by | Mar 9, 2021

Last week, the InsightsNow team attended the Natural Products Virtual “Spark Change: Spark Brand Success” where manufacturers, service providers, buyers, and sellers, unite through a series of discovery activations and focused meetings. This online connection approach for 2021 was put together by the team at Informa/New Hope Network to take buyers and sellers along a virtual journey of product discovery, networking and education—to both address the challenges of the past year and provide a meaningful virtual platform to help us all stay connected. InsightsNow hosted a virtual booth at the show, full of information about our latest and greatest like The Implicit/Explicit Test, our CRAEVS clean label product development solution, and our new Innovation Center.

Natural Products Landscape Update

At the event we took in some big picture and some granular presentations, brushing up on the latest in natural products and natural product trends. We went to the keynote macro-view presentation “The State of Natural & Organic” with Kathryn Peters of SPINS, Nick McCoy of Whipstitch Capital, and Carlotta Mast with New Hope Network. To help prepare attendees for the year ahead, the speakers looked at increased consumer interest in functional ingredients that assist with sleep and immunity; how more people (just like our Clean Label Enthusiasts community!) are reading labels; how plant-based proteins categories are expanding; and increased focus on sustainability. All in all, the natural products industry is faring well during COVID-19, and there is lots of potential for expansion with today’s consumers.

Natural Products Certifications

We also delved into the world of product certifications, from a natural foods standpoint, in “Certifications to Support Your Mission & Bottom Line” with Kelly Perkins of Spinster Sisters, Adam Bent of Scout, Drew Schwartz of Udder Free Only, and Hannah Esper with New Hope Network. Kelly’s company Spinster Sisters produces personal care products, and while the company has many certifications (female-owned, rainforest alliance, and more) they must pick and choose where to put their energy in pursuing certifications—based on consumer desire and preference. Adam talked about his sustainable seafood company and the company’s marine stewardship council certification—and how this certification helps them win shelf space. Drew’s company, Udder Free Only, started with USDA Organic Certification and have found the organic certification extremely helpful with both retailers and buyers. It helps them get in the door with retailers by having the organic certification. It is also the most sought out certification from buyers. Our takeaway? Base the costly and lengthy pursuit of certifications on consumer and retailer market research before taking the plunge, so you resonate in the marketplace.

Upcoming Events

Spark Change from the New Hope Network in conjunction with the Natural Products suite of conferences happening throughout the year, virtually. We are looking forward to checking out the next event coming up in May, Natural Product Expo West Virtual Week. While we can’t wait to see everyone again in-person, we are grateful for these great platforms to connect with you virtually! See you there!