The global pink Himalayan salt market size was valued at USD 222 million in 2021, and it is estimated to reach USD 300 million by 2031 while registering a CAGR of 3.6% during the forecast period (2022-2031). Pink Himalayan salt is a gourmet salt from one of the world's largest rock-salt mining operations, the Khewra Salt Mine in the Punjab region of Pakistan. The pink color of the salt is due to different minerals, especially iron, and trace elements. The pink Himalayan salt market is directly influenced by food industry trends, particularly in the fast food and meat industries. Pink salt is gaining popularity because of the increasing demand for gourmet foods. These salts are naturally harvested with comparatively low sodium content, and no additives are used to add profligacy, flavor, and dressing to the food product. Gourmet salts have better solubility, exotic flavor, moisture, and superior mineral content.
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Increasing Health-Conscious Consumers Switching to Scratch Cooking
Pink Himalayan salt has an estimated 84 different types of minerals, and it gets its color from trace minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, and calcium. Salt consumption is the leading cause of high blood pressure, which causes strokes and heart diseases worldwide. Also, according to the Department of Health & Social Care, each reduced gram in population salt intake daily saves more than 4,000 premature deaths per year in the United Kingdom.
This has led to increasing consumers switching to gourmet salts such as pink Himalayan salt. Pink Himalayan salt is said to have minimal ill effects compared to the common salt, which has led to its growing consumption in recent years. In 2019, the demand for stronger-tasting varieties of gourmet salt such as sea crystal salt, Himalayan pink salt, rock salt, and smoked salt rocketed by 2600% as shoppers looked to cut down the salt consumption. Tesco plc, a British multinational grocery, and general merchandise retailer, reported that the sales of gourmet salt accounted for more than 40% of their total salt sales during 2019. Compared to 2018, the supermarket has witnessed a significant rise in gourmet salt varieties, each with its distinctive taste. This increase in the different varieties of gourmet salt is primarily driven by growing consumer awareness concerning the health benefits of scratch-cooking, and in turn, following chefs' and influencers' leads when it comes to seasoning dishes to improve the flavor of food.
Changing Consumers' Taste Palate Generating Need for Ethnic and Authentic Cuisine
Since each type of gourmet salt has a unique purpose and imparts a distinct flavor and texture to the food, such as Himalayan pink salt, they are becoming essential ingredients for all kinds of international cuisines from countries like China, Korea, Japan, India, Mexico, and France. Pink Himalayan salt is primarily used as a food additive in various ethnic cuisines. It is mined in Asian nations, particularly in Pakistan's Punjab region. Moreover, the growing number of immigrants demanding authentic cuisines is driving the sales of ethnic cuisines globally, thus, boosting the demand for pink Himalayan salt.
Additionally, the rising popularity of Indian flavors and food continues as major retailers increase the inclusion of aromatic and intricate cuisine into their product mixes.Moreover, demand for Asian cuisine from across other countries, such as the United States, is expected to surpass the Hispanic food segment, which is a mature market, owing to factors of indulgence, such as the use of fresh ingredients, vegetables, and wild herbs and seasoning blends in Asian foods. In a long-term scenario, evolving taste preferences will likely develop the market offerings for Indian and Southeast Asian cuisines, wherein packaged authentic food is expected to gain momentum.
Increasing Incidences of Toxic Chemicals Reported in Himalayan Pink Salt
The demand for pink Himalayan salt is rising. However, there have been rising incidences reporting the presence of harmful chemicals in the pink Himalayan salt across the globe, which is expected to impact market growth in the near future. In this regard, the independent research organization Nutrition Research Australia (NRAUS) examined 31 samples of pink salts sold in Australia in 2020 and discovered that the samples were suspect. The salt had 130 times more lead than white table salt and was 25% above the safe level established by Food Standards Australia and New Zealand. The amounts of nutrients found in pink salt varied greatly, with calcium levels varying from 53 to 574 mg/100g and iron levels varying from 0 to 17 mg/100g. The sample analysis also showed that samples of pink salt with higher levels of essential nutrients also had higher levels of heavy metals. More concerningly, some samples of pink salt contained aluminum (up to 19 mg/100 g) and lead (0.26 mg/100 g), which exceeded the national contaminant levels in one sample. Both heavy metals should not be consumed in large or prolonged amounts.
Poorly planned urbanization, mining, industrial processing, and heavy use of metal-based chemicals are some of the factors that can lead to the contamination of salt. Moreover, harmful chemicals like lead, mercury, and cadmium in the Himalayan pink salt have also been related to severe ill effects on children, thus, hindering the revenue potential in the near future.
A Shift Toward More Eating at Home
The "new normal" is likely to involve a shift toward more eating at home, which involves cooking, grocery shopping, takeout, and delivery. One critical factor is the option for employees to work permanently from home. Time spent at home is associated with cooking, and with COVID, more time will likely be spent working from home. According to Google, most of their staff will be able to work remotely until 2021. Employees at Twitter will always be able to work from home, even after COVID, according to CEO Jack Dorsey.
Hence, consumers are likely to drive this trend in the near future, propelling the demand for pink Himalayan salt for household consumption, including those which are helpful to boost their immunity to minerals present in them as compared to regular table salt.
The global pink Himalayan salt market is bifurcated by distribution channel and region.
By Distribution Channel, the global pink Himalayan salt market is segmented into supermarkets/hypermarkets, online retailers, convenience stores, and other distribution channels. The supermarket/hypermarket segment led the market, registering a CAGR of 4% during the projected period. Owing to a vast retail space catering to a broad range of preferences, supermarkets/hypermarkets are dominant distribution channels for selling pink Himalayan salt across the globe. All the varieties of edible salts, including pink Himalayan salts, are offered by different brands and are placed on the same shelf, which makes the selection of edible salts convenient for consumers who buy the most suitable product according to their taste and price range. In addition, this retail channel also helps in the launching of pink Himalayan salt products across the globe.
The convenience stores segment is the second largest. Convenience stores are an essential mode of distribution in developing countries. Due to high competition among sellers, these store owners offer lucrative prices of products to sustain in the market. Therefore, convenience stores are especially advantageous for edible salts since they are the most common place for consumers to purchase basic grocery essentials. Key players are eyeing convenience stores as a mass segment for the distribution of salt products as these stores are well connected to the specific household needs of the consumers and enable a convenient shopping process, as compared to supermarkets and hypermarkets.
Online retailing is the fastest-growing segment. Online shopping is becoming a practical way to shop for groceries, including edible pink Himalayan salts and other food items, due to increased consumers with busy schedules and lifestyles and high internet penetration across developing nations. This channel is gaining immense popularity among consumers. For instance: According to CNBC, in 2016, US households bought USD 20.5 billion worth of groceries online, and over 25% of these households now order groceries online. Some powerful platforms include Walmart, Amazon Pantry, and Costco. The online store platform has made a name for itself as a practical marketplace that provides a large selection of pink Himalayan salts. These manufacturers now have the opportunity to diversify their product offerings through these portals, serve a larger customer base, and break into highly lucrative markets worldwide thanks to the robust growth of e-commerce.
Based on Region, the global pink Himalayan salt market is segmented into North America, Asia-Pacific, Europe, Middle East & Africa, and South America
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North America dominated the market and is estimated to witness a CAGR of 3.2% during the forecast period. The US Himalayan pink salt recorded massive growth in the review period and is expected to continue to see the same growth in the forecast period, mainly due to the perceived health benefits, a wide range of product choices, and product innovation. Nearly half of American adults (108 million, or 45%) either have hypertension, defined as a systolic blood pressure less than 130 mm Hg, or a diastolic blood pressure less than 80 mm Hg, or they are taking medication to treat it. Americans consume significantly more sodium than is advised, on average, 3,400 mg daily. Overconsumption of salt is a problem for 90% of Americans aged two and older. Consumers are continuously searching for alternatives to replace regular salt with healthier options like Himalayan pink salt and others, which positively impacts the market.
Asia-Pacific is the second largest region. It is estimated to reach USD 98 million by 2031 while registering a CAGR of 4%. The Chinese pink Himalayan salt market continues to grow owing to the rising number of health-conscious Chinese consumers, improving living standards, and rising income. Additionally, with an increasing tendency toward natural and simple ingredients in their foods, consumers are currently looking for less processed food and beverages because they believe this to be beneficial to their overall well-being; this has benefitted the growth of the studied market. This is further fueled by the fact that Himalayan pink salt is minimally/not processed, naturally rich with 84 trace minerals, and has many health benefits compared to regular table salt. Furthermore, Himalayan pink salt gained a lot of attention throughout the country. It was promoted as an essential superfood/ seasoning, helping combat various non-communicable diseases, like heart disease and obesity, and improving skin health.
Europe is the third largest region. The Himalayan pink salt market in the United Kingdom recorded decent growth in the review period and is expected to maintain the phase in the forecast period, owing to influence from celebrity chefs, health benefits, health and wellness trends, and social media influence. Consumers are now more informed than ever about the products they consume and are looking for minimally processed, natural, and more naturally positioned products. This is further fueled due to increased consumer awareness of the benefits of pink salt, rapid product penetration, and a rise in usage in household cooking. Additionally, celebrity chefs using and recommending Himalayan pink salt are acting as a catalyst for market growth in the region.
Major companies in the global pink Himalayan salt market are