What’s Selling Quarterly Analysis: Q4

What did retailers from across the country tell us was hot to close out 2013? Here is our breakdown of national and regional sales trends from October through December, as identified from our monthly What’s Selling column.

Stores in most regions reported omega-3 products were popular in the supplement aisles. Several omega-3 delivery formats were represented, from emulsions to liquids to capsules. Multiple stores provided evidence that gluten-free continues to fly off food shelves, as gluten-free crackers, bread and other products were selling well. Flax-based products also popped up in several instances. The national picture in beverages shows coconut water to be exceedingly popular as the year draws to a close. In the personal care section, meanwhile, many retailers cited deodorant products as hot sellers.

It was difficult to identify one trend among up-and-coming products, as retailers gave us diverse responses nationally. However, the sheer variety of supplements that are coming on strong, including various branded multivitamins, probiotics and herbal products, does point to consumers looking to ensure their overall health and immunity as winter commenced.

As for more localized patterns, it seemed the ubiquinol form of CoQ10 was ubiquitous in the Southeast. Individuals must be hearing and reading more about the antioxidant benefits of CoQ10. Millet was a prime component of several food items popular in the Southeast. Customers in the Midwest were looking to garcinia cambogia for their weight loss needs. Herbal and plant-based nutrition and supplements were strong throughout the Northeast. In the Northwest, gluten-free bread products sold well over the last few months.

In the Southwest, skin was a concern, as customers flocked to sunscreens and moisturizers with ingredients like zinc oxide and aloe vera. The coconut water trend was evident nowhere more so than in the West, and kombucha also made an appearance there as a sales trend.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, December 2013