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Q: Best Selling Natural Products ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   0 Comments )
Subject: Best Selling Natural Products
Category: Business and Money > Small Businesses
Asked by: naturally-ga
List Price: $100.00
Posted: 08 Dec 2004 13:23 PST
Expires: 07 Jan 2005 13:23 PST
Question ID: 439962
I am in the process of setting up a natural health products store in
Western Canada.  I am looking for detailed market research that will
help me determine which products to stock.  I need to know what
categories move best (i.e. "health and beauty," "supplements,"
"natural foods" etc) and which brands are the top sellers within the

Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 10 Dec 2004 09:50 PST
Hello naturally-ga: 

I'm working on your question but, so far, I have found only one
detailed, current report that's available for free. I will certainly
try to find more information at no-fee, but the fact is, most market
reports are fee-based.

Would you accept an answer that includes subscription or fee-based information?  

Best regards,
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Question by naturally-ga on 10 Dec 2004 13:24 PST
Hi nancylynn-ga:

Thanks for your prompt response.  As far as subscription and fee-based
services go, that's one of the reasons I am trying out Google Answers.

My own research showed that these types of services are generally
priced very high - certainly beyond my means.  One also has to
purchase the reports, with no real way of knowing if they will fit the
need.  I am hoping to find enough useful information for my purposes,
without venturing into that minefield.

So my preference would be a summary of any useful information that can
be gleaned without resorting to these reports.  A secondary goal might
be pointers to reasonably priced reports that are focused on my actual

I hope this helps.  Please let me know if there's anything more you need from me.


Request for Question Clarification by nancylynn-ga on 10 Dec 2004 15:04 PST
Yes, I know what you mean: Most of the market reports I've found, so
far, are priced at $3,000-5,000.


What I can do is: In addition to the one detailed, fairly extensive
report I've found (for full-year 2003)) I'll try to gather as much
current  data as I can find, even from trade magazine articles, so
that you can assemble a clear, reliable pattern of which categories
and products are currently "hot." (Some organic/natural retailers have
even listed their top sellers, and that type of information should be
of help to you.)

From that, you should be able to extrapolate a fairly good picture of
which products you should initially stock.

Re: your comment: "A secondary goal might be pointers to reasonably
priced reports that are focused on my actual requirements."

If you give me an idea of your price limits for market reports, I will
certainly try to find some that fit your budget.


Clarification of Question by naturally-ga on 11 Dec 2004 11:35 PST
Hi nancylynn-ga:

As far as market reports go, I can't see spending more than approx.
$500.00 on a report, and I would still need to be confident that it
would answer my specific questions.

Otherwise, your proposal sounds good.

Subject: Re: Best Selling Natural Products
Answered By: nancylynn-ga on 11 Dec 2004 13:13 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
I was just finishing up my answer when you posted. I did list one or
two reports priced at $800, but the others are in the $100 range.
(Feel free to call or e-mail to ask specific questions re: content of
those reports. Reputable businesses are always willing to address any
such concerns for potential buyers.)

I?ve also given you some information about a subscription-based
business resource, Hoover's Online, that offers reasonable fees.

I also found an online organics business magazine that offers quite a
bit of information for free, but you will need to invest time mining
and evaluating it!

And, I listed information for you about a 3-month subscription plan to
Nutrition Business Journal, at a cost of $299, which may well provide
you with all the info you'll need as you start up your new business.

While I made an effort to tailor my research for Canada, as you?ll
see, quite a bit of the resulting data from my searches wound up
pertaining more to the U.S. (That's just how the hits came up!) Still,
one assumes that there?s considerable overlap between the two
countries when it comes to buying/consumption habits, etc.

First, two good resources for you:

New Hope Natural Media, which covers the organic and natural food market:
is a treasure trove of information, much of it free. At the top of the
above page, click through the various publications under "In Print."
For instance, clicking on "Natural Grocery Buyer" will bring up such
helpful resources as "Trendspotting."

New Hope also publishes "Natural Category Buyer" twice a year:

Click "Hot Products" on the navigation bar that's 2nd down from the
top of the page, which will bring up:
where you can review the hottest selling natural food products in the
U.S. "Each month, The Natural Foods Merchandiser polls retailers
throughout the United States to determine what products are selling in
various regions." So be sure to check that page every month.

Subscription Information:
You may qualify for a *free subscription* to New Hope's "Natural Foods
Merchandiser" magazine:

I urge you to spend lots of time at New Hope?s site where you can
search for tons of valuable information from the main page by using
the Search box and using the archives. This is the best resource for
free information ? you just have to commit considerable time to
searching and weeding and compiling!

At the home page, try the search word ?Canada? to bring up over 200
matches ? I gave up on trying to weed through them for the most
applicable results!) Just keep clicking around the site; you?re sure
to find a lot of information you can put to good use.

And, Hoover's Online:
which provides customized subscription fees:

"Subscriptions are tailored to meet each customer's specific needs.
Pricing is based on a variety of factors, including the number of
users, type of access, and the type of organization (not-for-profit,
academic, etc.)." Since your venture is a startup, you may qualify for
a solid discount.

I talked to Hoover?s several months ago and, while I now can?t recall
the ballpark figures, it seemed to me their prices were very
reasonable. When you speak to them just make sure you can research
brands (which, I believe you can).

Canadians can contact Hoover's at: 

Hoover's industry reports:

"Specialty Foods Distributors":

"Vitamins, Nutritionals & Other Health-Related Products":

Energy, Sports, Health & Nutritional Drinks:,-sports,-health-&-nutritional-drinks/--HICID__1051--/free-ind-factsheet.xhtml


The only detailed, current report -- available for free -- that I could find
is: " 'Natural and Organic Food Product Sales Trends," an "Expo West 2004
Presentation Given By Dan Atwood," who is Senior Vice President of
United Natural Foods INC. (UNFI), which is a Connecticut-based, major
wholesale distributor to the natural and organic food industry:
PowerPoint Format:

The outline from this presentation reviews full-year 2003 sales by
category and brand. It's not clear if these results are global or for
just North America, but you will find "hot product" names here.

(You can learn more about United Natural Foods INC., at:

These results were recorded by SPINSscan, which tracks sales in the
natural and organic products industry.

You may be interested in attending the Expo West 2005 convention,
which will be held in March, in Anaheim, CA: 

This is a roundup of some brands/products that appear to be strong sellers:

Stonyfield Farm Yogurt Press Release,  April 14, 2004:
". . . Stonyfield Farm has a 77% dollar share of the U.S. organic yogurt
market and is driving the growth of organics. In 2003, the yogurt category
was growing at a rate of just over 8 percent in grocery, with organic yogurt
sales far outpacing the category at a 35% growth rate. Serving as an anchor
in the natural foods channel, Stonyfield Farm has a 21% share of
conventional quarts, and the #3 and #6 items in the category. In
supermarkets, dollar sales of Stonyfield Farm fat free quarts are growing at
a rate of more than 28%.(3) A recent study by the Natural Marketing
Institute shows that Stonyfield Farm enjoys the most overall consumer brand
awareness of all other organic brands."

"From The Fall 2002 Issue of Natural Grocery Buyer: 'Frozen Dinners Go
Natural and Organic: Amy's Kitchen pioneers a category and many followers
benefit from double-digit growth,' by Grant Ferrier"
" . . . A keystone company in the organic industry, Amy's Kitchen had 19 of
the top 20 best-selling natural/organic prepared frozen foods in both mass
and natural retail channels in 2000, according to Berliner. Sales were $65
million in 2000, up 30 percent from the prior year, and NBJ estimates Amy's
wholesale number will approach $85 million in 2001."

NON-DAIRY BEVERAGE COMPANY," dated December 2, 2002:
". . .The Hain Celestial Group . . . is a leader in 13 of the top 15
natural food categories, with such well-known natural food brands as
Celestial Seasonings ® teas, Hain Pure Foods®, Westbrae®, Westsoy®,
Arrowhead Mills®, Health Valley®, Breadshop?s®, Casbah®, Garden of
Eatin®, Terra Chips®, Yves Veggie Cuisine®, The Good Dog ®, The Good
Slice®, DeBoles®, Earth?s Best®, Nile Spice, Rice Dream®, Soy Dream®,
Imagine Natural Organic Soups and Broths® and Lima & Biomarché® in
Europe. The Company?s principal specialty product lines include
Hollywood® cooking oils, Estee® sugar-free products, Kineret® kosher
foods, Boston Better Snacks®, and Alba Foods®.  . . ."

Hain Celestial Group?s site:
notes their top products. 

Under the site's Investor Relations' page, I found this June 23, 2004
press release:
"The Company is a leader in 13 of the top 15 natural food categories,
with such well-known natural food brands as Celestial Seasonings(R)
teas, Walnut Acres(R), Hain Pure Foods(R), CarbFit(TM), Westbrae(R),
Westsoy(R), Rice Dream(R), Soy Dream(R), Imagine(R), Ethnic
Gourmet(R), Rosetto(R), Arrowhead Mills(R), Health Valley(R),
Breadshop's(R), Casbah(R), Garden of Eatin'(R), Terra Chips(R), Yves
Veggie Cuisine(R), The Good Dog(R), The Good Slice(R), DeBoles(R),
Lima(R), Biomarche(R), Grains Noirs(R), Natumi(R), Milkfree(R),
Earth's Best(R), and Nile Spice(R). The Company's principal specialty
product lines include Hollywood(R) cooking oils, Estee(R) sugar-free
products, Kineret(R) kosher foods, Boston Better Snacks(R), and Alba
Foods(R). The Company's Whole Body Care Division primarily consists of
JASON Natural Products."
"From The March 2002 Issue of 'Natural Category Buyer' 'Soy Milk Sales
Top $800 Million: Grocery growth built on top brands' move to the
dairy case," byGrant Ferrier and Joseph P. Lewandowski:

?Natural Food Industry Gears Up for Youth Market,?  by Lisa Sandberg,
The National Post (Canada), November 22, 2000:

See Google Answers question: ?Sports/Energy bar market in Canada?:
answered by my colleague, belindalevez-ga.


Vitanet, an Internet retailer, reported its top 100 sellers for 2004, as of
October 8, 2004:
(These results are ranked "by number of items sold (and not by orders placed
or dollars generated.")

These are among the more reasonably priced resources:

"The Nutrition Business Journal (NBJ)," also published by New Hope:
Has a 3-month subscription plan at $299:

This magazine may well address all of your market research needs in
deciding what to stock as you get your business off the ground. You
can get a free sample of NBJ by completing this form: 

New Hope/NBJ also offers reports you can buy, at reasonable fees, such
as,? Top Vitamin Supplement Sales: 1995-2003 - Chart 13":
which costs $100.

?Top Vitamin Supplement Sales 1995-2003?:

Here are more NBJ reports, priced at about $100 each:

NBJ's Natural Personal Care Data Package (for 2002 -- the most recent
comprehensive report):
is priced at $299.

Other personal care reports and articles at NBJ:
As far as I can tell, you don't have to subscribe to NBJ to order those reports.


From New Hope's "Natural Foods Merchandiser":
Click on "Supplements & Personal Care" to bring up:
There's a bevy of useful articles there, including  " 'NFM Tours the
Country?s Supplement Aisles [by Bruce Edmonds] - 12/1/2004 From detox
supplies to a surprise favorite, ear candles, retailers report what?s
selling' ":

See this Google Answers question: "Market size of alternative hair
care products in USA":
answered by my colleague,  ragingacademic-ga.

The U.S. Bath and Shower Care Market 2002 report prepared by Packaged Facts:
will give you a good idea of the market by category just by scanning
the page, plus the report includes briefs (which can't be accessed for
free) on these "competitive" brands:

Aubrey Organics 
Beiersdorf AG 
Belae Brands, Inc. 
Caswell-Massey Company Ltd. 
Crabtree & Evelyn Ltd. 
Dr. Bronner?s Magic Soaps 
Garden Botanika, Inc. (Schroeder & Tremayne, Inc.) 
Kiss My Face Corp. 
L?Oréal USA, Inc. 
Mary Kay, Inc. 
Minnetonka Brands, Inc. 
Parfums de Coeur Ltd. 
Revlon, Inc. 
TerraNova (A.K.A. Saunders, Inc.)

As you can see, several of these lines are organic. At "Kiss My Face":, under "Press":
You can see which products have gotten media attention -- meaning
these will be the items most likely to be sought by customers.

Now, if you do get a subscription to Hoover?s, when you stumble upon
manufacturers like this, you can do further research on them.

For instance, via Hoover's, you can order a company profile for ?Kiss
My Face? for $9.99:*Hoovers*FACTSHEET*Free+Member&key=037374790&bhcd2=1102773651

Also, just as another example, Aubrey:
Hoover's covers this company and its 140 products:

From the January 2003 issue of (a cosmetics business
journal), see "The Natural Products Market," by Melanie Henson: 


From Market Research:
?Canadian Natural Foods: Markets, Issues and Implications?:
?This report provides information on the Canadian Natural Foods:
Markets, Issues and Implications. . . .? Published 9/17/2004; price:

AVAC, based in Calgary, is a consultant to companies in the
organic/natural foods trade, including those who are starting a
See AVAC?s site for contact information:
I have no idea what their fees are, but it's certainly worth e-mailing
them to find out.

The Sacramento Natural Food Co-op asks natural products vendors which
items are most popular:

Canadian Business:
Try searching with terms like ?organic? and ?organic OR natural products?.

Thee Natural Marketing Institute's 2002 market report:
Includes categories and brands across the entire spectrum of the organic

For general category growth for 2004, see this report, "2004 Manufacturer
Survey: organic product sales show strong growth," posted at the Organic
Trade Association's (OTA) site:

Also, see the OTA's "Market Trends" reports, at:

From the January 26, 2004 issue of  ?MacLean?s?:  ?Whetting the
appetite for organic food: Recent food scares are expected to boost
the already burgeoning sector,? by Katherine Macklem:
? . . . companies such as Vancouver cereal-maker Nature's Path and
Toronto baker ShaSha Bread Co., whose products are popular
domestically and whose export sales to the U.S. are skyrocketing. On
its own, Nature's Path boasts more than 25 per cent of the U.S.
organic breakfast-cereal market.?


Check your local public library to see if they have any reference
materials on the food/personal care industries. Many U.S. libraries
have research databases that patrons can access via library computers;
it?s possible that Canada has a similar program.

If you live near a university ? especially one with a marketing or
economics department ? you should be able to find plenty of up-to-date
data at the campus library. Just go to the reference desk to ask for
help and directions.

Search Strings:

organic natural category brand +sales
best-selling OR top-selling AND natural OR health AND brands AND Canada
?market report" AND natural OR organic AND brands AND Canada
natural OR organic AND "leading brands" AND Canada
top brands natural organic Canada
top organic products +Canada
top organic cosmetics +sales
food industry research AND Canada
organic OR natural AND "food industry" AND research AND brands AND Canada
natural OR organic AND products  AND Canada AND "market research" 
natural OR organic AND retail  AND Canada 

I hope my research is of help to you. If you require any
clarification, or assistance navigating any of the above links (if
clicking doesn?t work, try copying & pasting the URL into your
browser), please post a "Request For Clarification" prior to rating my
answer, and I will assist you.

Also, repeat my various search terms in your favorite search engine to
find even more results.

I wish you the best of luck with your business venture!

Best Regards,
Google Answers Researcher

Clarification of Answer by nancylynn-ga on 11 Dec 2004 15:46 PST
A suggestion: if you learn a particular brand/company is hot, but
you're not sure, and you can't find, just which of their products are
selling especially well right now, call the manufacturer (or a
distributor) and tell them you're starting a natural products store.
You'll be connected to someone who can advise you -- likely the
sales/marketing dept. -- on which of the company's products are the
currently the hottest sellers. They may even tell you what's selling
especially well in your part of Canada.

For instance, we know from the MacLean's article that Vancouver's
Nature's Path cereals are very popular. I'd suggest you call or e-mail
the company and ask them just which items/flavors are doing especially
well right now. If you're going to be buying their products to stock
in your store, they should be glad to give you some tips.

Or, to find distributors of organic products, go to a search engine and type in:

Canada organic product distributors


western Canada organic product distributors

You can then e-mail distributors directly at their sites. Here are a few:

(You'll find both distributors and manufacturers listed here.)

Horizon Distributors:   
Here's their inventory, and their e-mail is on the right side of the page.

Here's one in western Canada, "Wild West Organic Harvest":
naturally-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Very quick, very thorough, and very helpful!

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