ABC 2018 Herb Market Report Shows 9.4% Increase in Sales

Austin, TX—U.S. consumers spent an estimated total of $8.842 billion on herbal dietary supplements in 2018, according to the American Botanical Council’s (ABC’s) 2018 Herb Market Report. This represents a 9.4% increase in total U.S. sales from the previous year, which, according to a press release from ABC, is the strongest sales growth for herbal supplements in two decades.

The report is based on U.S. retail sales data provided by SPINS and the Nutrition Business Journal. Sales estimates for individual herbs and fungi discussed in the report reflect sales of herbal dietary supplements in which that herb is the primary ingredient. The report does not include sales of most herbal teas, botanical ingredients used in cosmetics, or government-approved herbal drug ingredients in OTC medicines.

In mainstream retail outlets, herbal supplements with horehound listed as the primary ingredient—including natural cough drops and lozenges—grossed the highest sales in 2018, but the strongest sales growth was seen by goji berry supplements, which had a 637% increase from 2017. In the natural channel, products containing CBD were both the top-selling products and the ingredient with the highest percent sales growth.

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Herbs and fungi marketed for immune health experienced some of the more robust sales growth; Ayurvedic herbs, adaptogens, and ingredients with general health benefits continued to be top sellers.

Tyler Smith, managing editor of HerbalGram, who has co-authored the report since 2014, said in the release: “CBD and mushroom products dominated the 2018 herbal supplement scene, and sales growth remained strong for Ayurvedic herbs and adaptogens. There were also a few surprises in the data—sales of goji berry, for example, which had declined sharply in recent years, experienced a significant rebound in 2018. We hope the consumer trends and sales data discussed in the report will be of use and interest to a range of stakeholders, from natural products companies to health-conscious consumers.”

Mark Blumenthal, ABC founder and executive director, said: “This report strongly supports the continually rising consumer preference for natural, plant-based dietary supplements that can have a positive impact on their health. For over 20 years we have been publishing information on the steady growth of the market for herbal dietary supplements in the United States; the market sales results demonstrate the confidence that consumers appear to have in herbal dietary supplements.”