SupplySide West preview day 4: Thursday, Oct. 26

From an education session on mental health and nutrition to a 30-minute conversation about FDA, "Ingredient Idol" and a probiotic comedy, we’ve highlighted six activities on day 4 of SupplySide West.

October 19, 2023

10 Min Read
Average are the ingredient Idol winners and judges from the 2022 contest. Idol23 is Thursday from 12:45-2:00pm at the SupplySide Stage, booth #5670.
Above are the Ingredient Idol winners and judges from the 2022 contest. Idol23 is Thursday from 12:45 to 2:00 p.m. at the SupplySide Stage, booth #5670.

The second and final day of the exhibit hall is partnered with a variety of education sessions, from quick hits to deeper dives. The Expo Hall is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Thursday, Oct. 26, 2023

From a day in the life of food science to an education session on mental health and nutrition, a 30-minute conversation on FDA and a probiotic comedy, we’ve highlighted six activities on day 4 of SupplySide West.

A day in the life of food science (FiNA) 

9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Islander Ballroom H

by Karen Butler

Scientist Carl Sagan said, “Science is a way of thinking much more than it is a body of knowledge.” The six food scientists speaking on this panel would likely agree. In preparing for this session, these brilliant thinkers took a hard look at the role of scientific advancement in future-proofing the food and beverage industry. Kantha Shelke, Ph.D., founder and principal of Corvus Blue, kicks things off with a wide-ranging look at the types of promises brands are making on their products and whether they really deliver. She’ll also explore communicating product value, as well as how the scientific community can best elevate the voices and lives of those whose work is often exploited in the industry. Changqi Liu, Ph.D., an associate professor in food science at San Diego State University, follows. He’ll talk about forging pathways to sustainable food innovations through interdisciplinary collaborations, whether that’s nutrition, chemistry, culinary arts, biology, computer science, geography, anthropology or others. Lilian Senger, Ph.D., professor and program director of the food science program at Chapman University, provides a look at workplace preparedness to support the world’s food needs. She’ll explore the current and future state of industry and the role academic research plays. From skills to challenges, Senger will help arm scientists for the path ahead.
Leadership is a topic our next speaker champions. Candy Hall of Famer Michelle Frame, president and founder of Victus Ars and the Institute of Confectionery Excellence, highlights the importance of developing business acumen, strategic decision-making skills and effective communication methods—regardless of your job title.

Then, Amy Usiak, R&D lead at JPG Resources, will delve into the product development process. From working with a sensory team through prototyping and plant testing, and on through commercialization and launch, many variables need to be considered. Finally, snack specialist Kelly Connelly, owner of Little Food Lab, looks at recent trends such as gluten-free and sugar-free and how they can impact formulation. She’ll also reiterate topline FDA requirements vital to the field.
Whether you’re looking to advance your career in food science—or simply gain a better understanding of the pivotal role these professionals play in shaping the future—join us to become more informed and encouraged.

This session is underwritten by AAK and produced in partnership with Food ingredients North America.

SupplySide Stage: Nutritional neurosciences: The mental health – nutrition/dietary ingredient connection 

10:30 to 11:00 a.m., Booth #5670 

by Amanda White 

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting a staggering 280 million people. Researchers have been exploring the relationship between diet and mental health, and their findings highlight the potential impact of nutritional intake on  mood, cognitive function and emotional well-being. 

If you're interested in learning more about the relationship between dietary ingredients and mental health, this session is for you. Douglas Kalman, Ph.D., clinical associate professor at Nova Southeastern University Florida, is a leading expert in the field, and his perspective will be important to anyone considering formulating in this arena. 

Kalman will cover a wide range of topics, including the potential impact of specific nutrients on brain health and the latest research on dietary supplements for mental health. 

This session promises to expand your knowledge and offer a new lens through which to view the connection between nutrition and how people thrive mentally. 

SupplySide Stage: FDA drug preclusion, enforcement and reorganization: Implications for industry 

11:15 to 11:45 a.m., Booth #5670 

by Josh Long 

I’m looking forward to having a conversation about the Food and Drug Administration with two former FDA officials who oversaw the market for dietary supplement products: Bob Durkin of the law firm Arnall Golden Gregory LLP and Daniel Fabricant, Ph.D., of the Natural Products Association (NPA).  

FDA faces scrutiny for acting as a “paper tiger” while critics continue to push the narrative that industry is not regulated at all or under-regulated nearly 30 years after passage of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA). Meanwhile, FDA has recently proposed creating a new office combining supplements, food chemical safety and innovation as part of its proposal for a unified human foods program. This proposal has drawn concerns from industry stakeholders who worry FDA will focus fewer resources on supplements. 

In this 30-minute conversation, we’ll discuss FDA’s reorganization of its food programs and its potential impact on the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs (ODSP), enforcement against marketers of counterfeit products and other bad actors, FDA’s interpretation of the so-called drug preclusion clause, and anything else at FDA that leaves you scratching your head. 

SupplySide Studio: Perspectives on JEDI and its importance to the health and nutrition industry 

12:00 to 2:00 p.m., Booth #4519 

by Sonja Thompson 

As one of the newest members of the SupplySide content team, I was thrilled to be given a two-hour spot in the SupplySide Studio this year at SupplySide West. The absolute best part about this assignment is that I’ll be talking with people in the supplement and food and beverage industries about justice, equity, diversity and inclusion (JEDI). It’s a huge, incredibly important topic, and the folks joining me in the Studio have been focusing their efforts to bring about substantial change within the industry and the world beyond. 

Here’s the run of show: 

12:00 to 12:23 p.m. – Anand Swaroop, Cepham; and Rajat Mittal Shah, Nutriventia & WIN 
Inspired by an article I read earlier this year on Natural Products Insider, I reached out to Anand Swaroop to see if he’d talk about the program his company Cepham launched to help improve the position of women-owned businesses within its supply chain, which includes farms in India and Uganda. Joining this conversation is Rajat Mittal Shah, who is the co-founder and executive director of a company in India called Nutriventia and the first global liaison India for Women In Nutraceuticals (WIN). They will both share their experience, strength and hope for gender equality in the industry. 

12:25 to 12:48 p.m. – Lynda Doyle, Avant Nutrition LLC; and Ian Dean, Kemin Human Nutrition and Health 
Ageism isn’t often talked about in the health and nutrition industry (or anywhere), but it exists—and on both ends of the spectrum. Joining SupplySide Studio for this conversation is industry veteran Lynda Doyle of Avant Nutrition and industry newcomer Ian Dean of Kemin Human Nutrition and Health. They will discuss their experience with ageism, generational differences and expectations, as well as how to be more inclusive through hiring practices and mentoring.  

12:50 to 1:03 p.m. – Harper Hall, Naturally Proud Network 
What are the barriers that LGBTQ+ entrepreneurs experience in the nutraceutical and natural products industry? More importantly, how do they overcome them? Harper Hall of Naturally Proud Network will highlight some of the discrimination that people face based on their sexual orientation and how networking, including advocacy groups and organizations like Naturally Proud Network and National LGBT Chamber of Commerce, can help.   

1:05 to 1:18 p.m. – Robin Barnette, Diversity Inspired Sales and Marketing 
When introducing a new product to the health and nutrition industry, diversity should be considered at all stages– ideation, design, prototyping, testing, manufacturing, marketing, and finally, launching the product on a physical or virtual shelf. Robin Barnette, founder of Diversity Inspired Sales and Marketing, believes we can work together to create a more inclusive, diverse, tolerant and compassionate planet, one taste bud at a time. Learn about her mission to take diversity-inspired CPG brands courageously and successfully to market and beyond. 

1:20 to 1:33 p.m. – Sarah Rohr, J.E.D.I. Collaborative 
Conversations about equity, diversity, justice and inclusion wouldn’t be complete without hearing from J.E.D.I. Collaborative, a project of One Step Closer that aims to help natural products companies and leaders increase their ability to actualize JEDI efforts—creating space for and working alongside underrepresented communities—through educational programming, resources and training programs designed to increase awareness, knowledge and skills within the company. Sarah Rohr of J.E.D.I. Collaborative will talk about the project’s inception, purpose, vision and goals. 

1:35 to 1:48 p.m. – Mike Sealy, Informa Markets 
Lead by example, practice what you preach, walk the talk, put your money where your mouth is … all of these sayings ring true when we look at Informa Markets’ Diversity and Inclusion (D&I) efforts. Listen in as Mike Sealy, VP of diversity, equity and inclusion, talks about Informa’s global vision and strategy to ensure the long-term sustainability of the D&I agenda in relation to colleagues, customers, content and communities.  

1:48 to 2:00 p.m. – LaMondre Pough, LaMondre Pough Unlimited LLC 
In the final video recording of this enlightening two-hour exploration, LaMondre Pough—DEI expert, trainer and consultant—will seek to unify the underlying themes from previous speakers and provide actionable takeaways. He believes that the strength of our community and the success of our businesses lie in seeking justice, pursuing equity, embracing diversity, fostering inclusion and ensuring everyone feels like they belong. Pough encourages everyone to move forward, equipped with knowledge, passion, and the demonstrated competency to create a more inclusive future for SupplySide and the industries we represent. 

SupplySide Stage: Ingredient Idol, 2023 

12:45 to 2:00 p.m., Booth #5670 

by Todd Runestad 

Who wants to be a star? Just like on real TV, the Ingredient Idol contest might be the most fun you’ll have in Vegas this side of a feathered boa. Three finalists in three hot categories—active nutrition, microbiome and nootropics—will give three industry judges their elevator pitches and then get peppered with follow-up questions, all to see which recently launched ingredient (after Jan. 1, 2022) is named the best-in-show.  

Ingredients are judged based on innovation, scientific merit and market potential.  

And we raise the fun to a fever pitch with a special People’s Choice Award component. When the judges huddle up to confer on a champion, the assembled throngs in the studio audience will have an opportunity to weigh in with their favorite. Loudest response wins this award! 

Judges include industry veterans David Foreman, whose specialty is science; Douglas Lynch, the marketing guru; and Diana Morgan, who is an expert in regulatory affairs and also the impresario of the What’s Up With Supps party at all industry events.  

Get ready to whoop and holler and find out the best new ingredient of the year!  

SupplySide Stage: Probiotic comedy show 

4:30 to 5:00 p.m., Booth #5670 

by Sandy Almendarez 

It’s the last half hour of the exhibit hall at SupplySide West/Food ingredients North America. You’ve checked as much off your list as your sore feet can handle, and you’re ready for a break, a laugh and perhaps a dad joke about probiotics to take home with you. Since 2017, every SupplySide West show has ended with a probiotic comedy routine brought to us from Ivan Wasserman, managing partner, Amin Talati Wasserman. For its first two years, this show was featured in the Probiotic Resource Center, located right by the SupplySide Stage. The crowd was getting so big that the attendance was spilling out into the halls. I asked Wasserman and the International Probiotics Association (IPA) if the show could move to the SupplySide Stage in 2019. They graciously agreed, and since then, the show has grown to include musical numbers, special guests and Stanley, a probiotic strain puppet. Yes, a probiotic puppet. This year, the comedy show promises to bring “belly” laughs and a deeper appreciation of “gut” humor. Don’t miss it! 

This show is presented in partnership with IPA. 

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