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Arizona is the new natural bellwether state

Andrew Weil and Sedona. You were surprised?

Andrew Weil. Sprouts retail headquarters. The Southwest College of Natural Medicine. Sedona. Shaklee HQ. Forever Living Products HQ. More than 50 GNCs. Home of the Arizona Center for Algae Research and Innovation, and home to commercial algae facilities Heliae and Algae Biosciences. Senator Jeff Flake.

Turns out Arizona is the new emerging powerhouse in the natural products industry. And with a pedigree like that listed above, it’s no wonder that the $1.9 billion in annual sales of natural products there from 2012 is estimated to nearly double to $3.7 billion by 2020, according to new data from the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA).

“What’s surprising is the percent growth between 2012 and 2020,” said Frank Lampe, VP communications and industry relations at UNPA. “It’s astonishing, really. It’s more natural and organic than dietary supplements.”

Sen. Flake sits on the Special Committee on Aging and is one of the targets of the Natural Products Association’s annual “Natural Products Day” on Capitol Hill--a lobbying event where industry business and thought leaders meet with Congressional staffers to discuss issues related to natural products and dietary supplements.

Rep. Kyrsten Sinema is another potential ally for the natural products industry. Representing Arizona’s 9th District, which covers an area east of Phoenix including Tempe, Mesa and parts of Scottsdale, she sits on the Congressional Algae Caucus and the Diabetes Caucus.

“They support the industry,” said Lampe. “This all fits into a model of a state we can support for advocacy and political support.”

UNPA has created a fact sheet detailing the Arizona economy. Arizona is being driven not only by core natural products consumers but also by a more mainstream movement, with a health-proactive consumer and those striving for a healthy lifestyle--together representing 30 percent of consumers--responsible for more than half of the natural health products sales in the state.

The biggest growth is coming from buyers of natural and organic pet products, which grew from almost $15 million in 2005 to more than $85 million in 2012 and is projected to hit $324 million by 2020. By dollar size, the top categories are organic foods and beverages, followed by natural foods and drinks, both of which are expected to hit around $1.2 billion by 2020.

Providing state-based industry economic data is long overdue and increasingly important, says UNPA President Loren Israelsen. “The natural health products industry is a dynamic, robust and maturing segment, a significant employer and producer of goods and services, and an important component of American commerce,” he said. “Our industry continues to increase its health and wellness messaging, and with that comes the need to educate elected representatives about the economic impact of responsible industry. Being able to share reliable sales and consumer demographics information with Congressional representatives in key states is crucial to ensure our continued growth and viability.”

The UNPA economic report includes industry sales data for organic foods and beverages, natural foods and beverages, supplements, natural and organic personal care, pet products and natural household items, as well as detailed consumer segmentation within the state.

Data for UNPA’s report was compiled by the Natural Marketing Institute, which provides a state-based, economic-significance message for federal and state legislators to complement UNPA’s presence on Capitol Hill and its focus on economic and political advocacy through the creation of a unique network of chapters in states with a strong natural products presence.

UNPA’s state chapter initiative is active in nine states: Arizona, Colorado, Hawaii, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin and Vermont.

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