Natural Foods Merchandiser

Heart-health supplements crack $1B sales figure

Sales for heart-health supplements that address high cholesterol and hypertension exceed $1 billion in combined natural and conventional revenue. Conventional supermarkets sell the most dietary supplements targeting high cholesterol ($193.1 million worth in 2006), and drug stores move the most hypertension-related supplements, with sales of those products topping $290 million last year. In comparison, naturals supermarkets sold $54.6 million worth of supplements designed to manage high cholesterol and $153.2 million in supplements that address high blood pressure.

Fish oil is popular for heart health among naturals and conventional shoppers alike. In fact, it is the top fatty acid product within the supplement oils category. These oils are available in several forms, such as capsules, soft gels and liquids. Other popular supplement oils include flax, borage, evening primrose, wheat germ and hemp.

Consumers have embraced fish oil supplements as a convenient source of essential fatty acids. And, with the American Heart Association's recent recommendation that all women take a daily supplement containing the EFAs docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid, this category is poised for further growth. Manufacturers have begun incorporating EFAs into an increasing array of finished products, including eggs, chocolate, mayonnaise, granola bars and waffles.

Fiber and plant sterol ingredients, which also address heart health, are making an appearance in functional foods as well. Fiber is showing up in products ranging from breakfast cereal and orange juice to pasta and graham crackers. With the exception of oat bran, products with fiber additives of all kinds are seeing 15 percent to 20 percent growth in naturals stores and up to 140 percent growth in the conventional food, drug and mass merchandise channel. Sales of functional foods with added plant sterols are declining in conventional stores, but growing nearly 430 percent in naturals supermarkets, most notably in the chocolate candy, snack bars and toaster pastries, and cheese alternatives categories.

Fish oil sales are growing more than 30% in both channels

Natural Supermarkets

Share

% Change

Current Units

Fish Oil Concentrate

36.9%

3,215,580

Nordic Naturals

39%

56.6%

996,110

Carlson

21%

41.7%

570,198

Country Life

6%

4.6%

282,610

Natural Factors

6%

42.3%

227,785

Spectrum Essentials

5%

15.5%

224,836

FDM

Fish Oil Concentrate

32.1%

16,662,369

Private Label

31%

15.4%

5,977,004

Nature Made

29%

43.6%

4,770,536

Nature's Bounty

19%

68.8%

2,916,040

Sundown

4%

(29.3%)

737,616

Nordic Naturals

2%

640.8%

114,619


Top 5 Growth Brands, Fish Oil Concentrate
Natural Supermarkets
Nordic Naturals
Carlson
Natural Factors
Barleans
Spectrum Essentials
FDM
Nature Made
Nature's Bounty
Private Label
Nordic Naturals
Bumble Bee

Plant sterols sales in supplements vs. food

Plant Sterols Supplements

Sales in Dollars

Growth

FDM

$2,935,918

9.9%

Natural Supermarkets

$699,831

(21.0%)

Plant Sterols in Functional Foods

Sales in Units

Growth

FDM

26,898,244

(1.7%)

Natural Supermarkets

160,033

429.5%


Psyllium fiber and fish oils are the top supplements associated with heart health conditions

High Cholesterol - Natural Supermarkets

Top 5 Ingredients

Share

% Change

$ Growth Rank

High Cholesterol

4.2%

Soy Foods

31%

(9.9%)

41

Psyllium

16%

13.5%

2

Red Yeast Rice

14%

33.4%

1

Garlic

12%

0.0%

16

Chromium (All Forms)

5%

(1.4%)

38

Hypertension - Natural Supermarkets

Top 5 Ingredients

Share

% Change

$ Growth Rank

Hypertension

13.2%

Fish Oil Concentrate

35%

36.2%

1

Calcium

21%

4%

3

Co-Enzyme Q

21%

4.6%

2

Vitamin E (Not Ester-E)

9%

(7.3%)

23

Garlic

6%

1.6%

9

Information source: SPINSscan Natural and Conventional Channels, 52 weeks ending Dec. 30, 2006


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