Turmeric and its active constituent, curcumin, led 2015 herbal supplement sales in natural retail stores for the third year in a row. In addition, NutraIngredients-USA reports that in natural and mass-market retail stores, sales of turmeric-related products grew by 118% from 2014, with combined sales of over $50 million. As impressive as that is, the herbal supplement category as a whole also grew for the 12th year in a row—by 7.5% compared with 2014. Besides turmeric, other leading herbal supplements include grass (wheat or barley) in natural retail stores, and horehound and cranberry in mass-market retail stores.
One takeaway from these figures is that negative press in the past few years, including the New York Attorney General’s (NYAG) 2015 inquiry into the supplement industry, doesn’t seem to be diminishing the popularity of herbal supplements; however, two specific herbs that the NYAG investigated—ginseng and saw palmetto—did experience a decline in sales. Green coffee extract and Garcinia cambogia—often taken for weight loss—also saw steep sales drops. A possible reason for the decline in sales of these last two herbs is that weight loss supplements tend to be more faddish, and consumers may see less of an effect from these types of supplements without accompanying improvements in diet and exercise.