This time last week many of you were talking business at SupplySide West in Las Vegas. The show, which attracted 5,126 executives from dietary supplement, food, pharmaceutical and cosmetic companies, was certainly one of the busiest this year, and saw attendance rise by 7 per cent on last year's figures.
New this year was the expanded education program, opening a day before the exhibition, with the National Institutes of Health seminars. Sponsored by Cognis Nutrition & Health, the sessions seemed well-attended, with industry updates on pending good manufacturing practices (GMPs) and the FTC-led discussion on health claims almost packed out.
"When we approached Virgo last year about raising the bar on the level of education and science presented at SupplySide, we all realized that adding an extra day of sessions was a gamble--even by Vegas standards--and we couldn't be more delighted with the results," said Paul Allen, group vice president at Cognis Nutrition & Health.
Education seminars, which ranged from how to negotiate and advertise to having health claims comply with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and the new European standards, also included an emergency meeting Thursday evening called to discuss upcoming legislation. Industry leaders and associations called on members to participate in next week's Rally on Capitol Hill on October 21 in Washington, D.C.
There were few innovative launches on the exhibitor floor, which featured 456 companies, but several firms had a new name to introduce, such as DSM, now called DSM Nutritional Products following the Roche deal, and Loders Croklaan Lipid Nutrition, unveiling a whole new image.
The Dutch firm has shortened its name to Lipid Nutrition and revealed a brand new logo, offering a very different look to the Loders Croklaan colors. The company said the red and black colors would emphasise its focus on dynamic health products and also mark its departure from Unilever ownership.
Kyowa Hakko introduced a new brand name for its citicoline ingredient, Cognizin, its first branded ingredient for US supplement manufacturers.
Weight management is clearly one of the driving trends and the Vendor Works sessions showed an impressive range of ingredients claiming benefit in this area. Competition in this market is increasing, along with a number of products not backed by proper science threatening the reputable manufacturers. The FTC's Lee Peeler stressed the work being done to eradicate this kind of threat but there is a long way to go. However as keynote speaker Earvin 'Magic' Johnson put it : "If you don't dream it, you can't become it."
SupplySide West is scheduled for September 29 to October 1, 2004 at the same venue, the Venetian and Sands Expo in Las Vegas. SupplySide East 2004 takes place fom May 5 to 7 at the Baltimore Convention Center.