Nutrition industry grows 8.7 per cent in 2008

The United States nutrition industry grew 8.7 per cent, $101.8 billion in 2008, according to the latest research from New Hope Natural Media's Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ), the executive newsletter for decisionmakers in the natural, nutrition and complementary and alternative health industries. Despite the continued malaise in other sectors of the economy, NBJ reported that sales of dietary supplements were particularly resilient last year as consumers looked to natural products to protect their health and prevent more expensive medical visits and prescription drugs.

Dietary-supplement sales grew from 5.8 per cent 6.3 per cent in 2008, shattering the prediction by some that consumers' falling disposable income would drown dietary-supplement sales. Overall, there were $102 billion in nutrition-industry consumer sales last year, the magazine reports. Growth slowed in categories other than dietary supplements, but remained positive nonetheless.

NBJ covers these and other 2008 sales and growth estimates in its 2009 US Nutrition Industry Overview issue, published this month. The 48-page issue examines the sales performance of and trends impacting supplements, functional foods, natural and organic foods, natural and organic personal-care and household-products categories across all retail and direct-to-consumer sales channels. The issue also includes:

  • A Q&A with Andrew Weil, MD, on the role of dietary supplements in healthcare reform
  • Rankings of the top US supplement companies
  • A discussion of the FDA's Good Manufacturing Practices for supplement manufacturers, and how the agency's enforcement is affecting the industry
  • A review of nanotechnology and its current applications within dietary supplements
  • Tips for how supplement and other nutrition firms can most effectively use Internet marketing tools such as e-mail marketing, search engine optimization and marketing, and social marketing
  • A detailed review of natural and organic and supplement retail trends within the natural and specialty and mass-market channel.

The November issue of Functional Ingredients, another of New Hope Natural Media's publications, will feature an overview of the state of the natural supply industry — with up-to-date mainstream and natural-market sales data from SPINS. Information about cutting-edge companies, emerging trends and hot categories — from stevia and superfruits to probiotics and proteins, and significant condition-specific markets — will be included.

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