For me, today was all about learning—and, although it can be exhausting, this type of day is the very best. I’m attending the 2010 Natural Products Expo East in Boston, and I’m wearing two hats: one as the new editor-in-chief of this website, NewHope360.com; the other as the outgoing editorial director of Nutrition Business Journal. In this capacity, I’ve been awarded a view into nearly every aspect of the natural, organic and healthy products industry.
As part of my NBJ role, I moderated a fascinating panel about the global opportunities—and challenges—facing nutrition-related companies. This session was packed with actionable insights for U.S. companies looking to export their products overseas, but the following three lessons stood out for me:
1) Despite its massive size and burgeoning population, China probably should not be the first global market that a natural products company attempts to penetrate.
2) Finding the right International partners is essential to implementing a successful international expansion plan—and zeroing in on the right partners requires methodical due diligence. If you have any questions about just how to conduct this due diligence, seek out the counsel of Keith Didion, senior vice president of international at Solgar Vitamin and Herb (which is in 47 global markets and has logged more than 25 years of international business development experience).
3) If you’re connected to the global dietary supplement business, you should be supporting the work of the International Alliance of Dietary Supplement Associations, or IADSA. Regulations related to supplement products and their availability around the world are changing by the day, and IADSA is working on your behalf to enable consumer access and supplement product innovation.
I also learned a lot today while wearing my NewHope360.com hat. At the top of the list, I learned that:
1) New Hope Natural Media is home to an amazingly talented, thoughtful and inspiring group of people. (I knew this, but our strengths were really brought home today as I watched members of the New Hope team meet with customers, share their knowledge during education sessions, connect with the press, and more.)
2) We care about and have the resources to help guide the future of the natural, organic and healthy products industry. (One major resource in this area is NewHope360.com.)
3) The world truly is changing for the better—and this industry is at the epicenter of that change.
What did you learn today?