What’s Selling is our monthly review of what retailers from all over the country say is selling well in their stores. This month, we’ve compiled all of the data since January to see what’s been popular so far in 2013.

Everyone started the New Year off sweet in the Food category. Chocolate bars and chocolate-covered fruits are the most popular indulgent treats so far in 2013, though snacks, in general, like cookies (gluten-free and otherwise) and popcorn are the next-most-popular products, just before bread and coconut products. While most people treat themselves, staples—like flax, chia and gluten-free baking ingredients—are still on the top of everyone’s grocery lists.

In the HBC category, anti-aging and firming creams remain popular, as well as general toiletry needs. Cold winds dry out skin and cause the need to stock up on moisturizing creams for faces and lotions for hands.

2012 trends carried over into 2013 in the Supplements category, with probiotics, omega-3s and bone health support continuing to fly off the shelves. As the temperature drops, immune-support aids rise in popularity, as well as stress relievers (probably for those same customers worried about getting sick!). Weight-loss aids stay a constant best-seller, especially to help with certain resolutions, but surprisingly, raspberry ketones are nowhere to be seen. Not surprisingly, green coffee bean extract continues to sell well in every region.

In the Beverage category, caffeinated drinks, like tea and soda, continue trending into the New Year, but energy drinks have not made a comeback like they did in the first quarter of 2012. Kombucha and juice, like cranberry and pomegranate, stay popular as well, but no other drink comes close to being as trendy or simple as pure bottled water.

Supplements dominate the Up & Coming category this quarter, especially with aids for supporting weight loss, general pain relief and prostate health. Nutrition bars with decadent flavors, like chocolate cherry, chocolate mint and fudge, came in close behind.

There are trends popping up in every region, as well. The Midwest buys the most nutrition bars and soda, along with immune, bone and liver support supplements. Buying in bulk, specifically chia, flax and nuts, is all the rage in the Northeast, as are lavender oils, omega-3s and brain-support supplements. The Northwest stays young with anti-aging skin products and supports their workouts with sports nutrition and weight-loss supplements. Lots of snacks are eaten in the Southeast while taking care of baby with products like diaper cream. The Southwest sticks with sweets and multivitamins for the whole family. Last, the West is serious about gluten-free diets and keeping their faces fresh and clean. WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, March 2013