New Study Shows Dietary Supplement Industry Contributes More than $60 Billion to National Economy

Industry impact is nearly triple U.S. consumer sales

A new study funded by the Natural Products Foundation has found the total economic contribution of the dietary supplement industry to the U.S. economy is more than three times annual consumer sales, or $61 billion dollars per year. The study also showed that the dietary supplement industry has enough activity throughout production and sales to support more than 450,000 jobs, while industry concerns paid more than $10 billion dollars in taxes in 2006.

“Most industry assessments primarily focus on sales, but this is really just the tip of the iceberg,” said Tracy Taylor executive director of the Natural Products Foundation. “The labor, materials, and technology necessary to move each product from a raw material to the final sale cause a whole spectrum of economic consequences.”

The Economic Impact Report, completed by Dobson | DaVanzo, a Washington D.C.-based economic research firm, is the first to quantify the dietary supplement industry's overall financial impact on the national economy by considering such contributing factors as supply, production, research, direct employment, manufacturing, taxes, and the extended financial effects these factors produce.

By expanding the study's analysis beyond the industry’s most basic financial impact of more than $20 billion in consumer sales annually, researchers were able to provide a more complete economic picture, charting the widespread effects that dietary supplement-related transactions have on other, complementary industries.

“Not only does the dietary supplement industry represent an important and growing component of the U.S. economy, it is interconnected in essential ways with many other industries," write the study's authors. "For example, the dietary supplement industry contributes to output (or spending) in other industries, such as retail and wholesale trade; real estate, rental and leasing; finance and insurance; professional, scientific, and technical services; and manufacturing."

The dietary supplement industry's influence is expanding, with the entire industry growing at a rate that exceeds the rate of inflation. While health care providers are often given a “market basket” increase to account for medical and other inflation, usually between two and three percent, the dietary supplement industry is steadily growing at a rate greater than five percent per year. As the core sales of the dietary supplement industry grow, so too does its extended effects on the economy, providing sustainable jobs, manufacturing infrastructure, and health care benefits by way of prevention.

“The dietary supplement industry is a significant economic engine that powers businesses in communities in every state across the country,” says Taylor. “And the fact that the industry has been growing steadily at a rate that exceeds inflation for more than 10 years, even in unstable economic times, bodes well for the future.”

Economic Impact Study - Summary (PDF - 156kb)

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