A record 275 exhibitors and 9,000 buyers and influencers attended Nutracon and the Engredea trade show at the Anaheim Convention Center last week. Engredea, together with colocated Natural Products Expo West, brings together the full food chain of supply to shelf for the global nutrition industry. Both Engredea and Nutracon are produced by New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media.
"We set high expectations for the show, which pushes us to raise the bar each year," said Len Monheit, executive director for Engredea and Nutrition Business Journal. "We may not be the biggest ingredient event in North America, but participant surveys overwhelmingly say Engredea is the best."
Patrick Rea, market leader and publisher of Nutrition Business Journal, said the future focus for Engredea is to continue to invest in the international community by expanding the show's Market Quickstart program which has taken place in Japan, India and China.
"The escalating numbers are a reflection of the investment we have made to the show and the industry as a whole," Rea said. "The show was overflowing with energy and activity. It was our best show to date."
Feedback from first-time and returning participants of the show was also enthusiastic. "Engredea is a must-attend show. Not only are our customers here for valuable face time, but all of our competitors are also exhibiting," said Bruce Abedon, Ph.D., director of scientific affairs for NutraGenesis. "Engredea is an optimal environment for both introducing new ingredients and firming up relationships with current clientele."
Several companies received awards for new product innovation and excellence. The lively 15th Annual NutrAward reception at the start of the conference presented the NutrAward for best new functional ingredient to Greenleaf Medical AB for its hunger suppressing spinach extract, Appethyl and the NutrAward for best new finished product to Nordic Naturals for its Nordic Omega-3 Jellies.
Also announced were the 2nd Annual Editors' Choice Award recipients, hand-selected by editors of Functional Ingredients magazine and Nutrition Business Journal, including:
- Best Ingredient for a Beverage: GanedenBC30 (Ganeden Biotech)
- Best Ingredient for a Food: Optisol line (Glanbia Nutritionals)
- Most Sustainable Ingredient: Zembrin (P.L. Thomas)
- Ingredient with the Best Science: BioPQQ (Mitsubishi)
- Most Novel Ingredient: Libifem (Gencor Nutrients)
- Best Partnership: Natural Products Alliance of North Carolina
- Best Marketing: Lutemax (OmniActive Health Technologies)
- Best Botanical: KSM-66 (Ixoreal Biomed)
"Engredea was an unbelievable success," said Mark Bernheim, national sales manager of Stik-Pak Solutions. "We probably had 300 leads, of which 50 percent are extremely viable. We most certainly will come back next year and already plan to book a larger booth."
Nutracon and Engredea 2014 will be held March 5 to 9, at the Anaheim Convention Center.