NBJ Blog

2009 Supplement Industry - What can we expect?

How will the supplement industry manage an economic downturn? Industry historians will tell you that in the last few recessions, the supplement industry handled slower consumer spending quite well. But is recent economic history a good comparable for how the current supplement industry will handle the foreseeable future? Is it the same supplement industry that it was before?

This critical question is exactly what the 2008 Supplement Business Report addresses with over 400 charts of data and 160 large and small supplement company profiles. Forecasts through 2017 are also included based on most recently available research, so you can chart your company's growth against our experienced expectations for the industry.

Certainly, 2008 has been a good year for the U.S. supplement industry. Both IRI and SPINS data show solid growth in multivitamins, but a resurgence in herbs and vitamin D sales may drive growth for the overall supplement industry higher than achieved in 2007 (5.9% to $23.7 billion in consumer sales).

But how long will this last? Will private label grow its marketshare in ways we're seeing it do in organic food? What about consumer pricing? Will prices decline as expected? And what about suppliers, how will they manage through rising ingredient costs, transportation costs and bad debt from customers?

Walking the show floor at Expo East and Supply Side West, one thing was clear. There is confidence that the primary demographic and self-care drivers of the nutrition and supplement industry position it better than most to weather a recession. However, when I asked executives, "Is your business feeling any impact from the economic downturn?" the quick answer was, "No." But when I probed further and asked about bad debt, late payments and a slowdown in product development - they all confirmed one or all.

So is there a bit of schizophrenia in the U.S. nutrition industry? I feel there is. And if there wasn't, I would be more concerned. One thing is certain, staying on top of industry trends is what Nutrition Business Journal has made its only business since 1996 and will continue to make its primary business through to the other side of this recession. So if you have any questions about what's going on in any product segment or sales channel in the nutrition industry, don't hesitate to call. 303.998.9229 If I don't have the answer, I'll find someone that does for you.

All the best,

Patrick Rea

Editorial Director

Nutrition Business Journal

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