A Real Virtual Reality

We’re nearly three months into the COVID-19 crisis and people have made vast adjustments to their personal and professional lifestyles. Many of us are working from home. This will be our new normal until there is widespread treatment or a vaccine. And, it is clear that our world is being permanently changed and altered in ways we cannot fathom.

There are patterns emerging as many of us work in this new culture. We no longer have the ability to connect in person as we’ve entered a world without business travel, events, conferences, and meetings as main business development vehicles.

Here at Industry Transparency Center we’ve taken a look around to find a unique opportunity to drive solid value to our community. We wanted to do something unique and insightful that uses all of our experience and expertise, one that captures current issues, but also takes into account the realities that are likely to emerge months and years out. With this in mind, we are excited to present a virtual conference produced in collaboration with WholeFoods Magazine titled Taking Control of the Immunity & Wellness Marketon June 11 and 12th.

The dietary supplement and natural products marketplace is doing reasonably well relative to many other categories. Consumers seem interested in the chance to take back a bit of control over their personal health and wellness. By far the largest jump in activity is in the immune health area, with sales increases being reported in Vitamins C and D, as well as prebiotics and probiotics, zinc, and elderberry products. As NutraIngredients stated “This is the world’s biggest advertising campaign, bar none. A self-directed advertising campaign is a wonderful thing, but on several occasions my industry friends have asked me “how real is this and what’s after the bump?”

Predictably in this current wave, new entries (and claims) are emerging, some substantiated, others merely hype, and we are seeing product quality across the spectrum; adulteration has increased dramatically, reports indicate. Yet if the patterns we saw a decade ago from 2008 and 2009 prevail the current uptick may be sustained – if we do things properly. We saw during the 2009 recession that as jobs and insurance benefits were lost consumers turned to dietary supplements, leading analysts to label our industry essentially ‘recession-proof’.

Will that occur and for which categories this time? Will it really be immunity? Our plan in this virtual conference series (yes, we envision a series to take us through the months ahead) is to deliver top-level education that provides deep insights into these questions in an engaging environment that can be consumed conveniently.

We know that information without insights and practical takeaways is not particularly helpful, that there are lots of webinars you could attend, and that your time is as valuable as it always has been. This conference is intended to deliver hard-hitting practical information to a very unique audience that combines the reach of WholeFoods Magazine across the spectrum of ingredient to brand to retailer, alongside the community built and nurtured by ITC. 

It’s never been more important to deliver quality leads. We plan to do that.

One industry colleague commented to me last week that his sales reps are having lots of virtual meetings, but with people they already know. There has never been a better time to get out in front of new candidates, especially those that are planning strategically, and our focus in this conference is really on high-value engagement. The conference platform even has a robust scheduling tool where sponsors indicate their availability, and conference attendees can block meeting times, in addition to participating in debate, Q&A, and chat.

This event on immunity and wellness is the first in a series we’re producing with WholeFoods Magazine. The combination of our content and insights teams is stellar, we know how to deliver actionable insights, and hope you’ll join us as we launch this high return series.

These are challenging times, make no mistake. These are also the times when dynamic and sustained market shifts occur, and agile and forward-thinking companies can seize advantage at the same time as cementing relationships, which have never been more important.

Join us on June 11 and 12. Wellness has never been more important, and immunity is top of mind.