The COVID-19 pandemic has caused significant shifts in how consumers view their health, especially their immune health. Prevention, taking charge, being proactive—not reactive—means taking dietary supplements (proactive) instead of running to the doctor’s (reactive) because something doesn’t feel right.
As a result, according to Nutrition Business Journal’s Supplement Business Report 2022, dietary supplement sales in the U.S. grew 7.5% in 2021 to reach nearly US$60 billion, up from about $55 and a half billion in 2020, which logged a record 14.5% growth. Although this growth rate isn’t sustainable, the increase shown in 2021 paints a picture of a widespread and entrenched interest in creating a sustainably healthy lifestyle.
Here's another way of looking at it: 2021’s 7.5% growth added up to over $4 billion added to total sales in one year; pre-pandemic (2019) saw an added $2.5 billion.
Vitamins lead the pack, with herbs nipping on their heels. The bloom of herb sales in the mainstream heralds the entrenchment of natural products as common tools for wellness. It translates to a wider base of faith in dietary supplements and acceptance -- which in turn, creates demand and opportunity for innovation.
Sports nutrition is showing some muscle, but it appears that endurance athletes are somewhat left out. Therefore, “sports nutrition needs to figure out how to connect with those consumers,” according to Nutrition Business Journal’s Supplement Business Report. “The category was a spectator in 2020, while the rest of the industry exploded. It can’t be a spectator watching potential consumers walking, biking and spinning away.”
NBJ analysts emphasized, “Channels are central to the story of every chapter in this report, but in herbs and botanicals, the story of channels is a story of changing beliefs.”
Lisa Schofield is a veteran writer and editor who got her start interviewing rock stars for national music magazines. She now writes and edits content for B2B media and suppliers in the natural health product industry. She has served as editor for Vitamin Retailer and Nutrition Industry Executive, and prior to that as associate editor for Whole Foods.
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