From changes in buyer behavior to the challenges of developing a new brand to navigating new tech and geopolitics, the overall landscape of doing business is evolving. To take stock of where we stand now, see where we are going in the future, and learn the tools we need to thrive, Naturally Informed hosted the virtual conference Supply Chain and Delivery Systems: Mastering the Market, featuring leading industry insiders and business strategists to share their insights. 

The conference, hosted by Maggie Jaqua, Content Director of WholeFoods Magazine, and Len Monheit, CEO of Industry Transparency Center, kicked off with keynote speaker Dr. Nada Sanders, an internationally recognized thought leader and expert on forecasting, global supply chains, risk and resilience, and human-technology integration. Dr. Sanders is the Distinguished Professor at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University and author of The Humachine: Humankind, Machines, and the Future of Enterprise, 2nd ed. (Routledge, 2024). In her talk, she touched on several topics including the AI revolution, the integration of technology within the human work force, and the collision course trajectory of technology and our post-pandemic society.

Turbulence and complexity are the new normal

Dr. Sanders stressed that we must be proactive as more crises will head out way. She noted that complex interdependent systems elevate the risk of cascading failures, so what once were local shocks now have global consequences.

Regarding the emergence of AI pre-pandemic, Dr. Sanders said in 2019 most companies were still in "wait and see mode," yet it was evident that the future of enterprise was going to favor companies that do well at combining humans and machines in a kind of "symbiotic relationship as co-workers.”

Post pandemic, we are seeing that play out. And with regard to the future, Dr. Sanders painted a competitive picture of the new supply chain norm. Her advice to employees: Focus on reskilling and upskilling, thinking creatively, and staying up on technological literacy. And employers, she advised, would benefit from:

  • Creating a Guiding Vision
  • Putting Someone in Charge: Guiding Coalition or Steering Committee
  • Creating a Roadmap and Check Progress Regularly
  • Collaborating with partners & breaking down silos
  • Understanding Hype Vs. Reality
  • Focusing on Solutions Vs. Capabilities (visibility, efficiency, agility)
  • Reflecting, learning, and adapting fast  

Dr. Sanders explained how companies can do this, and offered examples, in her talk which is available to view on demand now at, and her newly updated book offers an even deeper dive.

More Supply Chain and Delivery Systems Insights

Staying abreast of geopolitics

Part of staying competitive within the industry involves keeping up with matters abroad. Global issues such as wars, resource scarcity, and changes in government leadership can have a drastic impact on the supply chain process. Loren Israelsen, JD, Founder and President of the United Natural Products Alliance (UNPA), offered: “The global supply chain as it has been traditionally thought of is going to be evolving very quickly for a number of obvious and some not so obvious reasons including the economic costs of goods and connecting with suppliers, the Earth’s resources being pushed to stressful points, and what is meaningful to the consumer.” Working with the industry's trade groups is a key way to stay abreast of the topics that will impact your business.

Amit Srivastava, founder, and chief catalyst of Nutrify Today, discussed how companies in the U.S. and India can leverage the growth of the nutraceutical industry as India continues its path towards becoming a $30 trillion economy by 2047. One solution: Taking advantage of AI tools. His NutrifyGenie app uses AI to help companies take advantage of rapid growth by quickly and efficiently connecting manufacturers with distributors and helping them launch their products faster:

“Nutrify Today has enabled the world’s first idea to commercialization curated AI engine," he explained. "What does this mean? It helps companies go to market at 100% speed compared to conventional speed.”

Meeting consumer demands with innovative, on-trend offerings

In continuing with the topic of evolution and adapting to consumer needs, Scott Dicker, Market Insights Director of SPINS, discussed the growing trends in supplement format preference. The data shows that not only are consumers preferring liquid ready to drink options (18% year over year growth), but their mindset with regards to their health priorities has also shifted, with a focus on health span. “We’re really seeing this next wave of interest in a lot of these products, so this idea that the consumer mindset has really been shifting to a health span approach, meaning they’re trying to live better throughout their life.” (Learn more about the latest in the Active Aging space on page 22.)

So what lies ahead? In addition to figuring out new ways to deliver the products consumers are most interested in, Scott predicted that hydration will continue to see a growing trend. He expects to see a surge of innovation in that space as companies look to take advantage of consumer supplement format preference data to introduce new brands and/or adjust the reputation of established ingredients.  

Gummies also remain a popular format. Angie Rimel and Ginger Waller of Gelita discussed the science of creating gummies, including figuring out how to create acceptable replacements for certain ingredients. A big challenge, they said, has involved replacing sugar. “Health-conscious consumers are seeking sugar reduction; from consumer surveys we see that people want to reduce the intake of unhealthy ingredients, sugar is the first ingredient that comes to mind to be reduced.” The duo outlined how Gelita is making it possible.

Regardless of format, the products must deliver on benefit. Looking at liposomal technology, Sebastian Balcombe, Founder and CEO of Specnova, said, “Three ways liposomes can improve ingredient’s performance: improve solubility, improve permeability, improve stability of the ingredient in the body." He also discussed how to identify a true liposome, and stressed that while all liposomes are not created equal, it is crucial that they all undergo third-party validation. Maintaining transparency will make way for a promising future.

Speaking of formulating, Step Change Innovations VP of Science and Innovation, Devin Gholam, Ph.D., explained how the company is providing solutions for manufacturers and brands looking to modify an existing formulation or create a new product altogether. The company’s mission is to “help you create a winning value proposition and market strategy for your science backed ingredient…” By providing quick access to vital ingredient information, Step Change is helping manufacturers expand and develop their product offerings to meet the needs of their consumers at a much faster rate.

Ensuring quality

Keeping up with the demand brought on by innovation can lead to some companies cutting corners. Less-scrupulous manufacturers looking to capitalize on trends may work with less reputable labs and sidestep  important processes like completing the necessary product testing to meet label claims. Elan Sudberg, CEO of Alkemist Labs, was at the event to shed light on the ways to identify which products are actually meeting regulatory compliance requirements and which ones might be bad actors. He discussed  how identity, potency, and purity testing can be more than tools to demonstrate regulatory compliance. He also outlined which botanicals are likely to fail identity testing, and what tricks bad actors use to falsify Certificates of Analysis. 

The rise of CDMOs

Lisa Thomas, Chief Commercialization Officer for Nuherbs and Wilson Lau, President of Nuherbs, also stressed how much transparency impacts success. They also discussed CDMOs, Contract Development Manufacturing Organizations. A CDMO exemplifies the proper use of a shared network with an open communication approach that can ultimately lead to a more productive system for solving issues affecting supply chains.

Innovation in Health Tech

Day two kicked off with a discussion from David Rabin, M.D., Ph.D., on the role of technology in today’s healthcare sphere. With wearable technology having such a big hand in the decision-making process of consumers, all practices of medicine have had to find successful ways of marrying the health information being provided by this new tech with the medical advice they hope to deliver directly to patients. With the intention benefiting from this new technology and utilizing the data gathered from patient’s wearable tech, Dr. Rabin has developed Apollo Neuroscience, to help solve previously unaddressed issues. “When you have restless sleep in the night and we can actually turn on Apollo to prevent you from waking up in the middle of the night and to give you an idea of how impactful this is we have never had a solution for unwanted middle of night wakeups ever in the history of medicine.”

Watch Supply Chain & Delivery Systems On Demand

All of these topics and many more were covered throughout the two-day conference, and all sessions are available to view on demand at no cost thanks to the event sponsors: Champion sponsors are Alkemist Labs, Gelita, Nuherbs, Specnova, and Step Change Innovations, along with program supporter, SPINS. View the full schedule at and access the content at