NATURAL PRODUCTS INSIDER: Ingredient Idol @SSW22—just like on TV!


By Todd Runestad


We know the most valuable aspects of SupplySide West are people-to-people connectivity and ingredient discovery. (We know because we asked.) Hundreds of booths offer the promise of finding that next provocative ingredient that can superpower your formulations to serve consumer needs and help your brand succeed in a crowded, always-innovating marketplace.

Oh sure, you can stroll the aisles, hoping for kismet via a compelling booth, perhaps running into a colleague, or setting up booth visits with old clients to see if they’ve got anything new under the sun.

What I’m most looking forward to is our attempt this year to excite, educate and entertain those looking for best-in-class ingredients that should be the foundation of your company’s efforts to develop products that have demonstrated efficacy.

Ingredient Idol is just like the TV show. It is Thursday, from 12:45-2:00 p.m. at the show floor main stage, #5670.

At the show, a panel of three savvy industry judges will hear elevator pitches from brands, pepper company representatives with follow-up questions, and then decide which ingredient is best.

While the judges are huddling to decide the winner, the audience at hand will be asked to pick their own “People’s Choice” winner.

The three health categories for which the contestants will vie are brain health, immune support and gut/microbiome.

We received nearly 70 nominations from companies around the world, and we had a heck of a time winnowing the list down to three finalists in each of the three categories.

Just looking at the submissions was quite a learning curve for all of us insiders. Pity we get to reveal to the public only nine!

Some ingredients were new innovations and others came from start-up companies with a little flash on offer. Other submissions were from legacy companies with ingredients boasting dozens of studies over many years.

Judges will focus on the science, the innovation, the market potential and the all-important X-factor.

The judges are Petra Erlandson, director of sales and marketing at Alkemist Labs; Ola Lessard, a CMO-for-hire who has put in successful stints at Barlean’s and HempFusion; and Diana Morgan, VP of global regulatory affairs for Nutrabolt and impresario for the networking group, “What’s Up with Supps.” These individuals are sharp, smart and informed. Who will they select?

Contestants are:

Brain health

  • Activ’inside: Memophenol Gamers
  • Ixoreal Biomed: KSM-66 Ashwagandha
  • Maypro: ETAS

Immune support

  • Balchem Z-life Zinc Max
  • EpiCor, a Cargill brand: EpiCor Postbiotic
  • Stratum Nutrition BLIS K12

Gut health and the microbiome

  • Clasado Biosciences: Bimuno GOS
  • Comet: Arrabina
  • Entera Health: Immunolin