The changing landscape of the supplement industry impacted by covid-19

8:30 - 8:50 am

Market Trends for Immunity Products during

the Pandemic

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​Speaker Profile:

Brian Wommack, is senior vice president of communications at the Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN). He oversees the development and execution of the association's overall strategic communications efforts to enhance and protect the dietary supplement industry's reputation. In January 2020, Mr. Wommack led the Communications team to launch the "CRN Daily Supplement," a daily update for CRN members designed to provide more timely and useful information in a digestible package, implementing more visual and video communications. He was instrumental in creating and executing an award-winning education campaign, "Label Wise," to inform consumers of upcoming dietary supplement label changes and encourage overall label literacy. Mr. Wommack leads the department's response strategy on negative media and scientific studies to defend the mainstream, responsible industry. He also serves as the spokesperson for the annual CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements and CRN's COVID-19 survey. Mr. Wommack sits on the Editorial Advisory Board for Nutritional Outlook. He has more than 25 years of experience helping organizations and brands see around corners and solve problems—or seize opportunities—at the intersection of communications, public policy, and law. He draws on a long tenure as a communications consultant, a lobbyist, and a congressional staffer, and works as a lawyer.


         For over 20 years, the CRN Consumer Survey on Dietary Supplements has served as a leading source for data on the attitudes and behaviors of the dietary supplement consumer. CRN’s annual survey provides insight into the usage of specific dietary supplements, the reasons for taking supplements, purchasing factors; delivery form preferences, e-commerce habits; confidence and trust, and more. For the past two decades, we’ve witnessed steady growth and sustained usage behaviors of consumers.

         However, as 2020 has been anything but ordinary, CRN recognized that there was more to discover this year about the attitudes and behaviors of the supplement consumer. In light of COVID-19, CRN issued a separate survey focused on supplement usage and consumer behavior throughout the pandemic. CRN’s COVID-19 survey sought to discover how supplementation changed during the pandemic by looking at what ingredients consumers reported increasing and why, purchasing habits and restrictions, and how the pandemic has affected other lifestyle behaviors. Results of both the COVID-19 and 2020 surveys demonstrate how consumers are shifting their focus to more traditional supplement ingredients to support their overall health and immunity during the pandemic and in 2020.

         The COVID-19 consumer survey demonstrated that overall immune support and health and wellness benefits were the most common reasons cited for increasing supplement usage during the pandemic. And while overall health and wellness benefits remain the most cited reason to take dietary supplements (40%) according to the 2020 survey, immune health is the second most popular reason, with 32% of supplement users citing this factor as why they take supplements. It is also the number one reason to take dietary supplements for users aged 18-34 (38%).

          As for ingredients, vitamin C (61%), multivitamin (57%) and vitamin D (47%) are the top three ingredients users are taking to support their immune health. Other high profile immune ingredients like zinc, probiotics and elderberry also ranked among the top 10 list of immunity ingredients according to the 2020 survey. COVID-19 data also show how the pandemic has generated boosts in supplement intake for a subset of supplement users, particularly with multivitamin, vitamin C and vitamin D.

          As COVID-19 will continue to influence the lives of Americans, and populations across the globe, consumers are likely to continue prioritizing their overall health and wellness and experience changes in lifestyle behaviors that will affect household purchasing habits across the country in the future

 8:50 - 9:10 am

Vitamin deficiency in severe COVID-19 disease

and supplementation as a disease-modifying therapeutic strategy

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​Speaker Profile:

Jennifer Totonchy, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of Immunology and Immunotherapeutics at Chapman University School of Pharmacy. Her expertise is in molecular virology and human immunology. Her research interests include the molecular virology of gamma-herpes virus infection in the oral lymphoid tissues, and the development of antiviral compounds against human coronaviruses.


       COVID19 disease remains an enigma in which individuals undergo a broad spectrum of disease manifestations from asymptomatic infection to severe lung and vascular pathology resulting in high morbidity and mortality. The factors that influence the severity of disease in an individual remain largely uncharacterized. In this talk, we will explore the evidence for vitamin deficiency as a risk factor for severe COVID19 disease and whether vitamin supplementation can be used to alter the course of the disease.

9:10 - 9:30 am

Supply Chain issues and lessons learned during the Pandemic

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​Speaker Profile:

Heidi Goodwin is a Supplier Quality Manager for TricorBraun, supporting a broad range of customers and suppliers in the packaging industry. Heidi was previously a Supplier Quality Development Engineer at Amway/Nutrilite where she supported the Vitamin and Mineral categories but also has experience with excipients and packaging materials. Heidi was an R&D scientist for the concentrate development group, where supported qualification of botanical products, and has vast experience with analytical laboratory equipment. Heidid was also a laboratory supervisor for the Organic Chemistry Department for E.S. Babcock and Sons Inc. Heidi has a B.S. in Biological Sciences, has completed PCQI and FVSP courses and is also an ASQ CFSQA and ASQ CSQP. 


     During the last months of 2019 and the first quarter of 2020, several raw materials and components coming from China were in jeopardy due to the pandemic. It was necessary to rapidly implement programs and processes to minimize supply chain disruption.

  • Create a map/high risk areas zone and cross reference with the suppliers located in the area

  • Kick off a multi-functional team that could rapidly qualify secondary suppliers for critical raw materials

  • Implement programs to support on-going monitoring of new suppliers/materials

  • To help clarify, Heidi will present basic information and lessons learned during the initial stages of the pandemic, and current best practices.

 10:00 - 10:20 am

FDA's Foreign Supplier Verification Program 

inspection findings in 2020

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​Speaker Profile:

Marian Boardley is the founder and principal of Marian Boardley Consulting LLC, a consultancy to food and dietary supplement manufacturers and distributors in the US and overseas. Since 2008, Marian has helped over 50 companies with cGMP compliance, audits, employee training, label reviews, and claims substantiation. Her practice includes firms that have been inspected and require assistance with remediation, as well as on-going relationships to continuously improve quality systems. She is a Preventive Controls Qualified Individual (PCQI) and spent several years as an analytical chemist in flavonoid research.  Prior to joining the food industry, Marian ran several software development projects that involved database engineering, which gave her a great background in data analysis. She regularly publishes charts based on FDA data on her web site at


       Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated travel restrictions, FDA's inspection strategy in 2020 was quite different from previous years.  Instead of their standard on-site visits, FDA focused almost exclusively on remote enforcement.  This led to a new risk landscape for food and dietary supplement firms, which now includes foreign supplier verification program (FSVP) specific audits. In this presentation, Marian Boardley will illustrate FDA's findings and firms' deficiencies in the areas of FSVP and will also include other major shifts in FDA food compliance programs that happened in 2020.

 10:20 - 10:40 am

​Introduction to Virtual Audits: Useful Tools

Tatiana Miranda.png

​Speaker Profile:

Tatiana Miranda, M.Sc., is a Principal Supplier Quality Development Engineer at Nutrilite, located in Buena Park, CA.  She currently supports the Functional Foods & Beverage categories, as well as specialty dietary supplement suppliers.  She has held numerous positions in different industries including Fresh and Frozen Seafood, Bottled Water, Beer, Soft Drinks & RTE Refrigerated Products; she has also had experience in supporting and implementing FSMA, FSVP ISO 9000, 14000, 22000, BRC and NSF standards. Before Nutrilite, she was the Quality Manager with Sabra Dipping Co. and a Packaging Quality Engineer for SAB-Miller Breweries. Tatiana has a B.S. in Food Engineering, where she specialized in Biomaterials & Food Processing and a Master's Degree in Food Science.  She is an ASQ' CFSQA, and PCQI Lead Instructor, and is a HACCP Trainer by the International HACCP Alliance, and an adjunct faculty member at Chapman University. She also consults for food and beverage companies in S.California and Arizona.


       When you talk with a group of remote auditing—or eAudits—, you can hear two opposite, strong sides. Some auditors are vehemently opposed to the practice, while others are open to the idea. (JP Russell. Auditing in Virtual Environments, Quality Progress, January 2011.) What has always been the obvious benefit of eAuditing is more efficient use of resources, and the biggest enemy has been the lack of face-to-face interaction with the auditee and the environment. 

       During the current COVID pandemic, these kinds of eAudits are now being looked at as a "must" since not only companies are not authorizing travel, but regulations in different countries all over the world impede travel as well. To help clarify, Tatiana will present basic information on eAudits, resources collected from ASQ resources, and tips on how to get the basic pre work and performance of eAudits.

 10:40 - 11:00 am

What does it all mean?

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​Speaker Profile:

Peter Pressman, MD, MS, FACN, is Director of Medical Operations at PolyScience Consulting in Chatsworth, California. At PolyScience Consulting, Pressman provides clinical medical and behavioral sciences expertise in applied biotechnology and medical nutrition challenges brought by clients. Responsibilities include but are not limited to research evaluation, process design, coordination among investigators, public education and outreach, and media relations. Peter is a graduate of Bowdoin College, the University of Chicago, and Northwestern University Medical School, and was trained at the University of Wisconsin and Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke's Medical Center. After serving as Assistant Professor of Medicine, Director of Educational Programs of the Pacific Center for Health Policy & Ethics, and Associate Director of the Internal Medicine Residency Program, all at University of Southern California/Keck School of Medicine, he attended at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, and later deployed in the Developing World as a Naval Medical Officer. Pressman is active in internal medicine and surgical education, focusing on nutritional support special topics. Pressman is a reviewer for several food science, nutrition and medical journals. Through the Summer of 2016, Pressman was the Aspire Food Group Visiting Scientist in the Horch Neuroscience Laboratory at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine. He has served on the Food Additive Task Force of the International Special Dietary Foods Industries (ISDFI) and distinguished scientists representing the European Union and from the Chan School of Public Health, Harvard University.


       With the onset of the pandemic associated with COVID-19, scientific and consumer interest in nutritional supplements has significantly increased. Supplements promoting general health and resistance to viral infection and supplements that may be potential adjuncts to the management of established infection have been sought after, identified, and marketed with varying degrees of evidence both for safety and efficacy. The potential pitfalls and promises of the current nutritional supplement landscape will be reviewed, along with a discussion of some of the most intriguing products.