Hit the strip14 November 2018
SupplySide West 2018 set the US market alight in Las Vegas, as thousands of industry experts descended upon Mandalay Bay to attend leading conferences and discover the latest ingredients trends.
Said by its organisers to be the largest gathering of health and nutrition industry professionals focused on dietary supplement, beverage, functional food, personal care and sports nutrition innovation, SupplySide West 2018 rolled into the US state of Nevada. Held at Mandalay Bay on 6–10 November, the event brought together more than 15,000 industry professionals, 1,300 exhibitors and, according to organisers Informa, more than 10,000 ingredients and solutions.
“More than ever, it is a team effort for companies in the global dietary supplement, functional food and beverage, personal care, and sports nutrition industries to drive their innovation, growth and profitability, with input from purchasing, R&D, product development, executive management, marketing, compliance, supply chain management, QA/QC and more,” said a representative for the event organisers, referring to an extensive education programme for attendees. The 140-hour-plus education programme covered crucial issues in the industry today, including GMP training, regulation, ingredient and product formulation, and market trends.
Back to school
Across four of the five days there were 25 extensive workshops, covering a vast range of subject matter from probiotics, CBD and hemp extracts; the legality of using social media for personalised nutrition; and blockchain and the supply china to ingredient reformation.
Promoting the blockchain workshop, event organisers said, “Today’s ingredient supply chain is facing global challenges, as buyers and consumers seek more transparency, and sustainability initiatives are moving forward at a rapid pace. While, in the past, companies may have kept their suppliers close to their chest, open communication has become not just good practice but a way to stay ahead of the trends and in compliance with regulators. As we look to address challenges around quality, traceability and safety, technology is offering new solutions.” With speakers such as Savormetrics’ president and CEO Harjeet Bajaj, and Tom Dubinski, Arizona Nutritional Supplements’ vicepresident of quality systems, among others, the session aimed to answer questions such as how safety, quality and traceability issues are dramatically changing expectations in the supply chain, and how blockchain can help address them.
To kick off the workshop programme, a panel of speakers looked at one of the most prominent and popular trends in the sector today: staying lean and fit. “Athletes and active consumers are concerned about body composition and constantly strive to build more lean muscle mass,” the session brief stated. “Many of these consumers try paleo, keto and other diets to help achieve their body goals, and an endless barrage of supplements offer more choice than most can handle.” The session discussed how to reach the “large, untapped demographic of ‘fit’ consumer”. It also looked at emerging weight loss regimes and how ingredients are helping develop lean and fit products.
The central focus
This exciting concept brought science and strategy together in what the organisers called an interactive forum. Located in the Expo Hall, SupplySide Central offered a variety of interactive, quick-paced programming, designed to delve into some of the hot topics facing the industry. From the SupplySide Launchpad, where exhibitors highlighted their new products, to the Editor’s Choice Awards, where organisers recognised the most innovative product launches in supplements, and food and beverage, SupplySide Central was designed to be a hub of activity in the Expo Hall.
Among the seminars and events being held was the SupplySide Launchpad, designed to be sharp and snappy, providing attendees with everything they needed in a manageable and digestible format. It highlighted some of the latest and most innovative launches from around the world, aiming to tell guests what the product and its ingredients are, what it offers, the science behind it and what the potential for future development is.
Other topics covered over the middle two days of the main event, as part of SupplySide Central, included ingredient trends, early years development and the role nutrition plays, as well as the growing opportunity to innovate in raw material ingredients.
The main event
SupplySide West boasted a number of unique and innovative attractions, whatever your role within the sector. Among them was the Tasting Bar, which entered its third year in 2018. The free bar let visitors get hands-on with the latest functional foods and drinks. They were able to touch and taste some of the newest offerings from this growing and innovative sector.
Along with the omega-3 and the IPA probiotics resources centres, attendees were encouraged to visit Esca Bona at SupplySide West. Meaning ‘good food’ in Latin, the Esca Bona platform was designed to engage and serve companies working to create a good food system that is regenerative, nourishing and accessible to all.
In addition to interactive video games and an exhibition hall packed with products intended to alter the way attendees think about certain aspects of the sector, the whole event started with the Vitamin Angels’ Topgolf opening night reception. Participants had the chance to meet some of the industry’s leading executives, and support the work Vitamin Angels does in engaging with women and children around the world.
The event boasted a packed schedule, including the opportunity to relax away from proceedings and begin the day with yoga. Sponsored by Wellmune, the SupplySide West Wellness Yoga sessions were free and targeted all skill levels. Expertise and everything else guests needed were provided; they just took themselves and began the day on the right foot. Finally, visitors were urged not to forget their ‘vitality kit’. Packed with helpful products that contained the industry’s ‘finest ingredients’, they showcased ‘the applications in which they can be used to put a little more pep in everyone’s step’. They were the saviour in what was one of the biggest events of the year