We’re looking forward to an incredible two days of content, insights and interaction. Click the buttons below to reserve your seat or download the conference-at-a-glance. 

Wednesday, January 20, 2021
Nutrition for Life: Introducing the Link Between Food, Brain Development, Mental Performance and Behaviour

Nutrition for Life: Introducing the Link Between Food, Brain Development, Mental Performance and Behaviour

In our opening keynote, Alex Richardson, introduces the role of nutrition in brain development and function, and how diet impacts behaviour, learning, mood and cognitive performance. Richardson outlines the importance of good nutrition – and particularly fatty acids – for brain functioning, mood and behaviour throughout life, presenting evidence to demonstrate how dietary changes can improve learning ability and mood and may help children and adults with dyslexia, dyspraxia, ADHD, and other related conditions.


Nootropics Market: Nutrition for Memory & Cognition

Between 2015 and 2020, the market for memory and cognitive health-positioned supplements saw a compound annual growth rate of 7% globally, according to Euromonitor data. In this panel session we take a deep dive into the market, science, and applications of nootropic supplements and the implication for retailers. A series of short presentations from experts will outline key trends and new developments in the market, before our experts come together to discuss the opportunity in a panel session and open Q&A.


E-sports & Gaming: An Emerging Opportunity for Mental Performance and Agility

Often seen as a niche market, for those in the know it’s anything but. More than 2.7 billion people game worldwide – in a market estimated to be worth more than $200 billion USD by 2023. As the multi-million prizes for esports grow, a new generation of gamers looking for an edge will drive new supplement products and applications that are destined to fuel supplement growth for years. Currently underdeveloped, the gaming nutrition category is an open space for innovative brands looking to develop new markets.

  • 1:00 to 1:30 p.m. EST
  • Ted Dinan MD, PhD

Brain-Gut-Microbiota Axis and Mental Well-Being

Stress-related disorders exert a major economic impact in all European countries. The brain-gut-microbiota axis has been described as a new paradigm for advancing understanding and treatment of such diseases. There is now overwhelming evidence to support the fact that gut microbes have a major impact on central neurochemistry and behaviour, especially in stress-related disorders such as depression. Recent studies indicate that patients with depression have altered gut microbes. The reason for this dysbiosis is uncertain. Over recent decades, dietary patterns in Europe and elsewhere have undergone significant compositional changes, with increased intakes of red meat, high-fat foods, and refined sugars. Individuals who consume a Mediterranean diet have lower rates of depression, and a recent study suggests that a Mediterranean diet may have antidepressant properties. Assuming this to be the case, which components of the Mediterranean diet mediate the effects? High levels of polyphenols or polyunsaturated fatty acids are obvious candidates. It has been recommended that patients with depression or vulnerability to depression should be encouraged to enhance a plant-based diet with a high content of grains /fibres and fish.

  • 1:30 to 2 p.m. EST

Interactive Roundtable Breakouts

Join experts for a moderated LIVE ONLY 30-minute interactive small-group discussion on key topics. Select your session below.

Alex Richardson, PhD
Roundtable Host: Alex Richardson

Food, Mood and Behavior: Getting the Fats Right

This session explores the importance of dietary fats in brain development, and the importance of ongoing maintenance of a diet rich in the right kind of fats in order to help boost mood, memory and help maintain optimal brain function for a healthy, worry free, and productive life. This session took place on Wed., Jan. 20.

Maggie Jaqua
Roundtable Host: Maggie Jaqua

Wading Through the Confusion on Adaptogens

Described by experts “an inoculation against mental and physical stressors,” research suggests that adaptogens can help us handle what’s to come in 2021. As these traditional remedies become trendier, though, there has been a muddying of the lines in terms of what qualifies as an adaptogen, and what these ingredients can (and can't) do, which can lead to consumer confusion. Join this discussion to offer your thoughts on the category. We will explore the definition of adaptogens, misconceptions about the category, and discuss best practices for companies throughout the supply chain to meet consumer demand with high-quality, effective products that deliver on their promises. This session took place on Wed., Jan. 20.

Thursday, January 21, 2021
This is Your Brain on Food

This is Your Brain on Food

Day 2 will kick off with an information-packed keynote address presented by Dr. Uma Naidoo, author of This Is Your Brain on Food. A Harvard psychiatrist who has studied nutrition and is a trained professional chef, Dr. Uma will draw on cutting-edge research to explain the many ways in which food contributes to our mental health. Learn about the connection between the gut and brain, and gain valuable insights into how a sound diet can help prevent and remedy a range of psychological and cognitive health issues, from ADHD to anxiety to OCD. Come prepared to ask your questions.


State of the World: Stressed, Tired, and Foggy Trends and Opps

Mental wellbeing issues continuing to gain prevalence across the globe. What does this mean for the food, beverage, and dietary supplement industries? This panel will offer an update on the market, with a focus on how mental health is being impacted as concerns over the COVID-19 pandemic continue. Experts will explore how brands can respond to these issues, with a look at ingredients and innovations, as well as claims and strategies for positioning products and communicating with consumers. Join the conversation with your questions.

Psychedelic Therapy: Healing Hearts, Minds and Souls

Psychedelic-assisted therapy can help heal epidemics of depression, PTSD, addiction, and anxiety. David Bronner will discuss how Dr. Bronner's Heal Soul campaign supported various efforts and organizations working to integrate these medicines and therapies.

New Ashwagandha Research for Stress, Sleep & Immune Health

The growing focus on Emotional Wellbeing over the last year has led to increased interest in adaptogens to help consumers effectively tackle increasing levels of stress, anxiety and sleep related conditions. Research has shown that Ashwagandha is able to help with these conditions, but the most recent research goes beyond that. It shows that Ashwagandha can not only decrease stress and anxiety but also shows measurable increases in restorative sleep and improvement in overall immune health. Dr. Michael Lelah will discuss how stress effects sleep and immune health and how Ashwagandha can benefit the consumers overall Emotional Wellbeing. This session is underwritten by NutriScience Innovations.

Creating a Healthier, Happier (and Successful!) Workplace

Workplace stress is the silently emerging public health crisis; a recent survey revealed that in the U.S. and the UK, there was a 27% drop in self-reported mental wellness in the workplace across all segments and populations. For frontline workers, it's an especially trying time. Leading experts offer valuable insights and tools to help companies throughout the natural products industry address workplace stress and employee burnout.

  • 1:45 to 2:15 p.m. EST

Interactive Roundtable Breakouts

Join experts for LIVE ONLY moderated small-group discussion on key topics. Please select your topic below based on interest.

Michael Lelah
Michael Lelah, PhD, NutriScience Innovations, LLC
Derek Timm Headshot_social
Derek Timm, Ph.D., RDN, Taiyo International

L-Theanine – Mood and Cognitive Health – Research and Claims

L-Theanine is known to promote a noticeable feeling of relaxation without causing drowsiness, making it a popular ingredient for stress and relaxation formulas. As the emotional wellbeing market continues to grow, l-theanine, with its long history and extensive research, can be the foundation for many products in this category, offering impressive claims around mood and cognitive health (including stress, relaxation, focus, alertness and sleep). Dr. Michael Lelah and Dr. Derek Timm will lead the discussion on the many clinically substantiated l-theanine claims that can be made with a unique form of l-theanine.

Nathan Gray

CBD & Beyond: Growing Science for a New Generation of Mental Wellness Ingredients

This session discusses the growing interest in CBD and various other cannabinoids and other modulators of the endocannabinoid system like PEA. We explore some of the core issues around the state of the science, and consider how brands and retailers can continue to evolve their offerings into this emerging space.

  • 2:15 to 2:45 p.m. EST

Virtual Networking Happy Hour & Trivia

Connect with new and old industry friends and enjoy a Naturally Informed Mental Wellness cocktail or mocktail--recipes are below!


Green Comfort (Mocktail)

Green tea is rich in polyphenols and has been known to help reduce stress.


  • 3/4 cup cool green tea
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/4 c cup crushed ice
  • Mint leaves for garnish
  • 3-5 thin slices of ginger


  • Combine the honey and green tea
  • Pour in crushed ice and garnish with the mint leaves and ginger slices
  • Take a relaxing sip
chocolate martini isolated on a white background with chocolate swirl and cocoa powder on the rim

Care-Free Choco-tini (Cocktail)

Research has shown that consuming chocolate can help reduce cortisol, a stress hormone as well as the fight or flight hormones in highly stressed people.


  • 1 oz.  Baileys
  • 1 oz. Chocolate liqueur  
  • 1 oz. vodka
  • 1 tsp. chocolate syrup
  • Cacao nibs for garnish
  • 3 ice cubes


  • Drizzle chocolate syrup around your martini glass
  • Pour Baileys, chocolate liqueur, and vodka into a cocktail mixer and shake
  • Place 3 ice cubes in a martini glass and pour your cocktail mix over the ice
  • Garnish with cacao nibs
  • Sip and say “ahh”

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