Date Published: 13 September 2018

Retail sales of herbal supplements in the USA increase 8.5% from 2016 - 2017

The total value of retail sales of herbal supplements in the USA exceeded $8 Billion in 2017, an increase of 8.5% over the total sales in 2016 - the strongest growth for this type of products in more than 15 years. These are the headline statistics from the latest American Botanical Council (ABC) annual market report for sales of herbal supplements in the USA1.

Among other statistics, the report 2 states that:

" In addition to the overall sales growth for herbal dietary supplements, total retail sales increased in all market channels in 2017, according to NBJ estimates. The strongest growth was seen in direct sales of herbal supplements, which totaled $4.012 billion in 2017, an 11.2% increase from the previous year. Mass-market retail sales grew by 8.4% to reach an estimated total of $1.449 billion in 2017, and herbal supplement sales in natural and health food stores, which totaled $2.624 billion in 2017, increased by 4.7% from the previous year."

The figures cited in the report reflect estimates (as of July 2018) for herbal dietary supplement sales during the 52-week period that ended on 1 Jan 2018. The report includes data about the 40 top-selling herbs as primary ingredients in herbal dietary supplements. Many of these will be familiar to the general public. Examples include turmuric, flax seed, aloe, oregano, cannabidiol, cranberry, garlic, coconut oil, ginkgo, nigella, ginseng, evening primrose oil, ginger, and moringa among others.

The report includes details of the total estimated sales of herbal supplements in all channels since 2000 (as determined by NBJ), retail channel definitions, sales broken down by product type (single-herb vs. combination-herb supplements) and total sales for NBJ's individual market channels since 2014.

More about the preparation, scope and limitations of this report:

The ABC's annual market report concerning sales of herbal supplements within the USA is based on US retail sales data from market research firms SPINS and IRI, and the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ). This report, which is included in issue 119 of the American Botanical Council's (ABC's) quarterly, peer-reviewed journal HerbalGram, only deals with retail sales of herbal dietary supplements. It does not take into account sales of most herbal teas, botanical ingredients used in cosmetics, or government-approved herbal drug ingredients in over-the-counter medicines. According to further information from the ABC1:

" NBJ based its total herbal supplement sales figures for 2017 on data from market research firms, company surveys, interviews with major retailers and industry experts, and various published and unpublished secondary materials. SPINS worked with IRI to determine sales of herbal supplements in mainstream retail outlets, which include military commissaries, select buyer's clubs, and so-called dollar stores. The collaborative SPINS/IRI reporting does not include convenience store sales. The US natural channel, as defined by SPINS, includes sales from co-ops, associations, independent retailers, and large regional chains, but does not include sales from Whole Foods Market."

At the time of writing the annual HerbalGram Herb Market Report is available for free from the ABC website: www.herbalgram.org.

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