
“These three benefits have provided Corn Products/National Starch with a competitive advantage in the marketplace and allowed us experience growth despite the figures as shown in the SPINS data.”
Coral calcium sales back with a vengeance
Finally, coral calcium supplier Coral LLC also claims to be doing well, with coral calcium sales at the firm increasing by 30% in the past two years.
Click here to find out more about Coral LLC’s take on the market.