4 Takeaways from SupplySide East

Secaucus, NJ–That’s a wrap on SupplySide East 2019, which took place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey on April 9 and 10. Nearly 300 industry providers filled the sold-out expo hall at the to showcase more than 5,000 ingredients, solutions and services. Food, supplement and beverage ingredient suppliers; contract manufacturers; flavor and fragrance suppliers; equipment and machinery companies; packaging and labeling suppliers; lab testing and analytical firms; wholesalers, distributors and brokers; and legal/regulatory services were all represented. Among the highlights of the event:

1. Educating, and being educated: The education component of SupplySide East was increased this year and, judging by the jam-packed sessions, it could be increased again next year as well. Educational presentations were a short-and-sweet 20 minutes each, open to all attendees and located in an easy-to-access room on the show floor, which seemed to appeal to the crowds. Several sessions were filled to (or beyond) capacity, including “Probiotics, Prebiotics, Synbiotics, Postbiotics, Oh My!” with Ivan Wasserman, managing partner at Amin Talati Upadhye LLP; and “What Is the Regulatory Current State of Play With CBD?” with Steven Shapiro & Marc Ullman of Rivkin Radler LLP. Look for details on both of these sessions in the June issue of WholeFoods, where we will have in-depth feature coverage of pre/probiotics and CBD/hemp-based products.

2. Investing in Science: Several breakthrough studies were announced at SupplySide East. Among them: Horphag Research shared news of a new study, which showed that PTSD sufferers who supplemented daily with 300 mg of Robuvit French oak wood extract reported significant reductions in PTSD-related flashbacks (down 56%), emotional numbness (down 50%), recurrent nightmares (down 42%) and frequent memories of the traumatic event (down 38%). Horphag also recently announced findings that Pycnogenol can help relieve symptoms of osteoarthritis. More on that here.

3. Innovating: Of course, education wasn’t limited to the presentations in the SupplySide East Presentation Theater. Exhibitors were in full force educating on their offerings in their booths. One innovation that was spotlighted at the show: “next generation” gummies. According to a report from Transparency Market Research (TMR), the global gummy vitamins market is expected to rise at a CAGR of 5.2% between 2016 to 2025, to a projected $4.17 billion. And of course, there is a general consumer trend toward favoring plant-based products while avoiding excess sugars. Enter Viva 5 Corporation and Taura Natural Ingredients. John Luebbers, VP of sales at Taura, was on hand to discuss the new partnership. The companies are focused on creating “next generation” vitamin gummies flavored with pure pieces of real fruit (no unnatural sugar or added sugar) and developed using a proprietary process that creates shelf-stable pieces of fruit and fruit pastes that don’t require additional bulking agents, flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives and can be customized to suit consumer preferences. And the taste? Delicious.

Also addressing consumer demand for clean, plant-based ingredients, Lonza showcased the company’s new performance nutrition brand, Oceanix, which is a sustainably sourced marine phytoplankton ingredient that can be used in dietary supplements, bars, drinks and powders. In a pilot study, people who took a small, concentrated dose of 25 mg for 30 days experienced benefits for physical performance and better recovery. The goal, according to Lonza, is to challenge the status-quo with innovative products and bring sports performance and wellness benefits to appeal to a new set of consumers.

4. Communicating effectively: From talking to coworkers to connecting with consumers, clearly communicating the message you want to get out into the world was a key topic at this year’s SupplySide. In an educational session titled “Tell Me a Story About Supply Chain Transparency,” Todd Pauli, managing partner of 24 Stories, shared success strategies. This can include releasing a 3-minute video that delivers education and evokes emotion (like this one from the Gluten Free Certification Organization) or creating a research-rich retailer toolkit (like this one from Stratum Nutrition; more examples can be found on WholeFoodsMagazine.com in our Retail Content Library).

Communication was the focus at the NattoPharma booth. The company was spreading the word about marketing materials it offers to support the success of its partners, with information to help education on the history and science on K2–including on the 19+ published human clinical trials on MenaQ7. (More research and educational materials from NattoPharma will be available soon.) And HP Ingredients was also discussing science, as well as the company’s story, which involves supporting indigenous communities that wildcraft its botanical sources around the world, such as the Orang Asli in Malaysia. CEO Annie Eng recently shared more on that in the April issue of WholeFoods.

While SupplySide East was only 2 days, there was a lot to take in, and this is just a small sampling. More coverage on SupplySide will be featured in the June issue of WholeFoods Magazine.