Nutraceutical Knowledge

The Rapid Growth of Wholesale Natural Supplements

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In 2014, the wholesale natural supplement industry grew by 6.8 percent over the growth reported from 2013.

That is not surprising as the growth trend for the industry has been positive for the last decade.

[1] The gross sales for 2014 peaked just shy of $6.5 billion with actual sales of $6.4 billion. What that spells is "opportunity" for the natural supplement wholesale market.

Consumers are very interested in wholesale natural  supplements and with good reason.

As health care costs remain a primary concern to consumers, the drama over Obama Care, and now the changes that the Trump administration are trying hard to push through Congress leave the American consumer in even greater limbo.

People are looking hard at their health and the role that preventative medicine can play. 

Plenty of Opportunity

The market is diverse, but the opportunities tend to be greater in health food and natural food stores.

In 2014, this market segment grew by 5.2 percent.

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[1] That is not to say that retail sales for herbal and natural supplements were without opportunity. In 2014, that segment of the market grew by 2.1 percent. [1]

Another factor attributing to the succes of the sale of these natural supplements were the online distributors.

Interestingly enough, in a report from the HerbalGram's annual report, [1] the top types of herbal supplements differ between the two market segments.

In the retail segment, the top products had more to do with mainstream illnesses such as colds and flu and those patrons sought out herbal ingredients in throat lozenges such as horehound.

In the natural foods segment, one of the top purchases was turmeric, a herb that is well known in homeopathic medicine. 

Those differences both spell opportunity, and they point to a major obstacle for natural supplement wholesale companies.

That difference is the customer's commitment towards managing their health.

At the retail level, you are looking at purchases that address symptoms that the customer likely has and from which they want relief.

Think cough-and-cold treatments.

At the natural and health food stores, customers are buying supplements both to manage existing conditions and to prolong or prevent future ones.

There is a place for natural supplement wholesale products in both segments.

Other Factors To Consider

The preceding paragraphs are important because they highlight very different consumer pain points. When you sell wholesale, you are not selling to the public, but to retailers.

The challenge is gaining access to those markets, and the plural form of market"s" is key. 

Michael Adams over at Gredio has some insight into how to get the retail door to open.

[2] One of the first things he discusses is the power of having a story behind your brand.

When you think about that point, it makes perfect sense. Stories are powerful marketing platforms.

If you consider the persona of natural food customers, they are looking for companies that care about them as consumers.

That message is conveyed through stories. The lesson from Adams is that you should expect to tell the condensed version of your story because retailers are likely to ask why you are in business. 

If you have ever walked down a supplement aisle, you should understand that differentiation of your product is important.

Retailers are not likely to take on a handful of brands that make very similar products.

In fact, Adams lists product differentiation in his blog. The lesson here is to approach your market as from a unique perspective.

To do so, you will need to understand your competition.

Key differentiator points include things such as being certified organic or 100 percent organic - the two are not the same.

This is a critical part of product design, and it forms the basis for your marketing too. 

Marketing Aspects

Speaking of marketing, The story of why you are in business and product differentiation are just two of the things to consider before you even get started.

Wholesale distribution is tricky because your clients are highly tuned into the market and their customers. Adams, suggests choosing your goals carefully.

His point is that your goal is deeper than just selling a million units. Your goal is also part of what differentiates your brand and product from the rest of the pack. 

One of the beautiful things about personal brands is that they are not everywhere.

From a wholesale perspective, your brand should bring people into the retailer's store.

For that reason, you want to pick and choose carefully which stores to approach. Your product should match the store's philosophy too.

Adams mentions that retailers will ask you for a list of places that sell your product.

From a retailer perspective, having the same type of product helps them compete with their competition too.

There are many options here, and you will need to look closely at your opportunities. 

These points help you to enter the market in a professional way.

As the market for private label nutraceuticals continues to grow, so do the opportunities for quality brands and private label brands.