October 2018

$8 billion and counting: herbal supplement market keeps booming

The 2017 report by the American Botanical Council shows the herbal supplement market’s strongest growth in over 15 years. Total US herbal supplement retail sales exceeded $8 billion – an 8.5% jump from 2016.

The top selling herbs in the mainstream market, which includes supermarkets and drugstores, were horehoundechinacea, cranberryivy leaf, and turmeric. Horehound held on to the top spot for the 5th year in a row. It is commonly used in cough remedies, including Ricola cough drops, which likely accounts for its steady presence on the top sellers list. Turmeric saw the biggest jump in sales with a 46.7% increase from 2016, totaling over $32 million. Turmeric sales have benefited from a variety of consumer trends, including increased interest in Ayurvedic medicine, functional foods, and “wellness tonics.”

In the natural market, which includes supplement and specialty retail stores, there was a strong increase in sales of Ayurvedic herbs. Black seed sales increased by over 200%, and moringa increased by 30%. Turmeric, wheatgrass/barleyflaxseed/flaxseed oilaloe, and elderberry were the overall top sellers. Also, for the first year ever, cannabidiol (CBD), a chemical in the Cannabis plant, ranked among the top sellers, coming in at number 12. Total CBD sales reached $7.5 million, a 303% increase from 2016.

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