Herbal dietary supplement sales fell in 2022, which was attributed to an expected post-pandemic market readjustment. CBD was among the biggest losers.

Hank Schultz, Senior Editor

February 22, 2024

3 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Overall sales fell 1.9% in 2022. 
  • Decline attributed to post-pandemic market readjustment. 
  • Mainstream sales winning out over natural channel. 

Sales of herbal dietary supplements fell for the first time in almost two decades, according to a report by the American Botanical Council (ABC). 

ABC released its annual Herb Market Report, which was distributed in the Spring 2024 edition of its HerbalGram periodical. 

The report covers 2022. It includes data from Chicago-based market research firm SPINS and numbers from Informa Markets’ Nutrition Business Journal. The report covers both mass market and natural channels. 

American consumers spent $12.12 billion on herbal supplements in 2022, compared to $12.35 billion in 2021. It was the first time the report showed annual sales had fallen over the previous year since 2003. ABC has been compiling the report since 2000. 

The sales decline, which was not completely unexpected, came on the heels of several years of strong growth, driven partly by pandemic-related market distortions. The 2021 sales figure represented a 9.7% increase over 2020, when American consumers spent $11.26 on herbal supplements. That figure was a 17.3% increase over 2019. 

In fact, the market report has shown sales rising by at least 5.5% or more annually since 2012. 

While 2022 was not business as usual, the report noted that some readjustment after the pandemic was to be expected. 

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“In the first three years of the Covid-19 pandemic, total U.S. sales of herbal supplements experienced both the highest sales growth and the only sales decline in almost two decades. Reduced sales in 2022 reflect an expected return to more typical consumer spending on herbal supplements as the pandemic waned,” the report stated. 

CBD sales show continued steep decline 

Among individual herbal categories, several important trends emerged. One was the continued erosion of CBD product sales. In 2022, in the natural channel, CBD products racked up $33.67 million in sales, a 15.3% decline from the year before. The figure for the mainstream channel was $14.05 million, which represented a 29.3% decline. 

The 2021 sales figures for CBD in the two channels represented steep declines from 2020. In that year, American consumers spent $57.21 million on CBD products in the natural channel and $26.55 in mainstream outlets.  

The apple cider vinegar craze seems to be crashing as well. Sales for this ingredient in the mainstream channel were $79.26 million in 2020, rising to $178.38 the next year. In 2022, however, sales fell to $126.35 million. 

Apple cider vinegar has always been an ingredient that sells far more robustly in the mainstream channel, but health food store sales showed a similar trend: $3.6 million in 2020, $7.69 million in 2021, then back down to $4.4 million in 2022. 

Natural channel losing out to mainstream 

There is evidence of channel switching in the sales figures of some top-selling botanical ingredients. For example, turmeric sales in the mainstream channel rose from $111.66 million 2021 to $123.07 million 2022, representing a 6.9% increase. But turmeric sales fell in the natural channel in the same period, going from $38.93 in 2021 to $35.77 in 2022. 

Ashwagandha sales tell a similar story. In the mainstream channel, sales rose from $92.33 million in 2021 to $110.97 in 2022. In the natural channel, sales were down 1.3% in 2022 to around $17.7 million. 

About the Author(s)

Hank Schultz

Senior Editor, Informa

Hank Schultz has been the senior editor of Natural Products Insider since early 2023. He can be reached at [email protected]

Prior to joining the Informa team, he was an editor at NutraIngredients-USA, a William Reed Business Media publication.

His approach to industry journalism was formed via a long career in the daily newspaper field. After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with degrees in journalism and German, Hank was an editor at the Tempe Daily News in Arizona. He followed that with a long stint working at the Rocky Mountain News, a now defunct daily newspaper in Denver, where he rose to be one of the city editors. The newspaper won two Pulitzer Prizes during his time there.

The changing landscape of the newspaper industry led him to explore other career paths. He began his career in the natural products industry more than a decade ago at New Hope Natural Media, which was then part of Penton and now is an Informa brand. Hank formed friendships and partnerships within the industry that still inform his work to this day, which helps him to bring an insider’s perspective, tempered with an objective journalist’s sensibility, to his in-depth reporting.

Harkening back to his newspaper days, Hank considers the readers to be the primary stakeholders whose needs must be met. Report the news quickly, comprehensively and above all, fairly, and readership and sponsorships will follow.

In 2015, Hank was recognized by the American Herbal Products Association with a Special Award for Journalistic Excellence.

When he’s not reporting on the supplement industry, Hank enjoys many outside pursuits. Those include long distance bicycle touring, mountain climbing, sailing, kayaking and fishing. Less strenuous pastimes include travel, reading (novels and nonfiction), studying German, noodling on a harmonica, sketching and a daily dose of word puzzles in The New York Times.

Last but far from least, Hank is a lifelong fan and part owner of the Green Bay Packers.

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