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Herbal Dietary Supplement Salesin US Increased by 7.5% in 2015

Total retail sales reach almost $7 billion in2015, the 12th consecutive year of sales growth

AUSTIN, Texas (September 7, 2016)— Sales of herbal dietary supplements in the United States increased by 7.5% in2015, according to a new market report by the American Botanical Council (ABC)1In 2015, sales for herbal supplements totaled an estimated $6.92 billion, a newsales record. The annual Herb Market Report appears in issue 111 of HerbalGram, which was published in lateAugust.

The annual HerbalGram Herb Market Report is based on herbal supplementsales statistics from the Chicago, Illinois-based market research firms SPINSand IRI, as well as the NutritionBusiness Journal (NBJ), a publication of New Hope Natural Mediabased in Boulder, Colorado. The report covers only retail sales of herbaldietary supplements and does not reflect the sales of most herbal teas,botanical ingredients used in cosmetics, or government-approved herbal drugingredients in over-the-counter medicines. NBJ based its total herb supplement sales figures for 2015 on data from marketresearch firms, company surveys, interviews with major retailers and industryexperts, and various published and unpublished secondary material. SPINS worked with IRI to determine sales of herbal supplements inmainstream retail outlets, which includes military commissaries, select buyer’sclubs, and so-called dollar stores. The collaborative SPINS/IRI reporting doesnot include convenience store sales.

In mainstreamUS retail outlets, SPINS/IRI estimated total sales of $943 million, a 1.5%increase in sales in this channel from 2014. NBJ, which includes conveniencestore data in its mass-market channel definition, estimated slightly highersales of $1.2 billion.

For thethird year in a row, horehound was the top-selling herbal dietary supplement inmainstream retail outlets, with sales in this channel totaling almost $115million. Horehound has been used since ancient times to relieve upper respiratorysymptoms, and today, horehound commonly is incorporated into lozenges and coughdrops for this same purpose.

Boswellia,despite ranking 39th in this channel, had perhaps the best year of anysupplement sold in mainstream retail outlets, with a 674% increase in sales over2014. Also known as Indian frankincense, this tree gum has been used formillennia in the traditional Indian medical system of Ayurveda for ceremonial,religious, and medicinal reasons. Today, boswellia herbal supplements aremarketed for anti-inflammatory benefits, often in combination with turmeric, anothertraditional Indian ingredient known for its anti-inflammatory properties.

The roughly3,500-word report, which is available online to thepublic, includes a table of the 40 top-selling herbal supplements in themainstream multi-outlet channel (as determined by SPINS/IRI), and a table ofthe 40 top-selling botanicals in the natural channel (as determined by SPINS). Italso includes a graph and table detailing total sales of herbal supplements inall channels since 2000 (as determined by NBJ). HerbalGram’s market report discussed a number of trends in 2015, includingthe rise of Ayurvedic herbs, the increased focus on inflammation, and thereduced sales of certain herbal supplements used for weight loss. The 7.5% increase in sales of herbalsupplements in 2015 was the second highest rate of growth for these products inmore than a decade. This substantial increase happened despite the negative mediacoverage surrounding herbs in 2015,particularly in relation to the New York attorney general’s flawedinvestigations of some common herbal products.

“These figures confirm that strongconsumer demand for herbs and herbal products continues in the United States,based on a consumers’ interest in natural and relatively low-cost ways tomaintain their health,” said Mark Blumenthal, founder and executive director ofABC. “Herb supplement sales continue to grow to record levels, evidence thatmuch of the public considers herbs to be an essential component of a healthylifestyle.”

HerbalGram is available at some bookstores and natural foodstores and is a benefit of ABC membership. The annual HerbalGram herb market report article is available for freeon the ABC website.Reference:

  1. SmithT, Kawa K, Eckl V, Johnson J. Sales of herbal dietary supplements in USincreased 7.5% in 2015. HerbalGram.2016:111;67-73. Available at: