As the natural products industry supply chain is facing continued disruption due to the COVID-19 outbreak, suppliers, brands and retailers are seeking new ways to connect, discover new offerings and educate consumers. An increasing willingness to explore digital solutions has companies signing onto new platforms, reaching out on social media and investigating opportunities to connect.
The Organic & Natural Health Association announced the launch of an online virtual pitch session, “The Nourish Mint,” specifically developed to address the challenges. Brands, suppliers, distributors and independent retailers affiliated with SENPA, INFRA, Positively Natural and MAHO will have the opportunity to network and exchange intelligence around new innovations and opportunities.
“Our goal with ‘The Nourish Mint’ is to engage the supply chain to pitch, inspire and acquire the innovative offerings our industry is known for,” said Karen Howard, CEO and executive director of Organic & Natural Health. “Given our current situation, this unique presentation platform gives raw ingredient companies the opportunity to pitch brands and quality brands the opportunity to pitch independent retailers now. We have a responsibility to consumers to bring cutting-edge health solutions to market and ‘The Nourish Mint’ will expedite this process.”
Designed similarly to an in-person meeting, presenters will have three minutes to pitch their product and three minutes to answer questions from a panel of industry experts, dubbed “mintors.” The audience will include independent retailers and other interested companies from across the natural products supply chain. Presentations will be delivered live and members of the audience will have the opportunity to schedule private meetings with the presenting companies at a later date. Howard says the format for “The Nourish Mint” is unique because it involves the entire supply chain.
Debra Short, executive director of SENPA, commented that retailers are asking questions about the ingredients within the products they’re purchasing, as consumers are increasingly curious about the supply chain. “Retailers are very interested in knowing not just about the product, but what goes into the product, where those ingredients come from and how they ultimately help the person buying it,” she said. “Our retailers want to meet companies in person before doing business with them so ‘The Nourish Mint’ is a great opportunity for them to do that while we wait for industry conferences to resume.”
The first ‘Nourish Mint’ pitch sessions will take place on June 18 and 25 at from 4 to 5 p.m. EDT, followed by an open social with attendees. Only 20 companies will be selected to present in the two sessions. Interested companies can apply by sending pitch materials to [email protected], on or before June 2. Cost to present is US$300 for Organic & Natural Health members and $500 for non-members. Industry expert panel “mintors” include: Heather Granato, VP of content, Informa; Alan Lewis, VP government affairs, Natural Grocers; Andrew Halpner, VP science and technical services, Atrium Innovations; Greg Horn, co-founder of Nutritional Capital Network and director at William Hood and Company; Debra Short, executive director, SENPA; Kantha Shelke, principal, Corvus Blue; Anthony Zolezzi, chairman and co-founder UxHealth; and Corinne Shindelar, president emeritus, founder and former CEO, INFRA.
Independent retailers are invited to register for free, but must be members in good standing of SENPA, INFRA, Positively Natural and MAHO. Organic & Natural Health members may also attend for free; non-members may attend for $150 per session. Tickets can be secured for “The Nourish Mint” at https://organicandnatural.org/events/webinars/.