CRN study reveals economic impact of supplements

The Council for Responsible Nutrition recently released a report that examines the economic impact of dietary supplements, including the effects on taxes and wages.

Kelly Teal

February 1, 2024

4 Min Read

The dietary supplement industry continues to generate billions of dollars in tax revenue and wages earned amid widespread consumer use of natural products in the U.S.

In 2023, the supplement sector contributed $158.6 billion to the U.S. economy, according to an independent analysis by consulting firm John Dunham and Associates (JDA). That compares to $121.6 billion in 2016.

The study was funded by the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), a trade association in the nation’s capital representing dietary supplement and functional food manufacturers and ingredient suppliers.

CRN in October announced its findings from an annual survey, which found that 74% of American adults take supplements and over half (55%) qualify as “regular users.” Increased demand for supplements, the trade association reported, has driven much of the economic growth.

The industry in 2023 not only generated $2.7 billion in estimated sales taxes and $17.4 billion in local, state and federal taxes, it produced a direct economic impact of $74.2 billion, according to JDA’s analysis.

CRN characterizes direct impacts as encompassing “jobs, wages or economic output solely attributable to the industry defined for the study.” This includes various components of the supply chain, from manufacturing, retail and wholesale to ingredient suppliers and direct sellers.

According to JDA’s analysis, the supplement industry provides over 266,300 jobs in the U.S. and is responsible for another 350,420 related jobs. JDA and CRN call the latter “induced effects.”

These effects, JDA noted, “are the response by the economy that occur through re-spending of income received by employees and business owners measured in the direct and supplier parts of the economy.” Examples include a diner or gas station near a supplement manufacturing facility hiring more people to meet patronage demand.

The supplement sector also pays $19 billion in employee wages, with the average annual wage totaling $71,400, the report found.

The 2023 economic report focuses on the data, rather than trends fueling higher supplement consumption, said Michael Meirovitz, the association’s senior director of government relations.

However, Meirovitz pointed out, CRN’s 2022 health care cost savings report showed a correlation between nine supplement regimens and reduced risk for five different chronic diseases.

Whatever the motivation for consumers’ use of supplements these days, the industry is “making the nation healthier,” Meirovitz said — not just physically, but also economically.

Meeting with health-legislation staff

To that point, CRN is highlighting takeaways from its latest report on Capitol Hill.

The trade association has been emailing health-legislation experts in the House and Senate, and setting up meetings to help elected officials understand how the supplement industry benefits the country overall.

“Not only are supplements better for the health of the United States, they also lead to a healthier economy,” Meirovitz said.

Steve Mister, president and CEO of CRN, agreed.

“In the eight years since our last report, the industry’s footprint and subsequent impact to the local, state and national economies has increased dramatically, and we believe it is important for the public and elected officials to know the positive contributions our member companies have on communities all over the country,” Mister said in a prepared statement. “In some suburban or rural areas, they are among the largest employers and taxpayers, if not the largest, and provide needed jobs and revenue. This report helps us clearly quantify that impact in specific and tangible terms.”

The new CRN report shows that the following 10 states boast the largest dietary supplement industry presence:

  • California

  • New Jersey

  • New York

  • Texas

  • Illinois

  • Florida

  • Utah

  • Pennsylvania

  • Minnesota

  • Michigan

In California alone, the industry produced a total direct economic impact of $15.9 billion, more than 46,100 jobs and nearly 58,000 related jobs, JDA found. The firm’s report showed Californians in the industry earn an average yearly wage of $84,900.

CRN offers an interactive map that lets users filter their specific states and legislative districts to see how the supplement industry is directly contributing to the economies.

For supplement manufacturers, the report demonstrates the industry is “thriving” and “responding to an unprecedented need from consumers,” according to Meirovitz.

“Over the last eight years, we have seen an increase in the contribution that this industry makes to the lifeblood and livelihood of this country,” he added. “It's a part of a much larger story about the real importance of this industry beyond just providing health and nutritional supplementation for Americans. It also is providing a much-needed economic boost.”

About the Author(s)

Kelly Teal

Kelly Teal has more than 20 years' experience as a journalist, editor and analyst in industries including technology and health care. She serves as principal of Kreativ Energy LLC. Follow her on LinkedIn at /kellyteal/

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