Natural Foods Merchandiser

Mainstream trends present natural opportunity

According to respondents in NFM’s first Favorite Things industry survey, gut health and digestion are the most merchandised health condition in natural foods stores, and that’s right in line with mainstream trends, according to Chicago-based market resource group Information Resources, Inc.

Although naturals stores appear to be on target with promoting gastrointestinal products, retailers may be overlooking other opportunities.

A couple months ago, I came across an interesting chart assembled by IRI showing the best-selling nonfood products in 2008. Three of the top 10 were products to treat health conditions.

Zyrtec, an allergy medication, came in at No. 1 with more than $315 million in sales—not including Walmart. Allí, GlaxoSmithKline’s weight loss product, took the No. 2 spot with just over $160 million, and the gastrointestinal product MiraLax was No. 6 with slightly more than $49 million.

I would bet that you carry some incredible natural products that go head to head with Zyrtec to combat seasonal allergies. And how many weight-loss products do you offer that you feel are superior to Allí—with fewer side effects?

Take a look around your store—when was the last time you promoted these products through an end cap or floor display? How well trained is your staff?

Marketplace data—including knowledge of macrotrends outside our own industry—can ensure that you remain in tune with the needs and wants of your customers, a key ingredient for your continued success.

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