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Alzheimer's study finds proper dose of omega-3 DHA key to reaping benefits

Getty Images omega-3 vitamins

A new study published in The Lancet indicates that it might take much more omega-3 to reach the brain in Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients than previously thought. 

Animal models and observational studies of omega-3 EPA and DHA have shown an association between higher levels of these fatty acids and lower incidence of AD and dementia. To date, however, clinical trials testing the direct effects of omega-3 supplementation on AD have by and large come up with disappointing results. Until now. 

Although a previous study tested the effects of high doses of omega-3 on blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF, the fluid that bathes the brain) in patients with AD, this new study is the first to examine this question in people without AD. 

The study population consisted of 33 participants from Los Angeles-men and women aged 55 and older who, although not being cognitively impaired themselves, had a family history of the disease. Typically American, they had generally sedentary lifestyles and they ate little to no fatty fish. None had taken omega-3 fatty acid capsules for at least three months prior to the study. 

Approximately half of the group (15 people) carried a gene variant known as APOE4, which is linked to inflammation in the brain and is a known factor for increasing AD risk by a factor of four or more. 

Those in the treatment group were required to take omega-3 supplements containing 2,152 mg of DHA for 6 months and were also provided instruction to otherwise limit their polyunsaturated fatty acid intake. The control group was instructed to take similarly looking placebo capsules that contained corn/soy oil. Both groups were instructed to take daily vitamin B complex supplements, which help the body process omega-3s. 

All participants were seen three times: at screening, baseline and 6 months (end of study). The researchers were looking for changes in plasma and CSF levels of DHA and EPA and how these correlated with APOE status (E4 or not) and CSF levels of a biomarker of brain amyloid deposition (A-beta-42). Cognitive function tests were also given. 

This study used a daily dose over 2 grams of DHA, a dose that far exceeded what has typically been used in previous clinical trials using 1 gram of omega-3s to assess the preventive power of omega-3s. 

At the study's conclusion, the treatment group had a 200% increase in their blood plasma DHA levels compared with the placebo group, but the DHA in the CSF went up by only 28%. However, that 28% increase was better than that previously reported with lower DHA doses. 

In both the plasma and CSF measurements, the percentage increase for DHA for those who did not carry a copy of the APOE4 gene (which is the case for about 75% of Americans) tended to be higher than for those who were carriers. 

Further, those in the treatment group who did not carry the APOE4 gene variant showed an increase of EPA in their CSF, which was three times greater than that seen in the APOE4 carriers. (Recall that only DHA was supplemented, not EPA. This finding implies that DHA can, to some extent, raise both DHA and EPA levels in the body.)

The study authors believe these results hint that omega-3 levels in the blood may not indicate how much EPA and DHA is reaching the brain. According to OmegaQuant's Dr. Bill Harris, that's to be expected because of the blood-brain barrier, which carefully protects the brain by letting only certain compounds in from the blood, potentially making it harder for some nutrients to reach the brain. 

"Therefore, future research should strongly consider whether a dose of 2 grams daily of omega-3 is enough to find benefit for a disease like AD or whether even higher doses should be administered," Dr. Harris explained. "This may be especially true for those who have known risk factors for AD, such as carrying the APOE4 gene variant. It appears that these people may be less able to transfer DHA from the blood to the brain than those who don't carry the gene." 

Dr. Harris was not an author on this study; however, OmegaQuant conducted the fatty acid analysis. 

As for the researchers, the results of their study were sufficiently intriguing to attract funding for a larger trial for which recruitment is underway. They plan to follow more than 300 participants over a two-year period to examine whether high doses of omega-3s can slow cognitive decline in the carriers of the APOE4 gene. 

Source: OmegaQuant

Sen. Cory Booker: 'America’s food system is broken'

Getty Images Iowa Farmland

Martin Luther King said that “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere,” and nowhere is this truth perhaps more evident in today’s United States than in our fundamentally broken food system. That sentiment was at core of the inspiring keynote address presented by U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., on the first day of the National Food Policy Conference, held July 28-29th, 2020. This was the 43rd (and first virtual) edition of this event, which is hosted annually by the Consumer Federation of America (CFA) for the purpose of bringing together representatives from the food industry, the government and consumer advocacy groups to discuss agriculture, food and nutrition policy.

Cory_Booker_Official.jpgDuring his talk, Booker (right) talked about the fact that this nation’s food system is interconnected with all of the main issues this country is currently grappling with, from healthcare to health justice, environmental justice, economic justice and even racial justice. At the same time, he also spoke to which systems need changing and the changes that he sees as imperative to build a more equitable, healthy, economically and environmentally sustainable system for all.

Here are some of the main takeaways from the keynote given by this extremely dynamic, “big bald vegan” (his words), who has partnered with family farmers and communities across the country in an effort to repair our ailing food system.

Failed by the system

“The way we produce and consume food in this country is a matter of life and death, literally.” With these words, Booker began his keynote address with an overview of who and what is being hurt the most by the current U.S. food system.

The first people that he singled out were workers in America, who are being “forced right now to risk their lives to get food onto our plates as they are crowded into the packing plants that have become hotbeds of COVID-19 outbreaks.”

Independent family farmers and ranchers were another, a group that Booker pointed out has declined by more than 1 million family farmers over the last 60 years. Farm debt is partly to blame for this, as well as the fact that farmers’ share of consumer dollars has dropped significantly. Rural communities are also being hit particularly hard, with many residents forced to live in proximity to water, air and soil contamination from large factory farms.

The food system is also horribly broken from a public health perspective, said Booker.

“We currently pour billions and billions of dollars of federal subsidies into a system that is literally making us sick as a nation, [one that has] the worst health outcomes of any industrial nation on the planet. Diabetes, heart disease, and childhood obesity plague our nation at rates not seen by previous generations, as cheap unhealthy foods have become the new normal.” Food insecurity is also an urgent public health crisis, said Booker, with an estimated 14 million children not getting enough to eat while some 30-40% of this country’s food supply goes to waste.

The senator also underlined how the food system has broken down with regard to the treatment of farm animals, once under the care of independent farmers. Meanwhile, unhealthy conditions inside factory farms are at serious risk of causing the next pandemic—not to mention their potential role in creating more antibiotic resistance to “superbugs.” These conditions also highlight the fragility of this country’s food supply chain and how susceptible it is to disruption—as is being demonstrated by the COVID-19 pandemic. This, Booker said, makes it an important national security issue.

Policies for change

The main cause of this broken system, said Booker, is corporate consolidation. A prime example of this is the beef industry, in which just four companies control more than 80% of the marketplace. “This is reflective of levels of corporate concentration across our food and farm economy. Large, multinational corporations, because of their size and money, have undue influence over the marketplace, undue influence over public policy and undue influence here in Washington, D.C. And they've created this massive system that benefits primarily themselves, as these multinational corporations are making bigger and bigger profits at the expense of our nation.”

This consolidation is putting the squeeze on independent family farms from all sides, starting from where they get their seeds all the way to retail shelves. Booker’s first steps, therefore, to starting to heal this broken system, have included listening to farmers, ranchers and environmental groups; as well working with animal welfare advocates, health professionals and consumers to “imagine a better food system that reflects our virtues, has common values,  addresses a climate crisis, produces more abundant and accessible nutritious food, that pays farmers a fair price for being stewards of the land and that treats workers fairly.”

To further these objectives, Sen. Booker has presented various bills to Congress in recent months, but whether or not they will pass remains to be seen. What is patently evident is the senator’s passion for these issues, one that resonated so clearly through the screen during his keynote address that, even in the conference’s virtual chatroom, one could hear a pin drop.

5 ways to keep retail foodservice alive during COVID-19

Getty Images to go meal sandwich packaged

The old adage tells us it takes 21 days to form a habit. If that’s true, what kinds of habits have formed during the months-long COVID-19 crisis? According to food industry veteran Michael Droke, attorney and partner at Dorsey & Whitney LLP, working remotely will change the game for not only the American workforce but also natural food retailers and co-ops.

“I speak to executives all around the U.S., in a variety of industries, and not a single one expects to return to the way things were before COVID-19,” he says. “And, they don’t want to.”

Why? They’ve found efficiencies like having employees work from home, and likely won’t send the entire workforce back to the office environment full time.

Droke_Michael_(3).jpg“Retailers should be thinking about that,” Droke (left) says. “There are all kinds of new habits about where and how people are doing work and, as a result, eating their meals. What kinds of things are we learning now that we might need to use forever?” Below are five things Droke has learned.


1. Say buh-bye to the self-serve food bar.

“These areas are being repurposed because people don't feel safe getting food from them anymore,” Droke says. Instead, retailers can offer what they previously had in their bars in pre-packaged formats to appeal to shoppers who used to buy their lunches at office-adjacent fast-casual destinations, but who now work from home. “If you used to have a taco bar, offer pre-made tacos or burritos,” Droke recommends. “If you used to have a salad bar, pre-package a variety of salads for at-home lunches.”

Essentially, grab-and-go is replacing the self-serve bar.

2. Conversion is key.

“There are conversion kits available that can convert self-serve bars to full-service from behind the bar,” says Droke, which provides customers with reassurance that food is safe from the hoards of shoppers passing by.

3. Bulk is back.

Along these same lines, work-from-home culture means that more people are home for lunch and snacktime, from kids to parents. But just because they can prepare their meals from home doesn’t mean they always want to. This is where bulk packaging can be a great solution for foodservice.

“Customer demand is increasing for larger volume of hot and cold food items,” Droke says, “because they now need to feed the whole family at lunchtime rather than grabbing something close to the office or sending their kids to school with money or a packed lunch.”

Offering a larger volume meal or even a multi-day offering can appeal to these families.

4. Wrap it up.

“When it comes to bakery items like cookies and breads, present as many things as you can in individual wrapping,” says Droke, in place of offering bakery bins where shoppers reach in and grab their own—and cross-contaminate.

5. Take it outside.

Consumers are becoming increasingly accustomed to food trucks and eating outside in general. Let shoppers know that retail foodservice is alive and well with an outdoor barbecue or even a popcorn machine. “The smell will lure shoppers over, where you can have these and other pre-packaged items available for purchase,” Droke recommends.

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Weigh In: How can I take care of my staff during this stressful year?

Getty Images Weigh in: How can I take care of my staff throughout this stressful year?

Nobody will forget 2020, especially the grocery store workers on the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic. Along with the countless physical and logistical challenges, this experience has triggered a lot of anxiety, depression, loneliness, financial stress and fear, which can linger long after the virus threat abates.

“The world won’t just snap back after this, so our brains won’t either,” says Cathleen Swody, who is an organizational psychologist with Thrive Leadership and an adjunct professor at the University of Connecticut School of Business.

“I encourage store owners and managers to prepare for this and recognize that it’s not going to be business as usual for their staff right after the quarantines lift.”

So how can you best support your team—emotionally, physically, operationally—during this unprecedented time? Here are nine ideas from three experts.


Cathleen Swody, Ph.D., Thrive Leadership in Glastonbury, ConnecticutOrganizational psychologist

Cathleen Swody, Ph.D.,
founding partner and director of assessment at Thrive Leadership,
Glastonbury, Connecticut


Communicate frequently and transparently.

We’re in a fluid, rapidly changing environment and it’s hard to get clarity around rules and protocols, so employees worry about what’s going to happen next. Be sure to communicate as much and as transparently as possible with your staff. Store owners and managers spend so much time thinking about things that they often assume their team knows what’s going on—or that if they haven’t heard anything new, everything is the same. However, when there’s silence, it’s easy to run with whatever negative story might be in your head, so it’s crucial for employees to hear from leadership regularly.

Model mindfulness.

I wish everyone had access to therapy through their health insurance, but mindfulness meditation apps can really help because they’re low cost and you can use them in your car before a shift or when walking to work. Mindfulness meditation pulls us into the present moment, away from being sad about what we’ve lost and worrying about the future, which is incredibly healthy from a psychological standpoint. But people actually need to do it, so instead of just pointing to resources, leaders can role-model it by saying, “I’ve been doing this, and it was hard at first—my brain went everywhere—but I’ve found it really helps me; here’s how.”

Share self-care strategies.

Encourage employees to reach out to loved ones, use humor, do physical activity and eat well to nourish their bodies even though they’re stressed right now. What works for one employee may not work for another, so share self-care ideas at the start of each shift or online. Ask “what’s working for you?” or “what’s your best tip for staying in a good frame of mind?” People feed off one another and can find a lot of creative ideas this way.

Amber Clayton, director of the Society for Human Resource Management Knowledge Center in Alexandria, VirginiaHuman resources expert

Amber Clayton,
director of the Society for Human Resource Management Knowledge Center,
Alexandria, Virginia


Be flexible with scheduling and time off.

During this time of uncertainty, with shelter-in-place laws, transportation limitations and many child cares not open, employers should be as flexible as they can regarding allowing employees to take time off and modify their schedules. They still might be able to work, just not as frequently or at different times, such as when their spouse isn’t working and can stay home with the children. Allow people to have staggered shifts or work only three days a week instead of their usual five. Understand that everyone has different circumstances, and try to work with individuals to find workable solutions.

Make small gestures to boost morale.

Any little thing employers can do to recognize and thank staff for the good work they are doing can really boost morale. These don’t need to be bonuses or other large gestures. Even just writing them little notes of appreciation, providing food during a meeting or sending a small gift to someone’s home “just because” can go a long way. Including employees in decision-making also helps with morale. And when you bring them into the process, you’ll have more buy-in from staff.

Re-examine health care offerings.

Especially right now, when so many people are experiencing anxiety and depression, employers want to provide mental health resources. Take a look at your health insurance benefits, and the next opportunity you have to enhance them, whether that’s during the next open-enrollment period or by making midyear changes if that’s allowed, think about adding mental health coverage if you don’t have it already. Also consider an employee assistance program, which can offer valuable services at no cost to employees, such as free counseling sessions, resources to help with financial stress or recommendations for childcare or elder care.


Jon K’alancho Croft, chief culture officer at MOM’s Organic Market in Rockville, MarylandRetailer

Jon K’alancho Croft,
chief culture officer at MOM’s Organic Market,
Rockville, Maryland


Bump up wages.

Since mid-March 202, we’ve looked at our sales in two-week increments and given a percentage of that back to our front-line workers. For as long as sales are above normal, we committed to doing this. These folks are performing a tough job in a tough climate, so to the best of our ability, we want show our gratitude. Some people want to call this hazard pay, but fundamentally, we feel we cannot put a price on people’s lives or the work they’re doing, so this is really a thank you.

Ensure everyone’s on the same page.

We also committed to ongoing communication with store leadership in real time. We have daily 30- to 45-minute huddles on Google Meet to go over any hot topics from the previous 24 hours with our general managers and some assistant general managers. Executive leadership also meets for up to two hours daily, and the bullet points from those sessions go into the GM huddles, which I co-lead with our chief operations offer. We take the first 10 to 20 minutes, then for the next 20 to 30 minutes, the GMs voice their concerns and questions. In turn, we ask them to huddle this information with their teams in real time.

Listen and be compassionate.

Many employees feel scared and uncertain. We try to tamp that down as much as we can, but the fact is it’s unsafe to work in a grocery store during a pandemic, and it causes a lot of uncertainty. As leaders, we can’t be frustrated with that uncertainty. We have to remain compassionate and open to what employees are telling us about their experience and its impact—especially when our intention doesn’t match up with the impact. By that I mean we don’t intend to put them in uncertain situations, but the reality is they are in one. That’s hard to do in nonchallenging times, so it’s especially hard in tense circumstances.

5@5: Fruit-growing plant lawsuits | General Mills adds outsourcing partners

Getty Images apples grocery store produce

Intellectual property and trademark protections for fruit-growing plants are on the rise—and so are the lawsuits

Many of the apples, grapes, berries oranges and pears consumers enjoy today are protected by intellectual property frameworks, which American breeders have historically used as a way to protect their fruit varieties against piracy. Trademarking has affected the world of apple breeding in particular, varieties of which consumers know by name (think Cosmic Crisp and Pink Lady), and patents for grapes are on the rise. However, lawsuits are also on the rise with regard to all crops because there are more players taking part in the commercialization on an international level, and novel DNA analysis technology makes infringement claims easier to prove. Read more at The Counter


General Mills adds more outsourcing partners as it aims to meet packaged-food demand

To keep up with consumer demand for its products, General Mills has initiated new partnerships and expanded its existing ones with contract manufacturers and suppliers of raw materials. While the comany must accept lower profit margins on outsourced products to remain competitive against its rivals, it reported a 16% increase in comparable sales for the quarter ended May 31. Read more at The Wall Street Journal


Food fraud–one of the big winners during COVID-19

The COVID-19 pandemic presents an opportunity for the $50 billion dollar a year global food fraud industry to get far larger. A new report that involves agencies across over 80 countries and and is led by Interpol and Europol reveals that from December 2019 to June 2020 19 organized crime groups operating within the food system were dismantled and 400 participants arrested. This is where the digitization of supply chains, which has been accelerated due to the pandemic, can save the day. Read more at New Food Magazine


Trader Joe's is now selling the Impossible Burger

Despite having a plant-based burger of its own, Trader Joe's will begin selling the Impossible Burger to shoppers. Impossible Foods President Dennis Woodside said that the company plans on making its retail presence 50 times bigger in 2020 alone, although it has been slower and less aggressive in its approach than its main competitor Beyond Meat. Read more at Business Insider


Probiotics may help relieve depression

Probiotics have been proven to positively influence the gastrointestinal microbiome, which is inextricably linked to the brain. A systematic review comprised of seven studies concludes that probiotic supplements alone or combined with prebiotics can cause a significant improvement in symptoms of anxiety and depression. Read more at

Lawsuit challenges 'bioengineered' GMO food labeling


Today, Center for Food Safety (CFS) filed a lawsuit in federal court against the Trump Administration’s Department of Agriculture (USDA) challenging USDA’s rules on labeling genetically engineered (GE) or GMO foods, which USDA now calls “bioengineered foods.” The final regulations, issued in 2019, include provisions which will leave the majority of GMO derived foods unlabeled, discriminate against tens of millions of Americans, prohibit the use of the widely known terms “GMO” and “GE” and prohibit retailers from providing more information to consumers. CFS is representing a coalition of food labeling nonprofits and retailers, including Natural Grocers, operating 157 stores in 20 states, and Puget Consumers Co-op, the nation’s largest community-owned food market.

“This case is about ensuring meaningful food labeling, the public’s right to know how their food is produced, and retailers’ rights to provide it to them,” said George Kimbrell, CFS legal director and counsel in the case. “The American public successfully won GE food labeling after more than a two-decade fight, but the Trump rules fall far short of what consumers reasonably expect and the law requires.”

CFS’s lawsuit makes a number of arguments. First, the case challenges USDA’s unprecedented allowance of electronic or digital disclosure on packaging, also known as “QR code” or “smartphone” labeling, without requiring additional on-package labeling. USDA allowed this despite Congress requiring the agency to first study whether digital disclosure would provide meaningful information to consumers. In 2018 CFS successfully sued USDA to release the study, and it showed conclusively that QR codes would fail. But in this final rule USDA went ahead with it anyway.

“Requiring a smartphone discriminates against at least 20% of the American adult population—primarily poor, elderly, rural, and minority populations—who have lower percentages of smartphone ownership, or live in areas in which grocery stores do not have internet bandwidth,” said Caroline Gordon of Rural Vermont, a plaintiff in the case.

Especially during the current COVID-19 pandemic, many Americans are visiting grocery stores less frequently to avoid exposure to the virus and purchasing more items during each visit. Requiring a shopper to scan every single item they purchase would not only place an undue burden on the shopper, but would also increase a shopper’s exposure risk to a deadly virus. 

Second, CFS is challenging USDA’s labeling language restrictions. When on-package text is used, the rules limit it to only “bioengineered,” despite the law allowing use of similar terms. But for 25 years, every aspect of the issue—science, policy and marketplace—has used genetically engineered (GE) or genetically modified (GMO).  

“Retailers and shoppers have relied on the term GMO for more than a decade to identify and avoid GMO foods,” said Mark Squire, co-founder of Good Earth Natural Foods, a plaintiff. “Banning the use of this term and replacing it with a term nobody has ever heard of is misleading and will create massive confusion in the marketplace.”

“At Natural Grocers, we believe in meaningful transparency. This means providing our shoppers with the information they deserve and demand about foods produced with genetic engineering,” said Alan Lewis, vice president of advocacy and governmental affairs at Natural Grocers, a plaintiff. “Our rights and those of our customers are damaged by the USDA’s unlawful bioengineered labeling rule.”

Third, the case challenges USDA’s severe restriction on which foods are covered and require disclosure. The vast majority of GE foods (by some estimates over 70%) are not whole foods, but highly processed foods with GE ingredients like sodas and oils. Yet in the final rule USDA excluded these “highly refined” products, unless the GE material was “detectable.”

“A disclosure law that exempts 70% of the foods it is supposed to disclose is not a meaningful disclosure law: it is a fraud and allows producers to keep their GMO ingredients secret,” said Tara Cook Littman of Citizens for GMO Labeling, a plaintiff.

Fourth, the exclusive rules restrict retailers and producers from voluntarily providing more meaningful information to consumers, such as using the terms GE and GMO. The only voluntary labeling allowed is “derived from bioengineering,” and only in certain circumstances. The federal law preempted state disclosure laws that used the normal GE/GMO terms and properly required the labeling of all GE foods, so voluntary additional disclosure under the federal rules is imperative.

“PCC believes that our members and shoppers have a right to transparency about the food they eat, and that retailers and manufacturers have a fundamental First Amendment right to provide truthful information to customers. The USDA rules unlawfully restrict that protected speech and do not provide the transparency on GMO foods that consumers deserve,” said Aimee Simpson, director of advocacy and product sustainability at PCC Community Markets, a plaintiff.

The lawsuit seeks to have the court declare the regulations unlawful and nullify them, and then return the issue to USDA with orders to fix the unlawful portions of the rules.

The 2019 rules implement a 2016 federal law that for the first time required the labelling of GE foods. Congress passed the federal law after several states (Vermont, Connecticut, Maine) passed GE labeling laws, with numerous other states poised to do the same. The labeling is required to be implemented by food manufacturers in January 2022.

Source: Center for Food Safety

SupplySide West and Food ingredients North America 2020 canceled

SupplySide West and Food ingredients North America

In light of the continuing COVID-19 situation, and in consultation with key stakeholders across the health and nutrition industry, SupplySide announced the difficult decision to cancel the in-person SupplySide West and Food ingredients North America event, scheduled for Oct. 27-30 at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas. 

The conclusion was not one that was reached easily; however, with the health and safety of industry colleagues and customers in mind, as well as continued restrictions on travel and gatherings, the SupplySide team made the decision to act now to allow industry partners time to adjust their plans.

“We have been in close communication with our partners, customers and audience to ensure we meet their needs and expectations,” said Marisa Finnegan, show director. “Even with guidance from Informa’s AllSecure health & safety guidelines, and the re-opening of Mandalay Bay in recent weeks, our community responded to personal outreach and an industry survey by making it clear that while they value the show, many would not be able to come due to safety concerns or travel restrictions.” An FAQ with more details on the cancellation is available here. 

Even as the industry responded with caution regarding an in-person gathering, there was overwhelming interest in a unique solution to facilitate networking and business growth. In response, SupplySide is launching a new virtual platform, SupplySide Network 365, which offers people and companies the opportunity to Discover, Connect, Meet, Learn and Source. 

“As we look to support the growth of the health and nutrition industry, it is evident that new thinking is required to facilitate connections, provide opportunities for discovery, and showcase innovation across the supply chain,” said Danica Cullins, brand director, SupplySide. “SupplySide Network 365 will offer a seamless year-round opportunity to develop new relationships, dig into thematic areas of interest, and much more. Stay tuned for more information and updates in the coming weeks.”

“We are grateful for the longtime partnerships and relationships we have with tens of thousands of people and thousands of companies in this great industry,” said Jon Benninger, vice president and market leader for SupplySide. “For 25 years, we have been committed to helping people and companies succeed in this market, and that commitment remains true today. We look forward to gathering again at SupplySide West 2021, Oct. 25-28.”

"While we are disappointed that we won't be welcoming SupplySide West at Mandalay Bay this year, we understand the circumstances and their decision," said Ernest Stovall, vice president of sales, catering and convention services, Mandalay Bay. "We are grateful for our relationship with this group and look forward to hosting a wonderful event in 2021."


Video transcript

Jon Benninger, vice president & market leader, SupplySide: Hello everyone, Jon Benninger from SupplySide here.

For the past couple months, we’ve been keeping you in the loop with our efforts to make the right decision about whether to hold the show in late October. After taking in a ton of input from many individual conversations across the industry, a recent survey of our past CPG and buyer attendees, and of course, the overall situation in Las Vegas, the United States, and the world, the wise decision is to cancel SupplySide West 2020 and resume the show in October 2021.

We heard a clear message about how important this show is to you and your businesses, and we thank you for that. However, your safety and well-being, your return on your investment in the show, and your continued trust are our top priorities. It is a tough decision to make, but it’s the right decision.

We are doing this now, 3 months before the show, so we can ensure the smoothest possible process. We will be refunding all paid badge and education registrations. And our dedicated sales team will work with each attendee, exhibitor and sponsor on a credit or refund plan. Answers to a lot of your questions are available on the SupplySide website, and all of us are available to talk anytime.

In the coming weeks we will share details about SupplySide Network 365, an always-on, virtual platform to enable each of you to Discover, Connect, Meet, Learn and Source throughout the year. SupplySide Network 365 will also tie in seamlessly with the in-person shows in the future, connecting you to an even wider SupplySide community. We are building SupplySide Network 365 based on input and ideas from you, our industry. More to come on that very soon.

For now, thank you for your trust, patience, partnership and encouragement as we create this future together.


Natural Products Insider logoThis piece originally appeared on Natural Products Insider, a New Hope Network sister website. Visit the site for information about ingredients, product development and regulatory issues.

Inside the Bottle Virtual Summit 2020

Inside the Bottle Virtual Summit 2020

REGISTRATION IS CLOSED - The next summit will be held on April 22, 2021. More details to come!

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Join us on August 11, from 11:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. EDT for a series of in-depth discussions and presentations from experts and thought leaders in the supplement industry.

In times of uncertainty, people seek ways to feel empowered. Today, consumers are demanding quality, transparency and efficacy in the products they purchase to support their health—and they want to know not only that products will perform as promised, but also that they were built on integrity. Now is the time for supplement companies doing it right to shine.

Inside the Bottle is a New Hope Network and Natural Products Insider initiative dedicated to supporting quality and transparency in the supplement industry. The initiative and its partners are committed to elevating industrywide best practices and telling the positive story of how supplements can help consumers take control of their health. During the Inside the Bottle Virtual Summit, we’ll explore the needs of consumers and identify actionable next steps for supplement retailers, manufacturers, suppliers and all companies across the supplement supply chain.

Sessions will include:

• Empowering consumers with supplements, the story of supplements today – market data and consumer trends
• Integrity in Supplements – How do everyday business practices embody integrity, quality and transparency?  
• The future of retail supplements round table
• Nutrition science and the trusted adviser – quality powered by science
• Industry communications strategy, consumer empowerment

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Visitor Notice: All of the sponsors may receive virtual event visitor data subject to visitor permission.



Unboxed: 9 next-gen pints, bars, pops and bites

We might be nearing the end of National Ice Cream Month, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop indulging in this favorite hot weather treat.

The truth is, there’s no one way to eat ice cream. On its own in a bowl, straight out of the pint, as a bar or sandwich, a frozen mochi-like ball, in a cone, cake or sundae; as the main event, or melting invitingly on a piece of cake or pie… 

No one type of ice cream fits the bill either. Innovation and changing consumer habits are driving product development, with many of today’s product launches reflecting people’s growing concern for their health, and that of the planet. In the frozen desserts category this translates into attributes including better-for-you treats, less sugar, more organic and cleaner ingredients, an increasing number of allergy-friendly profiles, functional add-ins like protein and collagen, and, particularly, more plant-based, nondairy alternatives.  

Feast your eyes on the sweet treats featured in the following gallery to get a “taste” of the next generation of ice cream.

Natural Foods Merchandiser

Secret Shopper: How do I know if oats are safe from mycotoxins?

Getty Images Secret Shopper: How do I know if oats are safe from mycotoxins?

Natural Foods Merchandiser: How do I know if oats are safe from mycotoxins?

Retailer: Mycotoxins…are those pesticides?

NFM: No, they are toxins from molds that can grow on oats. I’ve read that they are tough to get rid of once they form.

Retailer: Yuck. Yeah, sorry, I haven’t heard about this.

How did this retailer do?

Dojin Ryu, Ph.D., mycotoxins researcherOur expert educator:  Dojin Ryu, Ph.D., mycotoxins researcher and interim co-director of the School of Food Science at the University of Idaho and Washington State University

Mycotoxins are very hard to generalize, but simply put, they are metabolites produced by fungi or mold that can grow on crops when there is excess moisture either in the field or in storage. They are most commonly found on cereal grains but also peanuts, tree nuts, green coffee beans and some wines.

Although food processing techniques typically kill mold, mycotoxins still persist. The thing is, though, not every mold produces mycotoxins, and while there are hundreds of mycotoxin strains, only a few are toxigenic. Those strains tend to be regulated, so assuming food manufacturers follow federal guidelines, any amount of mycotoxin present in a food product will be below legal limits, meaning it won’t cause harm. By and large, consumers in the U.S. are very safe and don’t need to worry about mycotoxins impacting their health. 

Other than trusting that the system works as designed, there is no way to know whether mycotoxins are present. That said, the one thing consumers can do is diversify their dietary sources and not rely on any single staple food too heavily. For instance, if you ate multiple bowls of oatmeal or an entire can of peanuts every single day, then it’s possible you could run into a problem. But with a normal diet, there should be no problems.