5 Expo West Supplements I Can't Forget

Sandy Almendarez, VP of Content

April 5, 2013

5 Min Read
5 Expo West Supplements I Can't Forget

One month after Natural Products Expo West, and I'm still thinking about five supplements. My initial excitement of some products has waned (superfruit popcorn just doesn't seem as much of a necessity now), but I'll be watching what happens with the products listed below. I predict these supplements with be the start of new trends we'll see at next year's Expo West (click here to see this year's trends). If not that, they will at least be stand out products that fill niches.

1. Bladder Health for the Rest of Us

When it comes to supplements that address bladder health, it's usually focused on urinary tract infections (UTIs) or prostate health. Luckily, I don't suffer from either of those issues, but if you've ever been in a meeting with me for more than an hour, you'll know my other bladder issue. I need to use the bathroom more than the average person.

This was why I was excited for SagaPro from EuroPharma. This supplement contains Angelica archangelica, which increased nocturnal bladder capacity in a study (Scand J Urol. 2013 Feb;47(1):26-32. DOI: 10.3109/00365599.2012.695390). It may not be the answer to all my "excuse me moments" during meetings, but it could be start. EuroPharma said SagaPro supports the bladder muscle, so it can be effective in both men and women, unlike saw palmetto, which shows efficacy in males.

2. Straw Strong

I was intrigued last December, when Unistraw received a U.S. patent for its "Drink Flavouring Straw" delivery technology. When a user drinks though a straw, nutrients are released (magically, it seems to me), making that milk, juice or water suddenly a functional beverage. According to our news piece from when the company got the U.S. patent, the straws contain spherical pellets that gradually dissolve and release active ingredients throughout the drinking process. The technology can deliver flavors and nutrients, and I got to try for myself at Expo West this year.

Tubulars Vitamin Milk Straws use this technology to supply 16 vitamins and minerals while a consumer drinks milk. Tubulars come in four varieties: the original Vitamin Milk Straws, Tooth Friendly Straws, Immunity Straws (with Wellmune WGP® from Biothera), Probiotic Straws (with Ganedens BC30) and Bone nutrition.

I tried the original Vitamin Milk Straws in a Banana flavor, and it was interesting. I was too overwhelmed with samples on the show floor to drink an entire glass of milk with the straw, but I see the appeal in this delivery form, and I expect to see more of it.

3.Pumping (Plant) Iron

Gaia Herbs Introduced PlantForce Liquid Iron at Expo West, which I see as a great way for vegetarians to get iron into their diets. Iron is important for energy, and I've known more than my fair share of folksvegetarian or notthat are iron deficient. PlantForce Liquid Iron contains  plant-based ingredients that facilitate iron absorption and support red blood cell production.

Gaia Herbs noted that most liquid iron supplements have a metallic, aftertaste, but PlantForce does not. More importantly to me, the shot I took on the show floor did not give me digestive discomfort, which I've experienced with other forms of iron supplementation.

 Liquid Iron contains a 20 mg of iron dosage, and the company said its the  first in a new PlantForce line of products.

4. Digestive Energy

Adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is well known for its ability to boost energy and has made a name for itself in sports nutrition products, but Enzymedica thinks it's digestive benefits merit adding ATP to its enzyme products. At Expo West, the company released its new Digest Gold with ATPro. ATPro is a blend of ATP and other nutrients that enhance ATP production; the ingredient is now be part of the companys flagship Digest Gold, which also offers  protease, lipase, amylase and cellulase enzymes to support digestion.

ATP provides energy to the cells and organs, and Walter Crinnion, N.D., professor and chair of the Environmental Medicine Department at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, said this action also aids digestion. I met with him at Expo West, and he explained that the processed foods Americans tend to eat don't have as much ATP as we require, and low ATP can cause not only fatigue, but also stomach issues and low levels of hydrochloric acid (HCl). HCl helps digestion.

Each capsule provides 300 million units of ATP, and the company said it wants to add ATPro to the  rest of their digestive health products.

5. Even Candy Companies are Getting Into the Supplement Biz

Increasing merger/acquisition activity in the supplement industry reflects the profitability of this business, and bigger companies are taking notice. It makes sense that DSM, Bayer and other traditionally health-focused companies are growing in this space, but even companies known for their candy are stepping up to the supplement plate. At Expo West, Mars Botanical, a division of Mars Inc., recognized for its candy bars,  was giving samples of CocoaVia.  CocoaVia is cocoa extract supplement designed to take daily in drink mix form.  The drink mix, which is sold under the Mars Botanical brand, contains 250 mg of cocoa flavanols to support healthy circulation. It has no artificial colors or flavors or sugar, and 30 calories per serving. Its a far cry from Snickers.

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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