According to the new 2021 Herb Market Report from the American Botanical Council (ABC; Austin, TX), published in HerbalGram, the herbal dietary supplement industry saw a total of $12.35 billion in sales in 2021. This represents a 9.7% increase in sales compared to the previous year, which is the second highest sales growth in herbal supplements since 2000, and the highest recorded spending on these products in the U.S. The report is based U.S. retail sales data provided by SPINS, based in Chicago, IL, as well as the Nutrition Business Journal, based in Boulder, CO. It was written by HerbalGram’s managing editor, Tyler Smith, corporate communications specialist at SPINS, Haleigh Resetar, and senior industry analyst at NBJ, Claire Morton.
According to the report, in the mainstream multi-outlet channel, ashwagandha saw the highest sales growth for the second year in a row, growing 226%, compared to the previous year. Mood support supplements made up 96% of mainstream ashwagandha sales. In the natural channel, quercetrin has the strongest sales growth, at 138%. Allergy/respiratory, cardiovascular health, and prostate health remain the top three health focuses for the ingredient, each of which saw triple digit growth in 2021.
The top three best-selling ingredients in the mainstream multi-outlet channel were elderberry, psyllium, and apple cider vinegar (ACV), with ACV experiencing significant sales growth of 129%, while elderberry and psyllium remained pretty much stable. In the natural channel, ACV has the second highest sales growth of 105%. According to the report, supplements marketed for weight loss made up a majority of ACV’s mainstream sales, though that particular health focus declines in the mainstream channel by 27% in the 2021. In that natural channel however, sales of weight management ACV products grew by 76% in 2021. Digestive health was the second top-selling health focus for ACV products in the mainstream channel in 2021, with sales of ACV products with this health focus growing 127% in 2021, compared to the previous year.
“Based on the near-record sales growth of herbal supplements in 2021, it appears that consumers continued to prioritize self-care using herbal dietary supplements during the second year of the pandemic,” said Smith, in a press release. “As pandemic-related stressors became somewhat entrenched in 2021, consumer spending increased for products in categories such as mood support, digestive health, and energy. Perhaps surprisingly, sales decreased for some herbs commonly sold for immune support, but 2021 sales of these ingredients were still largely higher than in 2019. This suggests that consumer spending in some supplement categories may be returning to pre-pandemic levels.”