NPA and Industry Fact Sheet

Founded in 1936, the Natural Products Association (NPA) 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.

In addition to Washington, D.C., NPA 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 continue to 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 (FDA) 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 2011, according to the Nutrition Business Journal, sales of natural products grew 8.4 percent to $126 billion. Below are additional statistics from 2011 regarding natural products:

  • Natural/organic food items totaled $43 billion, a 10.7 percent increase from 2010
  • Functional foods made up over one-third of the entire natural products market share, at $41 billion (up 7.6 percent)
  • Supplement sales in natural product stores were up 6.9 percent to $30 billion
  • Natural products consumers are often motivated not only by their own health, but making buying choices that lead to sustainability of the environment

Note: All figures are for 2011.

The U.S. nutrition industry reached sales of $126 billion.

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


2011 sales in billions  

2010 sales in billions  

Growth rate in 2011





Natural/Organic Foods




Functional Foods




Natural/Organic Personal Care and Household




Source: Nutrition Business Journal