Top stories from 2023 give peek at agenda for 2024

From sales trends to new ingredient indications and supply chain concerns, Natural Products Insider has highlighted some stories from the past year that we will be reporting on further in 2024.

Hank Schultz, Senior Editor

January 3, 2024

3 Min Read

 As we enter 2024, here’s a roundup of some of the top stories of the past year. 

In October, content director Todd Runestad took a look at seven trends revealed by SPINS sales data. The sleep, eye health and sports nutrition categories were all up. Protein sales continued to soar while there was a changing of the guard in the top-selling joint health ingredients. But immune health products continued their post-pandemic swoon, and it seemed as if it was time to start writing an obituary for the CBD category. 

Creatine dosing 

Speaking of sports nutrition, an article published last January showed that new indications for creatine monohydrate—from cognitive support to women’s health—has taken the ingredient far beyond the male-dominated strength athlete space. Along with that comes new ideas about dosing protocols. 

FDA reorganization 

Almost exactly a year ago, industry trade organizations met with FDA Commissioner Dr. Robert Califf to discuss dietary supplement issues. Participants in the closed-door session said the meeting was welcome, but some questions, such as how the impending reorganization of the agency would affect supplements, went unanswered. Subsequent developments have cast additional light on the planned reorg. 

Herbalife rounds the corner 

In August, network marketing giant Herbalife announced it had slowed the momentum of its falling sales and aggressive cost-cutting would see the company—a bellwether for the industry given its size—return to a healthier balance sheet in 2024. 

SupplySide West favorite ingredients 

The annual SupplySide West trade show and convention once again put the newest and most innovative ingredients in the industry on display.  Here’s a roundup of a dozen ingredients that made a splash. 

NMN stays in FDA’s crosshairs 

FDA’s determination that beta-nicotinamide mononucleotide (NMN) is excluded from the definition of a dietary supplement garnered ample news coverage in 2023, including here. The issue has been a source of contention between industry and FDA, and in a recent development reported by Natural Products Insider, a pharma company investigating NMN as a new drug weighed in with comments to FDA

Vitamin D story just keeps getting better 

Vitamin D had a shining moment in the sun during the global pandemic. But as research on its various health benefits continues to pile up, it’s becoming almost a must-have ingredient in formulas for moms and children. 

Language loss threatens botanical ingredient discovery 

Indigenous languages are going extinct across the globe at an alarming rate. Along with that loss of cultural diversity is the loss of the knowledge of local medicinal plants. In many cases, this knowledge is passed down verbally within these languages and exists nowhere else

Climate change concerns 

Another trend that will be catalogued in the coming year is the ongoing effects of climate change on botanical ingredient supply. The world is changing, and the business must adapt along with it if it is to survive, experts say. 

The more things change . . .  

Finally, Natural Products Insider did significant reporting on problems with the quality of products sold on Amazon. There will surely be more to report on this subject in 2024. And speaking of Amazon, here’s a recent story on sales rebounding


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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