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U.S. Sales of Herbal Dietary Supplements Top $8 Billion, Growing 8.5% in 2017

Total consumer spending on herbal dietary supplements in the U.S. reached an estimated $8.085 billion in 2017, according to a recently published HerbalGram Herb Market Report for 2017. The report, which appeared in issue 119 of the American Botanical Council’s (ABC’s) quarterly, peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram, noted this is the first time total U.S. retail sales of herbal supplements have surpassed $8 billion. In addition, the 8.5% increase in total sales from 2016 is the strongest growth for these products in more than 15 years.

ABC’s annual market report for herbal supplement sales is based on U.S. retail sales data from the Chicago, IL-based market research firms SPINS and IRI, as well as Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), Boulder, CO. The report covers only retail sales of herbal dietary supplements and does not reflect the sales of most herbal teas, botanical ingredients used in cosmetics, or government-approved herbal drug ingredients in over-the-counter medicines.

The report was authored by Tyler Smith, managing editor of HerbalGram; Kimberly Kawa and Veronica Eckl, retail reporting analyst and associate data product manager, respectively, at SPINS; Claire Morton, senior industry analyst at NBJ; and Ryan Stredney, public relations and marketing specialist at IRI.

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Report highlights herbal supplement market trends: CBD, turmeric, direct sales

Retail sales of herbal dietary supplements in the United States experienced its strongest growth in 15 years, according to a new report from the American Botanical Council’s (ABC)HerbalGram. The category exceeded US$8 billion in 2017, representing an increase of 8.5 percent compared to 2016. Other key findings in the report included curcumin’s strong performance in both mainstream and natural channels, a strong increase in direct sales of herbal supplements, and cannabidiol’s (CBD) position among the 40 top-selling herbal supplements in the U.S. natural channel.

The report relied on data from Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), as well as data developed via a collaboration between market research firms SPINS and IRI.

Both SPINS/IRI and NBJ data pointed to increased sales in the mainstream channel. NBJ’s mass-market retail channel sales totaled an estimated $1.45 billion in 2017 (an 8.4 percent increase compared to 2016), compared to a total of $925.93 million for mainstream multi-outlet retail sales of herbal dietary supplements (a 0.69 percent increase compared to 2016), as indicated by IRI/SPINS data. Unlike IRI/SPINS, NBJ’s mass-market channel analysis includes convenience stores.

In the natural channel, NBJ indicated herbal supplement sales achieved $2.62 billion in 2017 (a 4.7 percent increase), while IRI/SPINS data indicated sales of $405.15 million (an 8.9 percent increase). NBJ analysis of the natural channel includes estimated sales from Whole Foods Market, which are not included in IRI/SPINS data.

Strongest sales growth, however, was attributed to direct sale of herbal supplements, which totaled $4.012 billion in 2017, an 11.2 percent increase compared to 2016, according to NBJ.

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