Chances are you were one of the nearly 15,000 suppliers and buyers who attended this year’s SupplySide West event, the industry’s gathering point where science and strategy intersect, presented by title sponsor KSM-66. Attendees included those from the dietary supplement, functional food, beverage, personal care and sports nutrition marketplaces traveled to Las Vegas’ Mandalay Bay last week to learn, meet and further their businesses.
Almost the entire INSIDER content team was on site, and we still couldn’t experience the entire show floor, which included more than 1,200 exhibitors. Total participation increased 6 percent from 2015 with nearly 15,000 participants from diverse geographic regions—50 states, eight Canadian provinces and 64 countries. Participants included C-level executives, buyers and other professionals from Amway Nutrilite, Bayer HealthCare, Dr. Pepper Snapple Group, GNC, GlaxoSmithKline and more.
“SupplySide seems to be getting better and better each year with its thoughtful mix of education, key industry leaders, and line-up of ingredient suppliers for foods, supplements and cosmetics," said Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., with Corvus Blue, who presented at the SupplySide West education summit Delivering on the Clean Label Expectation.
Michael Derrington, senior director of sales – dietary supplements, probiotics, protein, at DuPont Nutrition & Health, which exhibited at the show, said the major advantage of the event is that it allows companies to meet with top partners in a short period. “SupplySide West 2016 was probably the most productive two to three days we will have in the course of a year," he said.
SupplySide West is known for a range of dynamic conference programming; this year’s event revamped the format to offer three-hour workshops, two-hour panel discussions, a full-day summit on the clean label market opportunity, and an opening presentation on FDA issues.
In her featured speaker session, FDA’s Cara Welch, Ph.D., senior advisor, Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, addressed concerns with the new dietary ingredient (NDI) draft guidance, GMP (good manufacturing practice) compliance, and ingredients including vinpocetine and cannabidiol (CBD). Participants had the opportunity to dive into specific areas of interest ranging from regulatory topics like claims substantiation, to key ingredients such as probiotics and omega-3s, health issues including weight management, and formulation considerations such as sweetener selection or gluten-free product development. For the 14th year, BASF was the overall education sponsor of the education program.
“The 2016 SupplySide West Education Program proved to be among the best yet," said John Helfrick, director, BASF Human Nutrition, North America. “One thing rings true from these varied conversations: timely and credible education is key to our success. It’s the content quality and relevance to critical topics impacting our industry that drive BASF to continuously renew sponsorship of the Education Program."
Attendees also learned and networked in the expo hall at SupplySide Central. Offering a variety of interactive, quick-paced programming designed to delve into hot topics facing the industry, SupplySide Central featured topics from the Ingredient Launchpad, where exhibitors highlighted their new products, to the 5th Annual CPG Editor’s Choice Awards, where SupplySide West recognized the most innovative product launches in supplements and food & beverage.
A variety of show features and networking opportunities also allowed show participants to make key industry connections. In its second year, the First Time Attendee Reception, sponsored by NattoPharma, brought together first-time show participants with industry “rock stars" to share insights on how to make the most of the show. In the Expo Hall, special pavilions targeted important ingredient sectors—omega-3s, developed with the Global Organization for EPA and DHA Omega-3 (GOED) and sponsored by Catalant, and probiotics, developed with the International Probiotics Association (IPA) and sponsored by Nutrasource. Many industry associations also maximized their exposure with membership meetings and education programming, including the Botanical Congress from the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), and actively supported SupplySide’s Compliance Program, an initiative in its fifth year dedicated to ensuring exhibitors are compliant with appropriate regulatory standards.
SupplySide West and Informa Exhibitions, which hosts the show and publishes Natural Products INSIDER, capped off its successful show with a $31,870 donation to Vitamin Angels. This year’s “SupplySide Cares" program donated $5 from every paid attendee registration to support this impactful non-profit that is dedicated to bringing vitamin supplementation to at-risk populations in need—specifically pregnant women, new mothers, and children under 5.
The SupplySide West 2017 show will be held Sept. 26 to 30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. For more information, visit supplysideshow.com.