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Dietary supplements become Utah’s #1 industry, topping $7.2 billion

By Stephen Daniells , 23-May-2012

Dietary supplements are the largest industry in Utah and the industry is worth over $7 billion, according to new data from the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).

At last week’s State of the Utah Dietary Supplements Industry event organized by the UNPA to celebrate its 20-year anniversary, Loren Israelsen, executive director of UNPA, presented new data on the contribution that the industry has made and is continuing to make to the state’s economy.

The industry was worth $924 million in 1992, he said. Fast forward 20 years, and Utah’s dietary supplements industry is now worth in excess of $7 billion, representing growth of 7.8 times, or 11% per year.

Almost $236 million has been spent supporting local businesses from 2007-2012, with dietary supplement conventions in the state brining 227,435 visitors to the state, who each spent an average of over $1,000 per visit.

“We expect these numbers to continue,” said Loren Israelsen, executive director of UNPA.

Why Utah?

Commenting on the rise of the state’s dietary supplements industry, Israelsen identified five factors:

  1. Dr John Christopher (born in Salt Lake City in 1909) and his book ‘The Art of Natural Healing’, with herbs becoming a Utah specialty
  2. Utah has a very receptive local culture
  3. Luck
  4. The Silicon Valley effect – Utah is now on its 5th generation
  5. Senator Orrin Hatch. “Without Senator Hatch we would not have been able to grow the business”, said Israelsen.

The UNPA event also featured a tribute to the six-term GOP senator, who was first elected in 1976. Sen Hatch, a long time industry champion, faces a primary on June 26 to win re-election to the US Senate. 

Israelsen told NutraIngredients-USA that Senator Hatch's primary chances are good, but nothing can be taken for granted, certainly in this election season. "We will continue to urge Utah citizens to support him," he added.

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