SupplySide West 2023: What’s happening off the show floor

By Asia Sherman

- Last updated on GMT

© Natural ingredients trade show SupplySide West 2023 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from Oct. 23 to 27 © Matteo Colombo / Getty Images
© Natural ingredients trade show SupplySide West 2023 takes place at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center from Oct. 23 to 27 © Matteo Colombo / Getty Images

Related tags Supplyside west Natural ingredients Education Las vegas

In less than three weeks, the dietary supplement industry will converge on the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas for several days of natural ingredients networking on the SupplySide West trade show floor.

Hosted by Informa Markets, the Oct. 23-27 event will also include a full program of education sessions, talks and social gatherings that cover everything from supplements 101 to prepping for class action lawsuits to retro toys. With so much going on, here are some highlights.

Education sessions

Tuesday morning kicks off with an all-morning session entitled “Supply chain challenges and innovations”​. With supply chain problems top of mind for the industry, speakers will explore the current risks, how companies can beef up their supply chains, and innovations to facilitate forecasting. In partnership with the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA), the session will include a farmers’ panel of experts from Sunflag Agrotech, Plantamex, Herb Pharm, Native Botanicals and Oshala Farm. 

The “Sports nutrition quits the gym and goes mainstream”​ session, also from 9 a.m. to noon, will address the category’s strong post-pandemic recovery, next-gen nootropics in esports, creatine’s move into mainstream, and hydration innovation. It will also feature a NFL-style draft pick of the best active nutrition ingredients.  

That afternoon, Megan Olsen, senior vice president & general counsel at the Council for Responsible Nutrition, and Steve Shapiro, of counsel to Rivkin Radler LLP, will moderate a panel of leading industry lawyers during the session “A comprehensive look into the health and nutrition legal and regulatory landscape”​. On the agenda: FTC substantiation notices, class action litigation trends, Amazon as "gatekeeper", hemp and CBD updates, new dietary ingredient notifications, the debate around kratom, FDA warning letters, and Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA) reform. 

During the session “Modern challenges in clinical trials: Strategies to help brands and ingredient suppliers narrow the proof gap”​, speakers from Canomiks, Radicle Science, GNC, NOW Foods and KGK Science will dig into the challenges, requirements and benefits of crafting high-quality clinical trials to support health claims. Two packed panel discussions: “Maximizing clinical trials during product development and enabling strong claims” and “Gender-balance Strategies” follow.

Last but not least, the Oct. 27 morning session “Not just a buzzword: The keys to making sustainability an actualized business practice” ​will explore what consumers know about sustainability, scaling sustainability in the botanical industry, fungi cultivation vs. wildcrafting, and dietary megatrends to inform product innovation. A panel discussion will delve into sustainability in the natural channel supply chain. 

From the SupplySide Stage

Located at Booth #5670 on the show floor perimeter, the SupplySide Stage will host a series of 30-minute presentations covering topics from “Nutritional Neurosciences”​ to “Menopause is the New Vegan”​.

On Oct. 25 at 4:30 p.m., Mark Blumenthal and Stefan Gafner of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and BAPP SOP author Michael Levin will share an adulteration update ​on how companies can help to stop the resale of irreparably defective ingredients and products. This includes an introduction to the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program (BAPP) Best Practices Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) and how to implement it. 

The next day, Josh Long of Natural Products Insider will conduct a Q&A at 1:15 p.m.​ with Robert Durkin, partner at Arnall, Golden, Gregory LLP and Daniel Fabricant, president and CEO of the Natural Products Association. Topics will include the Food and Drug Administration’s proposed reorganization of the Office of Dietary Supplement Programs, enforcement practices amid a proliferation of counterfeit products, and growing concerns over the agency’s interpretation of the “drug preclusion” clause.

Immediately following is “Pet Supplementation Unleashed”​, which brings together Bill Bookout of the National Animal Supplement Council, Michael Bently of SierraSil Health and Jim Hibsch of Marketplace to discuss new research, innovations and formulations for animal companions. 

Closing out the last day of the expo hall is the popular “Probiotic Comedy Show”​ delivered by Ivan Wasserman, managing partner at Amin Talati Wasserman, and his sidekick Stanley. Now in its sixth year and in partnership with the International Probiotics Association, the show combines song, puppetry and deep industry knowledge with humor mined from the microbiome. Starts promptly at 4:30 p.m. 

Receptions and parties

Networking events outside the bustle of the show floor provide a space for more casual conversation, starting with the #WINtogether Gender Equity Networking Reception​ in the Bayside Foyer from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Oct. 24. The event invites all SSW attendees to learn more about Women in Nutraceuticals’ commitment to empowering women in the industry and increasing diversity among executive suites, corporate boards and research leadership. 

That evening, new show visitors can connect with industry leaders at the First-time Visitor Reception ​at the Border Grill at Mandalay Bay from 5 to 7 p.m.

After meetings and sessions on Oct. 25, the American Herbal Products Association hosts its member reception in the Islander Ballroom F, and the Naturally Proud Network welcomes showgoers to the LGBTQ+ Allies Networking Reception in South Pacific Ballroom F from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m.

retro game-themed What’s Up With Supps costume party​ at the House of Blues wraps up the conference festivities on Oct. 26 from 5 p.m. until late. Proceeds from the ticket sales go to the Sage Foundation for Health at Sonoran University, formerly the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences. 

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