Herbal Supplement Sales on the Rise

Harleysville, PA; Austin, TX—Two interweaving studies have been released that examine not only which natural supplements are growing in sales and popularity, but also who is buying them and their motivations for doing so.

The 2013 Nutritional Supplement/OTC/Rx Consumer Insight & Market Opportunity Report, released in early August by the Natural Marketing Institute (NMI), a global consulting and market research company based in Harleysville, PA, examines the natural products industry from the consumer perspective. The report includes over 100 pages of data, such as consumer product usage patterns and attitudes towards the industry. Key findings include an 11% increase of natural product use by American adults in the last five years and that a doctor’s recommendation is the top reason supplement use is initiated. The report found an overall increased drive for consumers to be proactive about their health.

HerbalGram, published by the American Botanical Council, ran a detailed article concerning the sales of individual supplements both in the mainstream market and natural channels. Interesting trends include a nearly 40% increase in turmeric root sales from 2011 to 2012 and garlic’s jump from the fourth to the second best selling Food, Drug and Mass Market (FDM) dietary supplement, with just over half the sales of the number one seller, cranberry. The biggest change in sales was for chia seed and/or oil, which experienced a 123.1% increase in sales from 2011 to 2012.

The article’s research showed an overarching growing trend in the natural channel of herbal dietary supplements, especially green coffee bean extract, supposedly as a result of the “Dr. Oz Effect,” wherein Mehmet Oz, M.D.’s health-related television show increased popularity of supplementation, as well as the “food as medicine” movement. Declining sales were recorded for black cohosh root (–21.33%), grape seed (–14.28%), yohimbe (–19.75%) and red clover (–29.33%). 


Published in WholeFoods Magazine, October 2013 (online 8/28/13)