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Record breaking Q2 2021 direct sales

Article by: Nancy Tobler | Data Analyst, MLM Compensation Consulting
September 1, 2021

Recently we’ve been blown away by the sales numbers of MLM companies. 2020 was a good year for direct sellers—especially those in the United States but for the global industry as well. And with Q2 2021 results from direct sales companies, the good news keeps coming.

On the podcast we’ve talked about how well companies in the United States did during the pandemic. A Q2 McKinsey report indicated that overall consumer spending recovered. I assumed that sales would level off in the second quarter of 2021. For a surprising number of direct sales companies, sales continue to grow and, in some cases, reach record breaking levels.

Let’s take a moment to look at the sales data and to applaud those companies that are thriving.

2020 Sales data

First let’s look at who grew in 2020. According to, the US industry’s retail sales went up 13.9% in 2020.

Source: DSA 2020 Industry Overview

The World Federation of Direct Selling Associations reports a 2.3% increase in worldwide retail sales in 2020. In their regional break down, North America saw the greatest improvement with Canada reporting the largest single-nation increase, 26%. Not everywhere in the world did as well as North America; Asia and the Pacific dropped by 3.6%. However, all other regions saw some increase in sales.

Source: WFDSA Global Direct Selling – 2020 Retail Sales

Q2 2021 sales data

As I said, I assumed that sales would level off. Unemployment has dropped back to around 5.4% (down from the high of almost 15% last April 2020). I assumed that as people got back to their regular jobs, their gig activity would decrease. However, for a number of companies, sales keep going up.

A few weeks ago, company after company posted significant increases and, in some cases, record breaking increases in Q2 of 2021.

CompanyQ2 revenue or net salesPercent increase
Nu Skin (source)$704.1 million revenue15%
Medifast (source)$394.2 million revenue79.2%
Primerica (source)$654.7 million revenue25%
Herbalife (source)$1.6 billion net sales15%
USANA (source)$336.8 million net sales30.1%
Nature’s Sunshine (source)$109.0 million net sales25%
Tupperware (source)$464.7 million net sales17%
Mannatech (source)$42.5 million net sales12.9%

These Q2 reports suggest that 2021 may follow last year’s growth. 

To what can we attribute this incredible Q2?

Wellness continues to trend upward

According to, wellness companies appear to have had the most sales in 2020.

Source: DSA 2020 Industry Overview

Four general wellness companies showed increases in Q2 of 2021, Nu Skin, USANA, Nature’s Sunshine, and Mannatech. It makes sense that wellness companies would be on the rise. We are all trying to figure out a way to get or stay healthy. Many of us have tried to boost our mental and physical health and direct selling companies helped fill that need.

Weight loss products are trending too

In addition to the increased desire for general wellness, many of us are specifically trying to lose weight gained during the pandemic.

You may have heard of ‘the COVID 19’ in which the 19 refers to the number of pounds people gained while shut away in their houses for the last year. A recent survey found that 42% of U.S. adults reported an undesirable weight gain during the pandemic (although the study found people gained around 29 pounds, not 19).

Companies like Medifast and Herbalife who specialize in weight loss saw record Q2 results. Medifast reported an increase of 31% in 2020 over 2019 and then in Q2 of 2021 reported 79.2% increase from Q2 in 2020. Herbalife reported a 14% increase in 2020 and then in Q2 reported 15% increase over Q2 in 2020.


These numbers are incredible. Not all public direct sales companies reported increases. However, it is clear to me that many wellness or weight loss companies can capitalize on the shifts in consumer attitudes and behaviors.

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Nancy Tobler | Data Analyst, MLM Compensation Consulting

Nancy Tobler has a PhD in communication from the University of Utah. She specializes in research on how organizations change,...

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