“The new facility will provide an additional 140,000 square feet allowing space for state-of-the-art manufacturing and distribution capabilities as well as increased office space. And as our growth continues, the site will also accommodate a further expansion of 100,000 square feet of space in the future,” said Brian Taylor, vice president of operations for Gaia Herbs, in a press release.
To help confirm the company expansion in Henderson County, NC, the Henderson County Partnership for Economic Development worked with Gaia Herbs to help secure approximately $300,000 in economic development incentives from Henderson County and the Town of Mills River.
Based on sales data from natural product market research firm SPINS, Gaia Herbs ranked first in overall sales and market share in the herbal category for the 52 weeks ending July 19.
According to from Elena Lécué, EVP of sales & marketing at Gaia Herbs, increased demand in the supplements market is a main factor pushing the company’s expansion. Last year, its Golden Milk supplement – made of turmeric root, cardamom seed, Ashwagandha root, and vanilla bean meant to be mixed into warm milk to recreate an Ayurvedic staple – became the number one selling herbal powder at 28% year-over-year growth.
“Herbal supplements are the fastest growing segment in the supplements market and Gaia Herbs is the overall leader in the industry,” she told us.
More than 30 new jobs will be created during the course of the three years, at an average wage that exceeds the average wage in Henderson County for full-time employment, according to the company.
Gaia Herbs main operations for the last 30 years have centered in Western North Carolina with facilities in Transylvania and Henderson counties, employing more than 260 people.
The new site will supplement Gaia Herbs’ main processing facility, laboratory, and offices in Brevard, NC, which is near its certified organic 350-acre farm, where it cultivates 40 species of medicinal herbs, growing more than 6.5 million plants each year.
Groundbreaking for the new facility is slated for August 2.
WATCH: Industry experts observe increased acceptance of herbal products among US consumers
Back in March at the Expo West show, we spoke with several experts in the botanical industry, who said that there's increased general acceptance, and favorable views, of herbal products among US consumers, reflected by continued sales growth for the category.