Sales of herbal dietary supplements with turmeric/curcumin as the primary ingredient grew by 26.2% in 2013 to take the top spot in the natural channel, says a new report published in the current issue of the American Botanical Council’s HerbalGram.
Turmeric’s rise is impressive, given it ranked third in 2011 and 2012. Making up the rest of the five top-selling herbal supplements in the natural channel were grass (wheat and barley; Triticum aestivum and Hordeum vulgare, respectively); flaxseed (Linum usitatissimum) and/or flax oil; aloe vera (Aloe vera); and spirulina/blue-green algae (Arthrospira spp.).
Estimated total sales of herbal dietary supplements in the US reached $6 billion for the first time, an increase of 7.9% from 2012 to 2013. Sales in both the mainstream market channel (food, drug, and mass-market stores, plus club and convenience stores) and the natural channel grew by 7.7% and 8.8%, respectively, in 2013 over 2012, said the report.
The annual HerbalGram herb market report is based on herb supplement sales statistics from the Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ) and market research firms IRI and SPINS.
A sign of interest and confidence
“Consumers continue to express strong demand for a wide variety of herbs, phytomedicines, and other plant-based ingredients for their many health benefits,” said Mark Blumenthal, ABC Founder and Executive Director and HerbalGram Editor-in-Chief.
“Over the past decade — even during the major economic downturn — retail sales statistics demonstrate the increasing level of interest and confidence that American consumers place in the herbal sector of the dietary supplement market.”
According to the report, 2013’s top-selling herbs (as coded by primary ingredient) in the mainstream multi-outlet channel, according to SPINS/IRI, were:
- horehound (Marrubium vulgare), a key ingredient in throat drops;
- yohimbe (Pausinystalia johimbe), used in numerous athletic performance and sexual enhancement products;
- cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon), popular primarily for its claimed benefit of helping to prevent urinary tract infections;
- black cohosh (Actaea racemosa), a popular aide to manage menopausal symptoms;
- senna (Senna alexandrina), used as a stimulant laxative.
In the mainstream multi-outlet channel, SPINS/IRI determined a total sales figure of $994,228,073 for botanical dietary supplements in 2013 — an increase of 9.4% over 2012.
For the natural channel, SPINS calculated sales of botanical dietary supplements to be $320,722,598, an increase of almost 10% over 2012. SPINS do not include sales from Whole Foods Market, which sells a significant quantity of herbal supplements, and their figure of 9.9% contrasts with NBJ’s more conservative estimate of 8.8% noted above, which is based on NBJ’s range of market data sources for natural food retail outlets.
“Sales of herbal dietary supplements increase by 7.9% in 2013, marking a decade of rising sales: turmeric supplements climb to top ranking in natural channel”
Authors: A. Lindstrom, C. Ooyen, M.E. Lynch, M. Blumenthal, K. Kawa