Nutrition Business Journal

A Brief History of the Nutrition Industry


Ever wonder when the U.S. nutrition industry appeared and how it’s evolved since? Manufacturer NOW Foods assigned natural products journalist and blogger James Gormley to find out. Gormley’s Timeline of the Natural Products Industry (currently posted on his blog, The Gormley Files) traces the development of the industry from the 18th century to the 21st, addressing everything from unregulated elixirs to “the Vitamin Volstead Act” to DSHEA, marking the dates of the court precedents, Congressional acts and book publications that shaped U.S. nutrition as a business over the last few centuries. Since the beginning of the 20th century, nutrition products have weathered a harsh, mercurial regulatory environment, and Gormley illuminates the historical actors, organizations and publications that have nurtured and sustained the industry since its inception.

NBJ Bottom Line

To prepare for the future, one has to understand the past—so check out Gormley’s timeline at You can also find in-depth information on the recent past among NBJ’s many Back Issues. For a detailed look at the present, be sure to read NBJ’s upcoming 2010 Global Nutrition Industry Overview double issue, which will publish in July. To subscribe, please visit the NBJ subscriber page.


NBJ Related Links:

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NBJ’s Annual State of the Industry Delivers the Good News and the Bad
2009: A Tough Year for Organic

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