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  Supermarkets experience fastest rate of growth in mainstream dietary supplement market. Natural product sales have soared in supermarkets, drug stores, and mass merchandisers during the past year. Although overall sales of dietary supplements are higher for drug and mass retailers, supermarkets have been experiencing the most rapid growth rates. Growth in the medicinal herbs category has been especially strong. For example, valerian and kava kava sales grew by 254% in food stores compared to 230% in drugstores and only 157% in mass merchandiser outlets. Other key herbal segments such as ginkgo and gotu kola, saw palmetto, and herbs for cold & flu have also grown much faster in supermarkets. Vitamin E sales grew 29% in supermarkets, over twice the rate in drugstores and mass merchandiser outlets. Growth for the newer category of polyphenols demonstrated a 56% growth rate in supermarkets, compared to just 13% in drugstores and 38% in mass merchandisers. While supermarkets have focused on expanding their natural products selection, marketing programs in drugstores and mass merchandiser outlets rely more heavily on aggressive promotions. Drug and mass retailers have also begun adding nutritional foods such as energy bars and medicinal teas to their product lines.Natural Business, October, 1998.  
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