January 2023

Supplement Sales Jump 9.7%, Apple Cider Vinegar Makes Top 3

US herbal supplement sales climbed to $12.35 billion in 2021 – a 9.7% increase from 2020. Elderberry held on to its seat as the top-selling herbal supplement in the mainstream market for the second year in a row, despite a slight 0.2% slip in sales compared to the 150% jump in 2020. Here are a few other highlights from the American Botanical Council (ABC) HerbalEGram 2021 Herb Market Report.

Apple cider vinegar (ACV) sales more than doubled, with a 128.6% increase in the mainstream channel compared to 2020 – this includes sales from big grocery chains and drug stores, putting ACV in the top 3 for the first time ever. Consumers spent over $178 million on these products in 2021. Sales also more than doubled in the natural channel, which includes sales from Whole Foods, co-ops, and sports nutrition stores. Products marketed for weight loss still make up the majority of ACV sales in both the mainstream and natural channel markets, despite no evidence that they help. There’s also been a rise in ACV products marketed for digestion, despite a similar lack of evidence.

Ashwagandha sales grew more than any other ingredient in the mainstream market. Consumers spent 225.9% more on ashwagandha products compared to the previous year. It also cracked the top 10 for the first time ever. Ivy leaf was another rising star with a 46.8% jump year over year, as was fenugreek with a 39.5% increase.

Echinacea and CBD had the steepest drop of 2021. Echinacea sales dropped by 24.3% compared to 2020. Similar to elderberry, echinacea sales skyrocketed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. As for CBD, this is the second year in a row that sales have declined. While it was the breakout star of 2019, in 2020 sales dropped 30% in the mainstream market. In 2021, they dropped by an additional 31.6%. Increased access to cannabis nationwide, interest in other cannabinoids, as well as continued regulatory confusion, might be contributing factors.

This report serves as a good reminder that consumer interest in natural products continues to shift and grow. Patients are increasingly buying herbal supplements whether they discuss them with their provider or not. Review our monographs and CE course on Top-Selling Herbal Supplements to learn more.

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