Activated Charcoal: A Hot Item Online

You might have seen it on social media. An influencer holding a perfectly mundane cone of ice cream. Except for one key but distinct difference. The ice cream is completely black. Not deep brown of a chocolate cone, but dark jet black. What made this ice cream cone so black and so worthy of an Instagram photo? Activated Charcoal. An ingredient that has already been traditionally used across the world for its medicinal quality is now being used to create a dessert that is perfect for social media.

But what is activated charcoal? Activated Charcoal is made by heating carbon-rich natural products such as wood, peat, coconut shells, and other products to very high temperatures. Activated charcoal supplements can be found over the counter and come in a few distinct delivery methods for different purposes. Capsules and tablets are popular delivery methods to treat stomach ailments such as upset stomach. Another popular use case is for skincare treatment and teeth whitening. The more common delivery methods for this use case are powder and liquid. While commonly used in Mexico, Central and South America as well as parts of Asia, the eco-friendly and more accessible delivery methods of activated charcoal supplements have made it more widely available and in demand across the globe. 

With the growth of online e-commerce and growing demand for activated charcoal supplements, the marketplace for activated charcoal supplements are expected to grow. In 2018, Grand View Research estimated that the global market for activated charcoal to be $4.2 billion, and is expected to reach $6 billion by 2025. The majority of the growth is attributed to the convenience of tablets and capsules to ingest activated charcoal. The trend for activated charcoal supplements on the Amazon Marketplace follows the global trends. After a slight decline in revenue in Q1 2020,  the category saw an average of 14% growth from Q1 2020 to Q3. More significantly, this represented 39% growth in revenue from Q3 2020 as compared to Q3 2019. 

The top 20 products accounted for 77% of overall category revenue and continued to show growth in revenue. Comparing Q2 of 2020 to Q1, 15 products saw revenue growth. This trend continued through Q3, with 18 products seeing growth in revenue. No brand other than Smart Solutions (with 3) had more than one product in the top 20. The most popular delivery method was capsules, with 12 products in the top 20, followed by powder with seven and finally liquid with one. Additionally, capsules accounted for 68% of the market in Q3, powder accounted for 29% of the market share, and liquid accounts for only 2%. Additionally, Liquid saw significant growth in revenue of 88% from Q2 to Q3 of 2020. 

Additionally, we can review how brands are marketing their products to consumers by reviewing the most commonly used words in the titles they use on Amazon. As we would expect, the most common terms were charcoal which was repeated 3,970 and activated 3,163 times.  After that, we can see that consumers are looking for natural products with 853 mentions of organic, 678 mentions of natural, and 498 mentions of vegan. Additionally, we can see that teeth whitening and skincare use cases with 1,205 mention of teeth, 1,024 whitening, and 222 mentions of toothpaste. Finally, we can see that stomach relief is another popular use case with 874 mentions of detox, 419 mentions of gas, 410 mentions of digestive, 376 for relief, and 348 for bloating. 

The Amazon marketplace for activated charcoal supplements has been growing, especially as consumers look for natural ways to whiten teeth, clean their skin, and remedy upset stomachs. In order to see how consumer preferences change relating to delivery methods or keywords searched, it is crucial to have up-to-date analytics. You can find more information on

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