Mulitlevel marketing giant Amway said its earnings dropped by 5% in 2023 to $7.7 billion. It's the first time the company's revenues have dipped below $8 billion in more than a decade.

Hank Schultz, Senior Editor

March 12, 2024

3 Min Read

Multilevel marketing giant Amway reported a 5% decline in earnings year over year, which the company attributed to a strong U.S. dollar and the ongoing fallout of pulling out of Russia. 

The Ada, Mich.-based company sent out an earnings press release earlier this month. The release reported Amway had brought in $7.7 billion in its fiscal 2023, which ended on Dec. 31, 2023. 

Among oldest nutritional brands 

Amway was founded in 1949 to provide a sales mechanism for the company’s Nutrilite brand of supplements. The company claims Nutrilite is the world’s No. 1 selling brand of dietary supplements. 

Amway now features many product lines in addition to supplements. 

For more than a decade, the industry publication Direct Selling News has maintained a “Global 100” list of the world’s top MLMs (multilevel marketing organizations). Amway has been ranked No.1 every year. The list for 2024, based on reported 2023 earnings, has yet to be compiled, but Amway is likely to retain the top spot. 

The list includes both public and private companies.  The editors get revenue numbers from SEC filings for the publicly traded companies, with the private companies voluntarily revealing their revenue numbers. Almost all of the world’s largest MLMs choose to be featured on the list. 

Decade-long earnings slide 

While Amway has held the top spot, its revenues have been falling steadily for years. In 2014, according to the figures reported on the list, Amway hauled in $11.8 billion. By 2015, revenues had dipped below $10 billion annually and dropped below $9 billion the next year. 

The company experienced growth from the global pandemic, as did many dietary supplement companies. Revenues rose to $8.9 billion in 2021 but slid to $8.1 billion in 2022. 

In the most recent earnings announcement, Amway said it is investing more than $100 million in new dietary supplement manufacturing and testing facilities near its western Michigan home base. 

Amway’s challenges are not unique to that company. Many MLMs have experienced sales slides in recent years for unexplained reasons. 

According to data gathered by Direct Selling News, the percentage of U.S. retail sales attributed to MLMs has been declining for two decades. 

An article posted on the investment site Seeking Alpha suggests that ongoing criticism by social media influencers and actions against MLMs by government regulators continue to cloud the future outlook for the category. 

Trouble in India 

Among those government actions was an investigation by India’s Enforcement Directorate (ED) that began in April 2022 and accused Amway of running a pyramid scheme in that country. Amway does not break down sales by region, so it’s unclear how that case has affected Amway’s overall revenues. 

The investigation advanced to the point that a criminal case was filed by the ED in November 2023. The case accused Amway of having brought in about $490 million in so-called “proceeds of crime.” 

The company said it will vigorously defend itself against the charges. In the meantime, the ED announced it had attached more than $90 million of Amway’s “immovable and movable assets.” 

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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