As the food supplement industry experiences an unprecedented boost in sales and consumer demand, the quest for the right supplement formulation has found a new hero in agave sweetener.
While the origin, benefits and uses of Agave Syrup in the food industry have long been recognized, this ingredient is undergoing a particularly sweet moment.
Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about the benefits of agave sweetener and how food supplement companies are incorporating it into their catalog.
Agave sweetener in nutritional supplements: characteristics and benefits
Agave syrup is a natural sweetener alternative to sugar and related products (such as stevia) and other sweeteners like honey or sucrose. First introduced to the market in the 1990s, it is extracted from agave plant sap by means of hydrolysis of fructose from this plant’s leaves.
In fact, this hydrolysis process has been found to present a total reduction of sugars of between 77 to 96.4% and is in part related to the benefits of using agave sweetener. Research concerning the enzymatic hydrolysis of fructans has shown their action as prebiotics (promoting growth and activity of beneficial colon bacteria such as Bifidobacteria and Lactobacillus [5–7]), a decrease of glucose level in blood, homeostasis of lipids, mineral availability, and immunomodulatory effects.
Used in the dietary supplement industry as part of plant-based vegan formulations, this natural ingredient presents several characteristics and benefits that have turned it into a popular choice in supplement formulation:
- Presents a positive nutritional value, acting as a source of minerals, vitamins and polyphenols
- Has about the same number of calories as honey
- High-quality, organic agave sweetener has sustainability at its core. It can be produced without pesticides and according to specific labor standards. Additionally, producers in countries like Mexico follow strict guidelines which prohibit altering agave using any ingredient, sugar or food additive apart from agave plants
- Research has suggested it acts as a prebiotic and to have a low glycemic index
- Needs less quantity to sweeten more
- Does not change but enhances the flavour of finished product
- Natural preservative – extends shelf life of the products
These advantages, combined with growing consumer curiosity and demand for natural, healthy ingredients, have pushed the use of agave sweetener in the food supplement industry, as well as the more specific blue agave syrup. The result is a natural ingredient that acts as a natural alternative to sugar.
The main characteristics of this vegan natural sweetener are:
- 1,3x sweeter than refined sugar
- 5 times lower glycemic index
- High solubility
- Pleasant taste
- Variety of colors and intensity of flavors
- Low glucose (5-15%) and roughly no sucrose
- Contains low amount of fiber from the agave itself
What food supplement categories contain agave sweetener in Europe?
As we’ve mentioned, in recent years there has been a surge in the use of natural ingredients as part of the food supplement industry. There are different currents within this wider trend, which include consumer preferences for the familiarity of beehive products. Agave sweetener also stands out among these.
Let’s have a look at the exact categories within this sector that have shown the most interest in agave:
Source: GNPD Mintel
- Vitamins and Dietary Supplements: the food supplement sector has been quick to recognize the nutritional value of adding agave as sweetener
- Decongestive, cough, cold & flu relief: as agave acts as a natural sweetener, it generates the right supplement formulation for a number of health-oriented products.
- Sleep Aids: agave sweetener generates a pleasant, inviting taste that adds up to sleep-aid formulations
- Stimulants: it’s also a sought-after natural ingredient addition for food supplements targeting an increase in energy
- Digestive and detoxifying treatments: the nutritional properties of agave work together with detox-products to generate formulas that appeal to health-oriented consumers
Food supplement launches between 2021 and 2022
The number and variety of food supplement launches that incorporated agave sweetener speaks volumes of this product’s current good traction and demand.
Using Mintel’s GNPD as a barometer, it’s possible to identify certain trends in food supplement launches that incorporate this ingredient. In 2022, the following formulas were incorporated:
- Organic Slimming Ampoules
- Organic Royal Jelly Vials
- Olive Leaf Organic Extract Herbal Supplement
- Children’s Immunity Support Dietary Supplement
- Organic Throat Gum
The previous year, the trend also took off with the following products:
- Fresh Mint Oral Spray
- Propolis Immune Treatment
- Transit Dietary Supplement for Kids
- Brain Stimulation Film-Coated Tablets
- Propolis Syrup
There are at least two conclusions to be drawn from looking at this list.
First of all, it’s worth noting the multitude of product formulas and formats that the food supplement sector is currently experimenting with (ampoules, tablets, syrups, sprays…).
Second of all, the combination between agave sweetener and beehive products such as propolis and royal jelly is yet another micro-trend to watch out in the food supplement industry. Again, this alliance builds up from increased consumer interests in natural ingredients.
Sales formats to buy agave wholesale
Food supplement companies looking to incorporate agave syrup sweetener and blue agave syrup rely on finding a trustworthy business partner.
This is important not only in terms of supply chain guarantees, but also to ensure providers are able to present high-quality, organic agave that guarantees this ingredient’s nutritional values and a traceable organic origin.
At Honey Green, we work to become the reliable business partner that we’ve just discovered. As such, our Organic Blue Agave Tequilana Weber syrup is 100% pure nectar extracted from the Agave Tequilana Weber plant.
Available with Fairtarde certification.
With a certified Mexican origin, this agave sweetener is produced in the regions of Jalisco, Guanajuato, Michoacán Nayarit y Tamaulipas, with organic certification.
To make it easier for our clients, we’ve developed various formats for buying this agave syrup in bulk. This includes 285 kg drums, 25 Kg pail and 1380 kg IBC.
But our involvement goes beyond: through our product development consultancy services, we work with companies looking to incorporate natural ingredients such as agave and understand them as a source of value to discover healthy alternatives with a positive impact on consumer health and nutrition, all while ensuring the minimal environmental impact.
Want to learn more about agave sweetener and the different options to incorporate this natural ingredient into food supplement formulas that adjust to current consumer demands? At Honey Green, we can help you. Download our corporate presentation to learn more about our ethos or take a look at our free resources to discover the natural ingredients that align with today’s consumers preferences.