Natural Foods Merchandiser

Expo presents hot new supplements trends

From vitamin A and B to supplements you can’t even pronounce, a world of nutrients will await you on the show floor at Natural Products Expo West. But which ones should you focus on? Personal nutrition coach Jack Challem, author of The Food-Mood Solution (Wiley, 2008) and Stop Prediabetes Now (Wiley, 2009), says look to widespread health conditions to predict which supplements will be hot this year.

Challem’s predictions: anything that helps with blood-sugar levels, mood and stress. An increasingly tough economy and rising unemployment rates create the opportunity for naturals retailers to be liaisons for health when many people will be looking for affordable options. Stress management and mood balancing are two gateways for crossover shoppers, and Challem expects that supplements such as L-theanine, B vitamins and GABA will lead the way to serious sales.

For the growing number of prediabetic shoppers, he says check out new products that include alpha-lipoic acid, chromium, pycnogenol, cinnamon and fenugreek.

Beyond the booths, educational seminars at Expo will help you buy and merchandise your supplements better than ever this year. At 2:45 p.m. Friday, March 6, the seminar “Understanding Ingredients: Foods, Drinks and Supplements” will explore the connections between supplements and functional foods. And Dr. Andrew Weil will speak on “The Role of Food and Supplements in Health Care of the Future” at 1:30 p.m. the same day.

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