Ingredients From India Featured at Vitafoods Europe

As ashwagandha, curcumin and other herbs and botanicals from India continue to draw interest, modern research is paving the way for increased application across global markets.

Jon Benninger

May 1, 2017

3 Min Read
Ingredients From India Featured at Vitafoods Europe

The awareness and popularity of ashwagandha continue to grow around the world, which will be evident at our upcoming Vitafoods Europe event May 9-11 in Geneva. In fact, if you are attending Vitafoods Europe, you will see ashwagandha in many places at the show.

KSM-66, the sponsor of this Ashwagandha Advantage website, is the Official Botanical Partner of Vitafoods Europe. A big part of this is supporting our R&D Forum, “Ingredients From India," taking place Wednesday, May 10, from 14:30-17:30 (that’s 2:30 pm-5:30 pm for my fellow Americans going to the show).

The program will dive into an area of great activity, as we see an increasing number of ingredients and products from India entering the European and other global markets. In fact, this market activity is the reason we introduced Ashwagandha Advantage in the first place. However, the R&D forum will not focus solely on ashwagandha.

The session is being chaired by an herb industry icon and one of my dear friends, Mark Blumenthal, who is the founder and executive director of the American Botanical Council. ABC is an an independent, nonprofit research and education organization dedicated to the responsible use of herbal medicine and beneficial plants. It is worth attending this R&D Forum just to connect with Mark, affectionately called “The Herbal Cowboy" (he is from Texas, after all).

The program includes the following segments:

• “Medicine Hunting for Ashwagandha" will feature Chris Kilham, aka the Medicine Hunter, taking you on a journey from field to science that explains the rich history, modern research and valuable health impacts of this popular botanical.

• “Curcumin for Cognitive Health" features Professor Andrew Scholey, director of the Centre for Human Psychpharmacology at Swinburne University. Prof. Scholey will summarize the findings from his recent study examining the mood and cognitive effects of administration of curcumin to a cohort of healthy older individuals.

• “Natural Compounds to Support Behaviour and Cognition Through Life" features Andrea Zangara, associate member of the expert group on plant-based ingredients and cognitive performance at Swinburne University. He will share recent scientific advances and case studies of Bacopa monnieri and green-lipped mussel extract for cognition and mood.

• “Indian Spices and Metabolic Syndrome" features Professor Anca Miron, professor of pharmacognosy at Romania’s University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Prof. Miron will review the impact of metabolic syndrome on human health, the Indian spices that can target metabolic syndrome, and strategies to improve in vivo efficacy of these bioactive products.

• “Heart Health, Circulation and Beyond" features Melinda Culver, DVM, Ph.D., director of scientific affairs at Omniactive Health Technologies. She’ll be discussing the role that impaired endothelial function plays in cardiovascular health, a diagnostic approach to assessing cardiovascular disease risk, and a summary of the FloMeD study showing curcumin extract improved endothelial function.

• The R&D Forum on Ingredients From India concludes with a panel discussion featuring all of the presenters.

Currently, ashwagandha and curcumin are gaining much of the attention, but there are so many more herbs and botanical products from India and its tradition of Ayruveda that are poised to cross over to the global market. I think it is honorable of our sponsor, KSM-66, to recognize and embrace this, and support this forum. I believe it is just the beginning of what will be a very significant influx of products, science and health impacts from India.

While the Vitafoods Europe show is very big and very busy, I recommend you consider registering for this R&D Forum and making time to stop by the KSM-66 stand at Vitafoods (I-21). I hope to see you in Geneva!

About the Author(s)

Jon Benninger


Jon Benninger is vice president and market leader at Informa Markets. He focuses on the strategic direction and growth of the SupplySide portfolio, which includes SupplySide West, SupplySide East, Natural Products Insider and Food & Beverage Insider. He coordinates with leaders of the other Informa health and nutrition events and brands, including Natural Products Expo West, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Nutrition Capital Network, Nutrition Business Journal and MarketReady Insights.

Benninger joined the company in 1995 as the founding editor of the company’s first trade magazine for the nutrition industry. In his free time, Jon loves to cook for family and friends; if you are ever in Phoenix and want to enjoy a meal, all you must do is choose a country, region, or city, and Jon will cook it for you.

Jon Benninger

VP & Market Leader – SupplySide


  • Helped launch the SupplySide business in 1995.

  • Active in industry associations and initiatives and leads strategic partnerships for SupplySide.

  • Cares deeply about supply chain, quality, and innovation issues that drive industry growth and success.


  • ABC Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award, 2018

  • Vitamin Angels Grateful Acknowledgement for Supporting Global Children’s Health, 2018

  • AHPA Visionary Award, 2014

  • NPA Industry Champion Award, 2014

  • CRN Crystal Apple Award for Industry Leadership, 2010

Current Volunteer Positions

  • Board Chair and Board Trustee, Sonoran University of Health Sciences (formerly Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine)

  • Founder and Board Representative, Nutrition Advisory Council, Sonoran University of Health Sciences

  • Director’s Circle, American Botanical Council (ABC)

  • Communications Committee, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

  • Communications & Media Outreach Committee, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)

  • Company Council, International Association of Dietary Supplement Associations (IADSA)

  • Mentor, Women In Nutraceuticals

Past Volunteer Positions

  • President, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, 2006 – 2008

  • Board of Directors, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, 2001 – 2006

  • Board of Directors, Citizens for Health, 1999 – 2001

Speaker Credentials

  • "Trends in the US Market for Healthy and Functional Foods and Ingredients, Hi-Japan, Tokyo, 2019

  • “Trends Overview for Japanese Delegation to Natural Products Expo West” Anaheim, CA, 2019

  • “China: Impossible to Ignore” UNPA Member Retreat, Charleston SC, 2019

  • “Trends Overview for Japanese Delegation to Natural Products Expo West” Anaheim, CA, 2018

  • “Nutrition Industry Overview” US-China Business Exchange Dinner, Anaheim CA, 2018

  • “Industry Outlook: Market & Key Factors” National Enzyme Annual Meeting, Branson, MO, 2017

  • “State of the Human Dietary Supplement Industry” NASC Annual Conference, Austin, TX, 2016

  • “Consumer Concerns of Safety & Efficacy in Supplements” UNPA Member Retreat, Hawaii, 2016

  • “Nutrition, Health and Wellness Trends” Cactus IFT Meeting, Phoenix AZ, 2013

  • “Key Industry Events & Media in the US Market” World Ayurveda Congress, Bangalore, India, 2010

  • “Trends in the Dietary Supplement Industry” Pacific Technology Exchange, Los Angeles, 2010

  • “Succeeding in the US Market for Healthy Products” 4th Nutraceutical Summit, Mumbai, India, 2008

  • “Selling to the US Health Food Industry” Keynote Address, ANIPRON, Mexico City, 2007

  • 1997 – present: moderator/host at SupplySide events

  • 1997 – present: Frequent host/moderator of industry conference sessions, panel discussions & town halls

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University, B.A Journalism, 1991


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