What's Selling Quarterly Analysis: 2012 Q2

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What’s Selling is our monthly review of what our retailers nationwide say is selling well in their stores. This month, we’ve compiled data from April to June to see what was popular in the second quarter of 2012.

In the Supplement category, the products having the biggest impact on the market are “ultimate antioxidants” tart cherry extract and cherry juice concentrate, sold by companies like Enzymatic Therapy, Aloe Life and Michelle’s Miracle. B-12 from NOW Foods was popular, along with fish oils. Omegas sell consistently well month to month, with offerings from companies like Nordic Naturals and New Chapter.

With summer skincare in mind, sunscreen (like that from Badger) topped the HBC list along with aloe and lotions to soothe the skin in case the sunscreen was unfortunately forgotten at home. Deodorant from Crystal sold well, as did essential oils including lavender and tea tree from NOW Foods and Desert Essence. Facemasks are hot, like the well-known Mint Julep Mask from Queen Helene.

Kale is big in Food, with various chips and snacks from firms like Brad’s Raw Foods and Alive & Radiant Foods selling well, along with the raw vegetable itself. Coconut oil (like that from Barlean’s and Jarrow Formulas) was popular as well as Bragg’s amino acids and apple cider vinegar. Gluten-free breads and flours continue to be popular, from brands like Udi’s and Better Batter. Rocky Mountain Grain Products’ Hemp Hearts (shelled hemp seeds) were hot along with flax and chia seeds.

Coconut comes up again in the Beverages category, this time with water, most often bought from Taste Nirvana, and milk, the most popular brand being SO Delicious by Turtle Mountain. Almond and raw whole milks were also popular this quarter. Caffeine prevailed over juice and water in a few different forms: soda by Reed’s and Zevia; tea bags from Stash and ready-to-drink iced tea bottles from Numi; energy drinks from Blue Sky Beverage Company and coffee from Peace Coffee and Goosefoot Acres.

The Up & Coming category had a coconut flavor, too. Coconut spread, made from ground coconut meat, is becoming popular alongside the milk, oil and water that cropped up as trends this quarter. Probiotics continue to show up in new forms, this time not as only supplements from Garden of Life, but also as frozen functional yogurt from Cloud Top. Finally, a new weight-loss aid is rising in popularity; raspberry ketones, as brought to the general public’s attention by Dr. Oz. More research is needed to confirm any effects, but don’t be surprised if you see this new product, offered by a number of companies including Regalabs and Nature’s Vision, fly off your shelves faster than you can stock them.

Trends were found in individual regions as well. The Southwest bought nasal and ear care products, along with the most probiotic products of any region; the Southeast bought the most kale and snack bars as well as loose chia and flax seed; both ready-to-drink and loose teas were big in the West; the Northeast bought the most bread products, both gluten-free and not, and fish oils; and skin products were the rage in the Northwest, along with energy drinks and heart health supplements. WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, June 2012