Secaucus, NJ—SupplySide East 2023 took place on April 18 and 19, at the Meadowlands Exposition Center in New Jersey. The ingredients and supply-chain solutions trade show featured innovations in dietary supplements, food and beverage, personal care, and sports nutrition. This year, there were 250 exhibiting companies and 2,800 health and nutrition industry leaders in attendance from around the world. According to Informa Markets, 50% of attendees were first timers. New this year, SupplySide partnered with Naturally Network to host 20 first-time visitors who are part of the minority-owned fellowship program.

Education programming included eight sessions that were open to all attendees and focused on the latest science and trends in key categories such as beverages, synbiotics, and healthy aging. A key focus in education and on the show floor: women's health and women in business.

Female-Focused Formulations & Studies 

The education session Formulating For Women: What’s Hot and What’s Not dove into problem areas and issues in the area of formulating for women as well as research and data. There was a focus on creating more diverse teams at the highest level of corporations, and on obtaining funding for female research studies. In addition, there was discussion about misconceptions in research for women as well as talk of apprehension and inequalities for research that helps identify and understand women’s issues, ranging from menopause to pregnancy and everything in between. With a lack of scientific research on women, an unclear understanding of how pregnancy, post-pregnancy, and menopause impact nutritional needs, and few women in decision-maker levels, this session honed in on some solutions and ways to educate women and consumers on these issues and how leaders can best collaborate and advocate for more studies, and utilize current research. (Learn more: NutraViews: Lack of Female Representation in Research—Problems & Solutions.)

Leveling Up Networking SkillsIdentifying the Elephant in the Room Session

This award-winning seminar series tackles controversial topics that lack clear communication strategies and which need space to elevate voices that are not typically heard on the subject matter. As series director Amy Summers, Founder and President of INICIVOX and Pitch Publicity, has explained, the goal of the series is not to solve universal problems. Rather, the goal is to engage in informed conversations around contentious topics. Through such discussions, we can learn better ways to approach and respond with an understanding of the experiences of others. When there is conflict, channels of communication must be opened to provide information necessary to understand one another and find solutions.

Elephant-Series-Heather-Wainer-Session-Event.pngHeather Wainer, VP and Publisher of WholeFoods Magazine, and Diego Castro, Publicist at Pitch Publicity

The session at SupplySide East helped attendees apply lessons learned from “Identifying the Elephant in the Room” Sexism Seminar Series to become more effective networkers. Mentors in the series taught best practices for making a good first impression, moving beyond surface talk, recognizing exit cues, avoiding conversation stoppers, and making genuine connections. Attendees and panel members participated in a speed networking style workshop to test their skills and walked away with new and more powerful connections. 

"Participating in the Elephant Series was eye opening as it made me realize how many times I have been in a situation like this and how I should have handled it differently," shared Heather Wainer, VP and Publisher of WholeFoods Magazine. "I appreciate learning from these strong women and the years of experience I have now to handle these situations. I am thankful to Amy [Summers, Founder & President, Pitch Publicity & INICIVOX] for bringing these issues front and center and hope other industries have experts like Amy to help foster communication and drive positive change."

Suppliers spoke to the importance of diversifying their teams and researchers, to create better results. 

Cepham’s Anand Swaroop, Ph.D., President of Cepham, spoke about Igniting Data-Based Equitable Solution for Women Working in the Supply Chain. He discussed with WholeFoods Magazine the importance of having women in the supply chain and farming process. Swaroop explained that when he visited the farms from which Cepham receives its materials, he noticed that when women were working they put so much care and thought into what they were doing...they were thinking of how the seeds they were planting would feed children. Swaroop explained that having diverse farmers and a diverse supply chain led to a difference in thinking, which in turn led to better crops being cared for, and to better outcomes and production for the brand. (Learn more: Cepham Initiates Equitable Solution for Women in the Supply Chain.)

Horphag Research’s Sébastien Bornet, Vice President of Global Sales & Marketing,  discussed the results of a recent study that found Pycnogenol supports hair density in menopausal women. Bornet also spoke about the growing menopause support category and the demand we can expect to see from this population of women. The new study, conducted with menopausal women, found oral intake of Pycnogenol to significantly increase hair density, decrease transepidermal water loss in scalp skin, and optimize resting flux of the scalp. (Learn more: Study: Pycnogenol Supports Hair Density in Menopausal Women.)

Gnosis by Lesaffre’s Kate Quackenbush, Communications Director, shared that the company is earmarking the next stage of the Vitamin K2 category with a new brand identity for its scientifically backed MenaQ7. MenaQ7 started the Vitamin K2 category almost 20 years ago, providing understanding of K2’s  health benefits with  22+ human clinical trials where it was used as the source material. While the brand has remained relatively unchanged all these years, Gnosis by Lesaffre recognizes that K2 is moving beyond heart and bone support, marking the perfect time to introduce a new brand identity. The brand is dedicated to promoting the health of women from early childhood through adolescence, during pregnancy, and after menopause. By exploring the natural processes occurring within the body, Gnosis by Lesaffre has been able to identify unique nutritional actives, probiotics, and nutritional yeasts that are linked with fertility, pregnancy, and overall wellness, Quackenbush explained. Whether helping to increase the chances of conception, mitigating vaginal discomfort, or balancing hormonal changes during menopause, the company strived to connect brands with efficacious solutions that enable their customers to thrive throughout life’s stages with Quatrefolic and Quatrefolic fine powder, along with its other portfolio offerings. (Learn more: Gnosis Announces a New Era of MenaQ7 K2.)

Related: NutraViews: Women Are Your Consumers—Are you Reaching Them?

NutraViews: Lack of Female Representation in Research—Problems & Solutions

Prioritizing Women's Health