WASHINGTON, June 28, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a non-profit trade association consisting of hundreds of hemp businesses has released final estimates of the size of the U.S. retail market for hemp food and body care products in 2010. Data supporting the estimates shows that retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the U.S. continued to set records in 2010 reaching $40.5 million. Sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled hemp seed, soaps and lotions have occurred against the backdrop of increasing grassroots pressure to allow hemp to be grown here once again for U.S. manufacturers. Sales in conventional retailers in particular are estimated to have grown by 19% in 2010.
The sales data, collected by the market research firm SPINS, was obtained from natural and conventional food retailers, excluding Whole Foods Market and other establishments, which do not provide sales data – and thus underestimate actual sales by a factor of at least three. According to the SPINS data, combined hemp grocery and body care sales grew in the sampled stores by 10.1% or $3.94 million, over the previous year ending December 26, 2010, to a total of $40.5 million.
Due to significant sales excluded from the SPINS data, such as The Body Shop, Whole Foods Market and restaurants, as well as the fact that many unreported leading mass-market brands of suntan lotion and sunscreen products include hemp oil, the HIA estimates the total retail value of North American hemp food, vitamin and body care product sales to be in the range of $121-142 million for 2010.
“The HIA is confident that the total North American hemp food and body care market over the last year accounted for at least $121 million in retail sales,” says David Bronner, the President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps who uses hemp oil in their top-selling products. “According to data released by the Canadian government earlier this year hemp production in Canada almost doubled in 2010 with total acreage growing to 26,815 acres”, says Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director. “The HIA estimates the total retail value of hemp products in the U.S. at around $419 Million, when including clothing, auto parts, building materials and other non-food or body care products. This number combined with the increased acreage in Canadian hemp fields further validates U.S. farmers’ concern that they are being shut out of the lucrative hemp market that Canadian farmers have cashed in on for over a decade now,” continues Steenstra.
Rep. Ron Paul has re-introduced legislation in Congress to bring back hemp farming. H.R. 1831, “The Industrial Hemp Farming Act of 2011,” introduced by Representatives Barney Frank (D-MA) and Ron Paul (R-TX), was cosponsored by 23 other U.S. House members from both sides of the aisle. More information on the bill and other lobby efforts can be found at: **As of June 2011, http://www.VoteHemp.com/legislation. The market research firm SPINS has adjusted their original estimate of 2009 sales of hemp products from natural and conventional food retailers to $36.6 million.
The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp’s many uses and hemp advocacy may be found at www.HempIndustries.org and www.VoteHemp.com.
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