From Demi Moore to Oprah, celebrities continue to fuel the detox craze

As Nutrition Business Journal reports, new users have entered the cleansing category over the last few years thanks to celebrity chatter about detoxification. It remains to be seen if these customers will stick; but for now, they're buying. Below is an excerpt from NBJ’s in-depth article on the cleansing category that appeared in the 2010 Integrative Medicine & Condition-Specific Supplements issue

Demi Moore tweeted about doing the Master Cleanse with her husband, Ashton Kutcher. Gwyneth Paltrow blogged about shedding excess holiday pounds with a detox diet. Oprah Winfrey chronicled her 21-day cleanse on her trendsetting TV program. Even the Kardashian sisters endorsed QuickTrim Fast Cleanse as a way to kick-start weight loss.

As Nutrition Business Journal explores in its 2010 Integrative Medicine & Condition-Specific Supplements issue, celebrities have detox on the brain, and the general public continues to watch their ongoing digestive battles with eyes wide open.

American consumers spent more than $100 million on detox, cleanse and fiber supplements in the year ending October 30, 2010, according to SPINS. The herbal-cleansing subcategory brought in $23 million, while digestive cleansing products containing either fiber or laxatives saw sales of $77 million. Interestingly, herbals saw their most robust sales in the conventional channel — 34% annual growth — as the concept continued to go mainstream. (Thanks, celebrities.) The digestive cleansing segment also experienced its strongest sales period in 2009, with growth of 16%.

Interest in digestive health grows

The most recent SPINS data showed that herbal cleansing product sales in both natural and mass channels dropped 19% in 2010, with mass taking the biggest hit — sales were down 30%. Digestive cleansers with fiber and laxatives, however, found a way to grow 12% through the mass channel, despite those fickle celebrities and a prolonged soft economy.

“Over the last year, there has been a shift in focus away from whole-body cleansing and toward digestive health,” said Kerry Watson, manager of the SPINS Product Library. “The importance of digestive health has begun to hit home, and consumers are now starting to understand the major role the digestive tract plays in overall health and immunity.”

While fads come and go, manufacturers of detox and cleanse supplements in the natural products industry aren't all that concerned. “I would imagine mass-market retailers are likely seeing a sales lift relevant to the celeb detox trend,” said Jason Dewberry, vice president of marketing for Garden of Life in West Palm Beach, Florida. “We're not seeing an effect from those factors in the natural marketplace, because we don't really cater to that consumer.”

However, Matt Schueller, chief customer officer of Green Bay, Wisconsin-based Schwabe North America, owner of the Enzymatic Therapy and Nature's Way brands, has seen new users come into the category over the last few years thanks to celebrity chatter about detoxification. It remains to be seen if these customers will stick, but for now, they're buying.

This article is excerpted from NBJ’s 2010 Integrative Medicine & Condition-Specific Supplements issue. Subscribe to NBJ to read the full article.

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