1. What pandemic?
Despite the pre-event emails and an abundance of signs onsite, you could count on one hand the number of people wearing masks. There were also lots of hugs and up-close networking. After two years of pandemic, the community was ready to get back to something resembling normal. But the long shadow of COVID-19 was evident to see on the supplement aisles with many brands touting their immune support products. While the masks may be disappearing, immune support shows no signs of fading just yet.
2. Sleep and stress management
Two closely-related categories that benefited from the pandemic are sleep and stress management products, and these were very visible at many of the dietary supplement booths at the show, with the likes of Natrol + Jarrow (exhibiting under its new Vytalogy umbrella) and Irwin Naturals showcasing products positioned to boost sleep or help manage stress.
3. Beyond CBD
Hemp and CBD were very visible at the event – Charlotte’s Web had a huge booth – but not to the extent we saw in 2019: That event could have been rebranded Hemp Products Expo West, such was the omnipresence of hemp-derived products.
The market for hemp and CBD declined during the pandemic, and there were signs that some brands were bringing a fresh approach to the category, combining CBD with hot ingredients such as Ashwagandha and Turmeric. There was also more talk around other cannabinoids, like CBDA. Could it be that the future of CBD is CBD+?
From beauty-from-within formulations to sports nutrition products, collagen was once again very visible. What caught this reporter’s eye was that more and more brands are talking about “complete” collagen. So, it’s no longer just talking about Types 1, 2, and 3, but also adding Types 5 and 10 to the mix (see image).
This was everywhere. Everything was plant-based, but since my colleague Danielle Masterson expertly covered this topic in detail in her video yesterday, I’ll leave it there.
6. Microbiome modulation – in all its forms
Probiotics, prebiotics, and even phages were present on the show floor in Anaheim. Not as prevalent as some other indications, but the microbiome modulators were everywhere, if you wanted to look, from supplements to food and beverage, and even appearing in the personal care booths.
The phage angle is interesting – the science is still very much in its infancy, but there are brands like Deerland, with commercially available ingredients. The company, which was recently acquired by ADM, was actively promoting its PreforPro phage technology on its booth.