NEW YORK -- Retail sales of vitamin, supplement and mineral products surged past $6.5 billion in 1996, according to the "U.S. Market for Vitamins, Supplements and Minerals," a report from the New York-based research firm, Packaged Facts. ales of supplements more than quadrupled, from $570 million to $2.3 billion. The report says gains have been made by mass merchandisers and food stores, but health- and natural-food stores remain the market's stronghold. Private-label single vitamins ...

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