About the Natural Products Association

Founded in 1936, the Natural Products Association is the nation’s largest and oldest nonprofit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NPA represents over 1,900 members accounting for more than 10,000 retail, manufacturing, wholesale, and distribution locations of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids. NPA unites a diverse membership, from the smallest health food store to the largest dietary supplement manufacturer.

NPA is recognized for its strong lobbying presence in Washington, D.C., where it serves as the industry watchdog on regulatory and legislative issues. In 1994, NPA played a key role in the passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA). This important legislation strikes a balance between the need for consumers to have access to and information about safe and effective dietary supplements while also preserving the government's interest in protecting the public from unsafe products and false and misleading claims.

NPA also has five regional offices located throughout the United States and is governed by a 22-member board of directors representing all segments of the industry.

What are natural products?
Natural products are represented by a wide array of consumer goods that grow in popularity each year. These products include natural and organic foods, dietary supplements, pet foods, health and beauty products, "green" cleaning supplies and more. Generally, natural products are considered those formulated without artificial ingredients and that are minimally processed.

How are natural products regulated?

The U.S. Department of Agriculture sets standards for use of the term "natural" for meat and poultry. The agency also regulates use of the term "organic" under the Organic Foods Production Act. While the Food and Drug Administration does not have a formal definition for the term natural, the agency has not objected to its use on food labels provided they are truthful and not misleading.
 

Natural Facts

In 2010, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, sales of natural products grew 6 percent to $117 billion. Below are additional statistics from 2010 regarding natural products:

  • Natural/organic food items totaled $39 billion, an 8.3 percent increase from 2009.
  • Functional foods made up over one-third of the entire natural products market share, at $39 billion.
  • Supplement sales in natural product stores were up 4.4 percent to $28 billion. 
  • Natural products consumers are often motivated not only by their own health, but making buying choices that lead to sustainability of the environment.

Facts About the Nutrition Industry
Note: All figures are for 2010.
 

The U.S. nutrition industry reached sales of $117 billion.

U.S. industry is broken down into the following categories:  

 

2010 sales in billions  

2009 sales in billions  

Growth rate in 2010

Supplements

$28.1

$26.9

4.4%

Natural/Organic Foods

$39

$33.7

8.3%

Functional Foods

$39

$37.3

4.6%

Natural/Organic Personal Care and Household

$10.9

$10.4

5.8%

 
Regulation of Dietary Supplements corrects the common misperception that the industry is unregulated, and points out the numerous laws governing the sale and manufacture of supplements.
Good Nutrition Saves Lives and Billions of Dollars in Health Care Costs:From preconception to the senior years, good nutrition is the cornerstone of preventive health care.