Herbal Supplements See YoY Growth in Q4 2022

In addition to adult and kids cough/cold medicine, herbal supplements saw a large increase year-over-year in the final quarter of 2022.
Zachary Russell
Associate Editor
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Unit sales of herbal immune supplements, including from private brands, increased 48% year-over-year in Q4 of 2022 as consumers battled the “tripledemic” of flu, RSV and COVID-19, according to new data from shopper intelligence firm Catalina.

To close out the year, the herbal supplements category saw a 22% dollar sales increase compared to the same period in 2021, with an average price change of -4%. Adult and kids cough/cold medicines also saw hefty unit increases. Kids analgesics recorded the biggest jump with unit sales up 67% and dollar sales up 93%, with average prices increasing by 15%.

Adult cough/cold medicine was the next highest, with unit sales up 30% and dollar sales up 44%. Of the virus treatment categories, CBD supplements saw the largest decreases in unit change (-39%) and dollar sales change (-49%) compared to Q4 of 2021.

Catalina herbal supplements Q4 2022

"The data tells us that premium immune supplement brands set a higher price that a significant number of shoppers are willing to pay," Sean Murphy, chief data & analytics officer at Catalina told Store Brands.  "Yet a majority of shoppers are still opting for store brands, which have an opportunity to gain market share due to current economic conditions reinforcing the importance of value." 

What shoppers opted for during cold and flu season can tell retailers a lot about what else they might purchase, said Murphy, giving retailers an opportunity to promote private label products across several categories. The increase in herbal supplement sales also signals that health and wellness trends are showing no signs of slowing down.

“We know that herbal immunity shoppers, for example, are prone to also be antibiotic avoiders,” added Murphy. “Among these buyers, 47% are six times as likely to also purchase herbal/chai teas – while 19% also buy organic cheese, which is 16 times the rate of the average shopper. These sorts of insights are invaluable when it comes to creating personalized messages and cross-promotional offers that trigger sales and build brands and categories."