What’s Selling is our monthly review of products that retailers from all over the country say are selling well in their stores. This issue we debut our What’s Selling Quarterly Analysis, which will pick up on new sales trends or activity. Here, we’ve compiled all of the data since the beginning of 2012 to see what is popular so far this year.

For supplements, Nature’s Way tied with New Chapter with seven entries each, while Nordic Naturals came in second with four mentions. Nature’s Way’s Alive! line of vitamins sold well in addition to the company’s DIM-plus and multivitamins. New Chapter’s Force line also was popular among our participating retailers, as was their Perfect Calm, Zyflamend and Holy Basil. Nordic Natural’s Ultimate Omega was the most popular omega supplement among our What’s Selling participants, and earned them the number-two spot in our supplement category. Overall, multivitamins and omega-3s were reported as the hottest supplement sellers for the beginning of 2012.

Breads took over the food category, including Rudi’s Gluten Free Bakery, Julian Bakery and Food For Life’s Ezekiel 4:9 bread, with the most-mentioned What’s Selling item being Udi’s Gluten Free Foods’ breads with seven entries. Bragg came in second with three entries for its apple cider vinegar, and third place went to Bob’s Red Mill for its grains and gluten free mixes. Packaged meals were also a hit, like Amy’s Rice Mac & Cheese and Pizza, and snack foods and sweets made up a large portion of the category with foods such as Little Lad’s Herbal Popcorn, Blue Diamond Almond’s Nut Chips and Chocolove’s Almonds & Sea Salt in Dark Chocolate.

Fizz pulled ahead of flat in the beverage category, with sodas scoring 15 entries, six of which belonged to Zevia’s Natural Sodas, and kombucha scoring six entries with Millenium Products’ GT’s Kombucha, over the four entries each for juices and coconut water. Along with Zevia, Reed’s received four entries for its Ginger Brews and Virgil’s Root Beer sodas. Right behind sodas was bottled tea with seven entries, including Inko’s White Iced Tea and Sweet Leaf’s Teas.

Skincare was on everyone’s mind in the beginning of 2012. With 15 entries, skin moisturizers, age-defying creams and hair care sold more than soaps or lotions, with nine and six entries, respectively. MyChelle Dermaceuticals’ full line of products sold the most often, followed by Dr. Bronner’s various soaps and derma e’s Moisture Therapy and creams. Oils were en vogue, especially NOW Foods’ peppermint and sweet almond oils, as well as biotin shampoos from MillCreek Botanicals and Jason Natural Products.

In the Up & Coming category, supplements and food dominated, with supplements that promote pain relief and relaxation and foods that cater to vegans and vegetarians. These included Nature’s Way Curica Pain Relief, BioRevival’s Mood D, Natural Vitality’s Kids’ Natural Calm Multivitamin, Quorn’s Vegetarian Meals and Turtle Island Food’s Tofurky.

Regionally, trends cropped up in each category. The Midwest region stores sold the most bread; the Northwest sold the most skincare products, sodas and energy products (drinks, bars); the Northeast sold more probiotic drinks; the Southeast sold more multivitamins and juice; the Southwest sold the most teas; and the West sold less packaged meals and more individual products, like rice and grains, and also the most soaps. WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2012