IBX Launches Podcast to Help Drive Ingredient Business Development

Started by two former VIRGO employees Andrew Jackson and Will Hirachita, IBX (ingredient business experts) has released a podcast  that focuses on business development in the food, supplement, animal nutrition and personal care ingredient industries.

Sandy Almendarez, VP of Content

January 13, 2015

3 Min Read
IBX Launches Podcast to Help Drive Ingredient Business Development

I’m excited by the new venture launched this month from IBX Media—a podcast geared toward the ingredient business in natural products.

As a lover of the podcast medium, I think it’s great to get a podcast designed to help the natural products industry reach its potential. Started by two former VIRGO employees Andrew Jackson and Will Hirachita, IBX (ingredient business experts) has released four podcasts so far, two of which feature other previous VIRGO coworkers.

According to a press release from IBX, the podcast focuses on business development in the food, supplement, animal nutrition and personal care ingredient industries. They interview experts in these fields to offer insight.

The first episode was a short intro with Jackson and Hirachita, and the “meat" of the podcasts started with the second episode interview with Jim Wagner, owner and president of 2727 Marketing Services. Wagner, former director of business development at VIRGO, and the IBX hosts discussed how marketing has changed with on-demand mobile information and social media, a timely topic as Jeff Hilton, chief marketing officer and co-founder of Brandhive, noted “Many companies who market in the B2B world are guilty of under-nourishing their social networks, especially online," in a blog post for INSIDER’s Supplement Perspectives.

On IBX, Wagner noted that more than half of marketing emails 2727 Marketing Services sends outs are opened on mobile devises. Indeed, many in the natural product industry, including the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN), NSF International and Thermo Fisher Scientific have adapted to this trend by offering mobile services. And even the government reflects this trend, as FTC’s advertising guidance, released in 2013, considers the mobile revolution. (Get more INSIDER information on social media marketing in INSIDER’s Slide Show: Social Media Marketing and blog post “Getting Social with Shopper Marketing" by Lori Colman,   founding partner and co-CEO of Colman Brohan Davis.)

The third episode of IBX asked if trade shows are worthless. Thankfully for this SupplySide and Vitafoods lover, Jackson and Hirachita’s answer is that trade shows have great value, but it’s necessary for companies to be prepared before attending. They noted trade shows are the best places to generate sales leads; trade shows should be the pinnacle of an entire marketing plan where business is closed, the hosts explained.

As Eric Anderson, global vice president of sales and marketing for NattoPharma ASA, noted in INSIDER’s Supplement Perspectives blog, trade show marketing starts early. “Repetition is key, and repetition in marketing helps you stand out," he wrote. Anderson also noted the importance of post-show marketing, such as follow-up emails. (Check out more expert info on preparing and maximizing ROI at trade shows in INSIDER’s Supplement Perspectives blog, which tackled the subject for an entire month in 2013.)

And in the fourth IBX episode, Jackson and Hirachita talk with Douglas J. Peckenpaugh, chief editor of Snack Food & Wholesale Bakery, about meeting consumer expectations for functional food benefits while still keeping costs down and taste pleasant. It seems most consumers are demanding more from their food. As a recent report from Packaged Facts noted millennials, Baby Boomers and health-conscious and exercise-centric consumers (aka, almost everyone) are driving growth in the functional food sector, so knowing how to develop and offer these products is key to success.

INSIDER’s June 2014 digital issue “Form and Function" offers a guide to functional food producers who are struggling with this balance by looking at formulating and choosing the right product type while keeping taste and cost in mind. And check out INSIDER’s new Food channel, which houses all of our information on functional foods.

The IBX press release noted future interviews will include Robert Weeks, president of Weeks Communication (another former VIRGO employee); Tracy Landau, partner, chief marketing officer of MarketPlace; and Rachel Zemser, Food Scientist/Culinologist and Writer.

I know I’ll be tuning in.

About the Author(s)

Sandy Almendarez

VP of Content, Informa


• Well-known subject matter expert within the health & nutrition industry with more than 15 years’ experience reporting on natural products.

• She cares a lot about how healthy products are made, where their ingredients are sourced and how they affect human health.

• She knows that it’s the people behind the businesses — their motivations, feelings and emotions — drive industry growth, so that’s where she looks for content opportunities.

Sandy Almendarez is VP of Content for SupplySide and an award-winning journalist. She oversees the editorial and content marketing teams for the B2B media brands Natural Products Insider and Food and Beverage Insider, the education programming for the health and nutrition trade shows SupplySide East and SupplySide West, and community engagement across the SupplySide portfolio. She is a seasoned content strategist with a passion for health, good nutrition, sustainability and inclusion. With over 15 years of experience in the health and nutrition industry, Sandy brings a wealth of knowledge to her role as a content-focused business leader. With specialization in topics ranging from product development to content engagement, creative marketing and c-suite decision making, her work is known for its engaging style and its relevance for business leaders in the health and nutrition industry.

In her free time, Sandy loves running, drinking hot tea and watching her two kids grow up. She brews her own “Sandbucha” homemade kombucha; she’s happy to share if you’re ever in Phoenix!


Speaker credentials

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University


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