Published by the American Botanical Council (ABC) in the latest issue of HerbalGram, the statistics include data from Information Resources Inc, Spins and Nutrition Business Journal.
Although different research firms base their data on varying definitions and measuring techniques, ABC said a fair indication of the size of the US market for herbal supplements in 2008, as determined by NBJ, is $4.8bn. This indicates just less than 1 percent growth compared to the previous year.
Sales of single herbal dietary supplements increased by almost 2 percent in 2008 to reach a total value of $3.1bn. In contrast, sales of combination herbals decreased slightly to $1.7bn.
NBJ data also indicates that sales of herbal supplements in 2008 increased in the mass market (excluding Wal-Mart, club warehouses and convenience stores) by 6 percent. Sales in the natural and health foods channel increased by 1.5 percent, while the direct sales channel grew by 1 percent.
When broken down into different sales channels, IRI provided data on product sales in the food, drug and mass merchandiser (FDM) market, while Spins provided a break-down of sales in the natural and health food channel.
However, ABC cautioned that these sets of data are not directly comparable, despite being reliable statistics that contribute to an overall understanding of the herbal supplements market.
“The two market research firms categorize products differently and do not necessarily include the same products in their data of herbal supplement sales. For example, some of the leading products noted by Spins as top-selling botanical supplements are not classified as individual herbal supplements in IRI’s data for the FDM channel,” writes ABC.
With this in mind, the top selling products via the FDM channel (excluding Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and other large warehouse clubs and convenience stores), as tacked by IRI are:
· Cranberry ($25m in 2008 – a 5 percent increase on 2007)
· Soy ($22m – a 13 percent decrease)
· Garlic ($19.3m – a 6 percent decrease)
· Saw palmetto ($17.5m – a 3 percent increase)
· Ginkgo ($17.4m – a 3 percent decrease)
Top selling products in the natural and health foods channel, as tracked by Spins, are:
· Flaxseed and flaxseed oil ($36m – a 4 percent decrease)
· Wheat or barley grass ($19m – a 1 percent increase)
· Stevia ($17.5m – an 8 percent increase)
· Aloe vera ($14m – stable to slight decrease)
· Milk thistle ($14m – a 1 percent increase)
To access the full HerbalGram report, click here.