Ingredient Marketplace 2014: What to Expect

Why the name change? Because this show is all about the ingredients.

The freshly named Ingredient Marketplace-formerly SupplySide Marketplace and, before that, SupplySide East-is expecting an estimated 4000 tradeshow visitors and 300 exhibitors next month. And attendees can expect a greater focus on food and health ingredients at this event than at other Virgo tradeshows such as SupplySide West. After all, it was a big reason for the renaming strategy.

“SupplySide West is the gathering place for the industry, where we have golf tournaments and parties and committee meetings and association events,” says Jon Benninger, vice president of the health and nutrition network for Virgo Publishing LLC. “Ingredient Marketplace, however, is focused on just that-connecting buyers and sellers of ingredients.”

Aside from the hundreds of expo booths, the highlight of Ingredient Marketplace will likely be its “Trends In” presentations. Straight down the main entrance to the exhibitor hall, Virgo will erect a podium for featured speakers to shed light on what Virgo thinks are today’s most trending ingredients: omega-3s, probiotics, protein, amino acids, magnesium, sweeteners, antioxidants, vitamin E, and carotenoids. The decision to feature these particular ingredients was the result of consumer feedback from previous shows, as well as content consumption at Virgo’s family of ingredient websites.

Exhibitors at Ingredient Marketplace will largely highlight products intended for human consumption, but don’t expect pets to be overlooked this year. Many of these exhibitors supply pet ingredients, too. For a separate registration fee, show visitors can attend a unique Petfood 2.0 Market Insights Workshop. The workshop will serve as a sort of teaser for Virgo’s Petfood 2.0, a new tradeshow taking place in September that will be dedicated exclusively to the science of formulating, distributing, and packaging of pet health products.

“If the pet food industry is in your future, this workshop will give you the things you need to know from a compliance standpoint,” says Benninger. “We’ll help you make sure you’re compliant with FDA, AAFCO (The Association of American Feed Control Officials), and all of the state-level regulators that regulate ingredients that go into pet foods and pet treats. We want to make sure that the companies at our show-both ingredient suppliers and finished companies-have the information that they need for the animal side of the business.”

Right now, it’s safe to say that the debate over genetically modified ingredients is influencing both the human and pet sectors of food and nutrition. For this reason, Ingredient Marketplace visitors who attend early will have a chance to sit in on the show’s keynote speaker Greg Jaffe, director of biotechnology for the non-profit organization Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI).

“We’re really excited about this, because the GMO issue is big and it affects everybody,” says Benninger, “from legislative activities at the state level to companies trying to make decisions about what ingredients to use in their products. I think Greg really brings a balanced view to this discussion, and it’s going to be important for every company to have a strategy outlined against where things are going with GMOs.”

If you haven’t registered for Ingredient Marketplace yet, it isn’t too late!