Pandemic provided chance to bolster shared values in supply chain

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Hank Schultz

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Supply chain Ethics pandemic

Careful supply chain management has helped high quality companies differentiate themselves during the unprecedented recent history of the dietary supplement sector, said one of the industry’s leading lights.

Suzanne Shelton, principal in the PR firm The Shelton Group, has represented some of the top companies in the industry over a career spanning several decades.  Her service to the industry led to her being named one of NutraIngredients-USA’s NutraChampions during last year’s awards cycle.

Shelton sat down with NutraIngredients-USA to discuss how companies have responded to the unprecedented market situation brought on by the global pandemic. Sales within certain categories soared, such as immune health products, while others withered.  But overall it was a very good year for the industry, if not for the world.

Demand spike proves to be big stressor

But with that bounty came challenges, especially in terms of supply chain management.  Many manufacturers had to deal with out-of-stock situations when suppliers ran short of specialty ingredients, such as elderberry ingredients, and the supply of even staple commodities such as vitamin C were thrown into doubt.

Shelton said with that in mind, it was companies that had already built a sound foundation and had been doing things the right way all along that stood out.

“One of the things I’ve noticed is that the companies that were really forward thinking and had solid developed relationships with suppliers and really vetted their ingredient suppliers seemed to have weathered it fairly well,” ​Shelton said.

Shelton said this stratum of companies maintained clear communication with their supply chain about demand issues.  It comes back to the values the companies operate under, Shelton said.

“Those kind of companies just really took care of each other.  One of the opportunities coming out of this is to make sure that you have really solid relationships with other companies that share similar values,”​ Shelton said.

Do you know a NutraChampion?

nutraawards 2021

NutraIngredients-USA is currently encouraging nominations for this year’s NutraChampion.  In addition nominations are being accepted for Industry Initiate of the Year.  Both of these categories are judged by NutraIngredients-USA editors and the nomination process is open to all, and of course is free.

Companies can also submit entries on their own behalf for a number of other awards categories.  For more information, watch this video by NutraIngredients-USA Editor-in-chief Stephen Daniells​.

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