Ingredient Supplier Trends at SupplySide West 2018

Ingredient Supplier Trends at SupplySide West 2018

The SupplySide West 2018 Expo was held in Las Vegas last week, and we walked away from the show excited about the emerging trends in the health and wellness ingredient business. While some of these trends are continuations from past years, others are just taking hold. This blog examines our favorites. Before diving in, I would like to mention that while this blog highlights specific companies, I’m simply recognizing those that stuck out and not necessarily highlighting brands that are associated with Think. O.K., now that we covered that, let’s dig in.


1.) Beauty From Within:

This trend actually doesn't surprise me. In 2017, the beauty industry was poised to reach $265 billion based on consumer demand. Plus, the influx of social media influencers and healthy beauty solutions the natural beauty market is an ideal growth opportunity. Now more than ever, new independent and emerging beauty brands are taking notice and so are consumers. They are increasing making the connection between skincare and wellness. It is for this reason that many vitamin and supplement companies are utilizing social media (think of Gummy Bear Hair vitamins, Care/Of, EirNYC, Hum Nutrition and more) to connect the dots for customers. What is the common denominator amongst all of these popular vitamin brands, you ask? They ALL target specific women’s health and beauty concerns through internal or body wellness! In my recent blog reviewing HUM Nutrition’s social media strategy, it was interesting to see how each of their posts referenced improving beauty, whether that be hair health, nail growth or skin brightness. It just seems like the smart next step for suppliers to take advantage of this trend by highlighting the beauty benefits in their ingredients. At SupplySide West this week, Kyowa Hakko’s product “Setria Glutathione” stuck out, as speaking specifically to consumer's beauty from within needs. 

2.) Brain Health:

Brain health seems to be perpetually popular. The U.S. brain health market was valued at $2.3 billion in 2015 and is expected to reach $11.6 billion by 2024. SupplySide West showcased several companies that are concentrating their ingredient efforts on brain health as more consumers demand products in this segment. Some of the products geared towards brain health were specifically designed for sports nutrition, such as Nutrition 21’s Nitrosigine. This product enhances blood flow which is of the utmost importance in the middle of games or athletic performances. Another product specifically targeting brain health is Kyowa Hakko’s Cognizin. This product touts enhanced mental clarity and focus. Consumers are realizing that brain health is not only important for the aging population, but also for young athletes and professionals looking for an edge on their competition.

3.) Supply Chain Transparency:

Marketers with a finger on the consumer’s pulse, like Think Media, have recognized the importance of transparency in ingredient sourcing and supply chain practices. We’ve been ready, and advising brands to be as transparent as possible. And we haven’t been alone, New Hope Network/Informa, the producers of SupplySide West, has been championing this for a very long time. At the show, Sabinsa was awarded the Nutrition Business Journal Supply Chain Transparency Award which highlights their commitment. Be prepared for this trend to take over every company and every industry, as consumers continue to become more aware and in tune with supply chain ethics than ever before.

Personally, I see this age of transparency as an exciting new frontier for brands that choose to embrace it. For instance, if you utilize locally grown ingredients in your product recipes, feature the farmer on your social media pages! Do you pride yourself in using fair trade ingredients from other parts of the world? Wonderful! Write a blog for your website and share it with everyone in your loyal community. In the future, supply chain transparency will not be just a trend; it will be a make or break practice.

4.) Digestive Health Ingredients:

The growing demand for probiotics isn’t new, but it is exciting to see the emerging applications. Many consumers have become more educated about aiding their digestive woes. Whether that be through probiotics, fiber or changes to diet, ingredients companies recognize the opportunity. Possibly one of the most notable is Probi, the Swedish company solely dedicated to researching and developing high quality probiotics for the past 30 years. Their most recent innovation, Probi Osteo, is a probiotic and bone health formulation in one. Look for other interesting formulations in the probiotic field to come because this trend isn’t going away.

5.) Clean Label:

Saving the best for last, clean labels are here to stay! Consumers are demanding ingredient labels with words they can pronounce and recognize, which has been a large shift for food producers. Familiar and label-friendly ingredients continue to grow in use and popularity. Companies like Cargill have led the way with clean label innovations that answer the consumers call. That means that consumers can breathe a little lighter now that food labels are easier to understand. This is another trend with staying power because it puts the customer needs first.

As always, there is more to discuss than we can cover in one blog but suffice it to say, ingredient suppliers are pushing the bounds of advancement, and we certainly saw that in action at Supply Side West. We would love to hear your thoughts and reactions on social media! You can also reach me any day of the week at



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