Top 10 fastest-growing industries in America

The fastest growing industry in the U.S. is generic drug manufacturing, but hot sauce production and yoga studios aren't far behind.
Written by Sarah Korones, Contributor

In the next five years, the U.S. economy might be running on hot sauce and self-tanning lotion.

At least that’s what market research firm IBISWorld predicts in its report on the top 10 fastest-growing industries in America. The agency compiled its list based on each industry’s contribution to the economy as a whole, absolute revenue and establishment growth over the past decade and performance expectations for the next five years.

Here’s the complete list of the top 10 fastest-growing industries in America:

  1. Generic pharmaceutical manufacturing
  2. Solar panel manufacturing
  3. For-profit universities
  4. Pilates and yoga studios
  5. Self-tanning products
  6. 3D printer manufacturing
  7. Social network game development
  8. Hot sauce production
  9. Green and sustainable building production
  10. Online eyeglasses and contact lens sales

To be fair, most of the industries that made the list are significantly less surprising than hot sauce, self-tanning or pilates. With an aging population and rapidly increasing health care costs, it makes a whole lot of sense that low-cost, generic drugs would be on the rise in the U.S. The $52 billion-a-year industry has experienced a sustained growth of 9.6 percent over the last ten years.

Environmental concerns seem to have led to the successes of the solar panel and green manufacturing industries. In the past ten years, sky-rocketing energy costs and an increasingly vocal eco-conscious public have encouraged the government to help out with energy and stimulus bills for the two giant industries.

“As the federal government looks to reduce the United States’ dependency on fossil and other non-renewable fuels, green energy firms have reaped the benefit of substantial subsidies,” IBIS reports. “Without assistance, solar power generation firms would have little chance against entrenched, traditional fuel sources.”

So what accounts for the rapid growth in some of the smaller-market fields? According to the report, consumer awareness about the dangers of UV light has led to the rise of sunless tanning products.

As for hot sauce, that boom can be attributed to a range of factors. “Demand for hot sauce has been driven by demographic consumption trends, immigration and international demand from the United Kingdom and Japan,” IBIS reports. “As Americans’ palates have become more diverse, hot sauce has earned tenure on the dinner table.”

Read the entire report here (PDF).

Images: Bucklava/Flickr (Top), IBISWorld (Right)

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