Despite NY AG’s Comments, Herbal Supplements Sales up by 30%; Recent Studies Show

Aug 31, 2015

Sales of herbal supplements have increased by at least 13% compared to the same time last year according to findings of a recent study.

A report by SPINS which was released by NutraIngredients-USA shows that sales for the 52 weeks leading to July 2, 2015 were $687 million compared $610 million posted last year. The sales have shown double digit growth over last year for four weeks now with May, June, and July all indicating growth of more than 25% compared to last year’s figures.

Sales of single herb supplements haven’t shown as much growth, however, with negative trends reported for April through July 2015 compared to the same period last year. Despite this, there was still minimal growth in the sector with the SPINS report indicating that single herb sales increased by 1.1% over the whole year.

The interesting part of this report is that sales don’t seem to have been impacted adversely by the ruling of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman’s comments against herbal complements. The AG last year served four major retailers – GNC, Wal-Mart, Target, and Walgreens – with cease and desist letters after February DNA barcode tests revealed that 79% of the products tested did not either did not contain labeled substances or contained substances that were not listed on the ingredients list. The report has alleviated fear that the AGs decision would have negatively affected the herbal supplements’ market.

Michael McGuffin, president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) recently came out expressing his joy at SPINS findings. “This data certainly counters fears and perceptions of a precipitous decline,” he said. “It I an interesting snapshot. All we see is good numbers for herbal formulas.”

McGuffin reiterated that people have been using herbal formulas and that they won’t be threatened by unfounded claims. “We have been using these formulas for thousands of years. We knew from the very start that it was unlikely that the AGs misunderstood comments were going to drive people away,” he said. The AHPA president disclosed that he has been following trends in the industry for the past one year to see whether the NY AG’s comments would slow down sales but was very impressed that sale have increased.

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