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Sales of dietary supplements, including herbal products, rose dramatically in the first six months of 2020, in apparent reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic. Large increases were seen in purchases of immune support and general wellness products, with pantry stocking often leading to depleted inventories and other supply chain disruptions, particularly in the early part of the year.
In March of this year, overall supplement sales were up 39% compared with March 2019 levels. From mid-May to mid-June, sales were 14% higher than during the same period in 2019. Based on data from the market research firm SPINS, a 51.2% growth in sales of cold, flu, and immunity products is predicted for 2020 compared with 2019.
A few popular herbal immune support products have experienced particularly high market growth. During the first half of this year, elderberry sales increased by 126% and 241.4% in natural and mainstream retail channels respectively, compared to the same period in 2019. Echinacea sales grew by 70.2% and 90.9% in the same time period. Other herbal products seeing increased demand include oregano oil, astragalus root, elecampane, and lomatium. In addition, sales of medicinal mushrooms have increased, along with products related to stress and sleep.
Source: Smith T. US supplement sales rise sharply during first six months of 2020. HerbalGram, 2020; 127:68-69. Sidebar to article at: cms.herbalgram.org/herbalgram/issue127/hg127-mktrpt-2019.html.
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Published in the Price-Pottenger Journal of Health and Healing
Summer 2020 | Volume 44, Number 2
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