Trending ingredient: Kombu Seaweed, pioneer in salt reduction


Did you know?

Kombu Seaweed is known for its rich, fresh flavour (“Umami”) and healthy mineral content, especially iodine, potassium and magnesium. Kombu typically has a sodium to potassium ratio of less than 1:5, which is good for heart health.

Kombu Seaweed has the potential to become the next generation of salt reduction boom concern as a healthy, natural and sustainable salt alternative. In fact, kombu-based sodium replacement ingredients have been available in the global market for some time, with companies such as Nikken Foods, Salt of the Earth, Yama Products and others already having solutions in place.

About kombu and salt reduction

According to the Mintel Global New Products Database, among the top 10 categories containing kombu in the food and beverage category, the snacks category is growing rapidly (+15.0 per cent, MAT 1705 vs. MAT 2105), driven mainly by the Japanese market.

According to Mintel Global G35 consumer data, the percentage of Chinese consumers who cite “low salt” as the top factor when purchasing food has increased from 15 per cent in 2019 to 22 per cent in 2020.

Ingredient popularity

Globally, the number of new products containing kombu-related ingredients in the food and drink category has seen rapid growth since 2018, with a cumulative total of more than 11,503 products;

Mainly in the following categories: Meals & Meal Centres (30.3 per cent), Sauces & Seasonings (20.6 per cent) and snacks (19.2 per cent).

Major brands

Globally, the brands that often launch new products include: Aeon (prepared foods, snacks, meat products), Calbee Foods (snacks), and Toyo Suisan Kaisha (mainly instant noodles).

GNPD new launches preview



Koikeya Pride Potato No Salt Potato Chips – do not contain salt, its flavoured with the freshness of Hokkaido kombu to bring out the rich flavour of potatoes (Japan)







Calbee Potato Farm Scallop Flavour Potato Chips with Kombu Seaweed – comprises kombu seaweed from Hokkaido for umami, and crunchy potato chips (Japan)







Le Beau Gueuleton kombu-flavoured Crisps – made from kombu (content: 4.1 per cent) and rich in fibre and protein. This product claims to contain 65 per cent less fat than traditional potato chips (French)






Sauces and seasonings

Yamasa Sendo Seikatu Hokkaido Kombu Soy Sauce – This fresh soy sauce has 50 per cent less salt and is made from richly flavored Hokkaido kombu (Japan)




If you would like to know more about how Mintel’s Global New Products Database could help your product innovation and business growth, please visit


Send this to a friend