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Why Choose Our Industry?
A Business that is thriving in a struggling economy?
Sales of herbal and botanical dietary supplements in the United States rose slightly in some market channels in 2008, according to data gathered from market research firms. Information Resources Inc. (IRI) found steady growth of herbal supplement sales in the mainstream market channel, and SPINS has reported that botanical supplement sales remained relatively stable in the health and natural food stores sector. Nutrition Business Journal, meanwhile, has pooled various primary and secondary data sources and determined that total estimated herb sales in the US market rose by 0.9% in 2008.
$68 Billion Strong: Natural Products Industry Still on the Grow
New Hope Natural Media recently released its Natural Foods Merchandiser 2008 Market Overview, revealing a nearly 10 percent overall growth of the natural products industry. Natural product retailers account for 47 percent of the $68 billion industry in the U.S. Retailers continue to lead the charge with plans to open new stores in 2009, ensuring further growth.
Growing the Organic Food and Grocery Business
One study, undertaken by the Organic Trade Association, surveyed manufacturers about the organic industry for 2008. The survey indicated that U.S. sales of organic products, both food and and non-food, have grown from $1 billion in 1990 to an estimated $24.6 billion in 2008, increasing 17 percent in the last year despite the current economic situation. Organic food sales rose nearly 16 percent, totaling $22.9 billion, and organic non-food sales rose 39 percent, totaling $1.6 billion.
As Economy Is Down, Vitamin Sales Are Up
At the Vitamin Shoppe, a national chain with 414 stores, customers have been expressing alarm over health care costs and the high unemployment rate, said Tom Tolworthy, the company chairman. “The reduction of benefits associated with prescription drugs is sending people to prevention and alternative health care,” he said.
The Vitamin Shoppe has tracked a rise in new customers of about 20 percent over the last six months, Mr. Tolworthy said. That increase is at least 25 percent higher than the rise in new customers that the chain saw in the recession of 2001.
Nationally, the numbers tell a similar story. For the three months ending Dec. 28, sales of vitamins rose nearly 8 percent compared with the same period in 2007, according to Information Resources Inc., a market research company in Chicago. At the same time, sales of other health-related products — like cough and cold remedies, first-aid products and pain relievers — have been dipping, according to the Nielsen Company.
The strong sales of vitamins and supplements have continued into this year. “Our best January and February in history are the ones that just happened,” said Tom Newmark, chief executive of New Chapter Inc., a 26-year-old supplements manufacturer in Brattleboro, Vt. Direct evidence linking the rise in sales to the recession is more anecdotal than scientific, though industry analysts said they saw the same correlation — though less pronounced — in previous downturns.