From Nov. 12-16, nearly 12,000 leaders and decision makers from around the world attended SupplySide West in Las Vegas—an 11 percent increase from 2012’s record-breaking turnout. The Expo Hall Floor was the show highlight and featured over 1,700 booths offering more than 10,000 ingredients, technologies and services.
I was able to attend this year and walk the floor of the expo. I had the opportunity to visit the Bioenergy Life Science booth. Aside from featuring their Olympic-gold athletes, Susan Francia and Billy Demong, they featured their food and beverage ingredient, Bioenergy Ribose. Bioenergy Ribose is a functional ingredient that is easy to incorporate into food and beverage formulation and enhances a product’s nutritional profile. It has been proven effective as a functional ingredient by providing faster energy recovery, increasing energy reserves, building ATP in skeletal and cardiac tissue, maintaining healthy energy levels in heart and muscle tissue, and regenerating energy. With over 1,700 booths to walk around, I was definitely reenergized with their samples of dark chocolate truffles and fruit chews.
Another booth I visited was Solazyme, where they were featuring their Whole Algal Flour—a nutrient and lipid rich-whole ingredient. The ingredient is an alternative to allergenic ingredients such as dairy and eggs and allows for a significant improvement in nutrition, while maintaining the overall texture of full fat foods. I was impressed with the test and control chocolate beverage sampling of the ingredient. The first sample I tried was the control, which I found out was a brand-name chocolate milk and the second sample I tasted was the test, which was a chocolate beverage made with the Whole Algal Flour. After tasting both samples, I preferred the test sample because the texture was a lot smoother and silkier than the name-brand chocolate milk and the taste was delicious.
In the two days I walked the show floor, I noticed a few ingredient trends: an emphasis on natural colors and flavors; probiotics with GRAS affirmation and for use in a wider range of product applications; omega-3s from both vegetarian and marine sources; and botanical ingredients. As we get closer to 2014, it will be interesting to see if these trends continue at trade shows and/or what new trends will surface.