Don't look now, but we just might be in the midst of a hot sauce recovery.
Hot sauce production is actually one of the ten fastest growing industries in the United States, according to a recent report by IBISWorld. Another strange sector that may be driving U.S. growth: self-tanning products. (h/t The Washington Post)
Most of the industries that made IBISWorld's list are perhaps more expected. Generic pharmaceuticals is the fastest-growing sector, experiencing average growth of 9.6 percent for the last ten years to make it a nearly $53 billion dollar industry. As cheaper substitutes for patent-protected brands, generic drugs have become popular with climbing health care costs.
The rise of drug alternatives also shows how consumers are increasingly prioritizing health-related concerns. More awareness about skin cancers may partly explain the fast growth in the self-tanning products sector. In fact, the industry is slated to increase its revenue by another 18 percent this year, IBIS reports.
Environmental concerns have also emerged as a major economic motivator. And subsequent worries over the country's dependency on fossil fuels has had lawmakers emphasizing energy alternatives. Subsidies from Obama's energy stimulus bill have helped green technologies sustain growth in the face of decreased European demand and competition from China. The $4.6 billion dollar industry of solar panel manufacturing leads the trend, according to IBIS.
One surprising sector that made the list: For-profit colleges. With heightened competition and rising tuition costs at private and public universities, options such as DeVry and University of Phoenix have recently attracted more students, even though enrollees at for-profit schools reportedly wind up with fewer post-graduate options and more debt.
Here are the top ten fastest-growing industries: