Musings from SupplySide East – Product quality misses and more

April 18, 2018

What a sense of deja vu. Just arriving in Secaucus was enough to set me shivering a bit -and not solely in anticipation. In the old days, we’d drive down from Toronto to the Meadowlands, a solid bonus being an 8 hour built-in strategy meeting while in the car. We’d then settle into a 12 hour, 2-day show experience that was friendly, comfortable and pretty low key. And yes, productive.

Well, guess what? Very little has changed at SupplySide East.

This year, SupplySide East returned to the Meadowlands Convention Center, and despite Engredea and Expo a few short weeks ago, attendees found lots to talk about. From well before the opening bell, while waiting for the doors to open, until the first evening reception and even past, there was engagement, and an almost nostalgic feeling (ok, maybe that’s me) but a sense of solid business being done.

I had conversations that I’ve been meaning to have with people for years. I saw folks I had not seen since the last SSE in New Jersey. And the amount of time one could devote to each conversation and interaction was meaningful, something increasingly difficult to say about Las Vegas or Anaheim. There were new ingredients, ingredient science and representations. The depth of attendees on the floor was deep, far deeper than recent Ingredient Marketplaces. True to expectations, companies could and did send many people versus a sole representative they sent to previous events. The New York and New Jersey crowds came out and supported. Many did a day trip. And it was intimate and informative.

At this point, I want to narrate two specific conversations I had at the show, trying to understand some real aspects driving business in our industry. The first one occurred at one of the booths where a potential client, a relatively new market entry, asked the sales director of a branded ingredient company, “how is it that I can buy products online that are substantially below or even at a fraction of my raw materials cost?”. This pricing disparity, made even more visible and viable in the online world, continues to plague us. Not only are the products this buyer is talking about likely inferior in quality, they are probably less efficacious, and claims are not substantiated. Undoubtedly, the product promise and consumer trust is hugely jeopardized.

The second conversation involved random product testing, again, of product purchased online. In a particular category (stay tuned for more on that later), over 80% of products tested failed to meet label claim on the ingredient using current USP methods. Well, let’s ‘presumably’ all agree that this is a PR disaster waiting to happen.

It seems as if the current environment is giving companies new ways to make the choice of doing business the easy way or the right way. That’s not the signature of a mature industry. It’s also not the signature of a category with proper vetting in place. WE need to learn to do a better job of enforcing the right way of doing business and call out the “easy” way of doing business. The Trust Transparency Center and its affiliations are committed to doing just that.



Anthony Reyes
Author: Anthony Reyes

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Lori Diez

Lori Diez combines compassion and excellence to lead organizations to their next level. A small-town Texas childhood taught her the value of hard work and relationships, which she uses to foster teamwork that brings results that have transformed cultures and programs to their highest potential. Her successful career in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales leadership and event hosting has prepared her to deliver results as the COO of TrustTransparency, where she uses her industry knowledge to ensure that the company’s operations run smoothly as they support nutraceutical companies in their mission to help others. Lori’s passion for charity reflects her belief that individuals working together can change the world, no matter how small their contribution to the effort. This year, she looks forward to continuing over a decade of service at the Houston Livestock Show And Rodeo, where she will be the Chairman of the Livestock Committee.

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Glynnda Steinford, Trust Transparency Consulting’s Director of Customer Relations, brings over four decades of healthcare experience to her vital role in client engagement and relationship building. Her diverse background spans from administering medical groups to impactful stints in pharmaceutical and nutraceutical sales, all underlined by her degree in Healthcare Administration.

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Caiti Dowden stands as a crucial pillar at Trust Transparency Consulting, bringing invaluable insight and expertise to her role as Senior Executive Assistant’ since her start in 2018. With an academic background from Sam Houston University and a career shift from education to the nutraceutical sphere in 2010, Caiti has cultivated a sharp acumen for dissecting industry trends and bolstering strategic decision-making.

Her transition from Data Analyst reflects her growth and deep understanding of the business landscape. Caiti’s commitment goes beyond professional excellence; she thrives on balance, drawing from her rich life outside of work to enhance her organizational contributions. Whether it’s family time, volunteering, or rooting for Houston’s sports teams, she believes in embracing experiences to fuel her professional creativity and insight.

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Pam Hilpert, Chief of Staff at Trust Transparency Consulting, has been instrumental in the firm since its inception, leveraging her 17 years of accounting experience, including a significant tenure in the nutrition sector. Her collaboration with Scott Steinford spans various successful ventures, emphasizing her integral role in the company’s financial and strategic initiatives.

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Scott Steinford, a trailblazer in strategic leadership, boasts a certified M&A background, having navigated companies from their genesis to industry prominence. His brainchild, Trust Transparency Consulting, born in 2007, stands as a testament to his dedication to ethical business practices and strategic foresight, offering industry stakeholders invaluable guidance.

Beyond founding and steering companies, Scott has enriched the business landscape with his insightful keynotes and prolific written contributions, emphasizing his commitment to elevating industry standards. His executive tenure shines in roles as CEO or President of for-profits like ZMC-USA and Doctor’s Best, extending to significant contributions in non-profit sectors.

Notably, Scott’s influence is a driving force in the CoQ10 market, where his leadership has significantly bolstered the ingredient’s global presence. His roles in various capacities, including as a New Hope Ambassador, keep the community informed, providing in-depth industry reports and insights.

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