Panellists in the first of a new series of Natural Products Virtual Roundtable discussions told Natural Products Global editor Jim Manson of their pride in “everything the health food trade is doing in the Covid crisis”… and why they are “sure the sector will thrive again as we emerge from this”. 

The first of the new Roundtable series brought together the editorial and publishing teams of NPG’s UK sister title, Natural Products News, to discuss the theme ‘The new normal: The health food trade in the lockdown and beyond”. 

NPN editor, Rosie Greenaway, said: “I feel so incredibly proud of our sector, and the way that everyone has responded to this completely unprecedented challenge.”

Commenting on the magazine’s approach to covering the crisis, she said: “We aimed to combine reporting on the wider picture concerning the Covid crisis, where it impacts on our industry specifically, but also to ensure we are covering the positive developments, and the way our community has pulled together to support each other”. 

NPN’s deputy editor, Jane Wolfe, said that “sense of community that has always been evident in the independent health food sector is even more noticeable”. She added: “Health stores are doing what they do best – serving their communities and supporting people’s ability to self-care. Hopefully this will enable them to retain some of the new customers … when the crisis is over.” 

NPN and NPG publisher, Dominic Roberjot, said that suppliers and brand owners faced a “dilemma ensuring they can supply their existing customer base, at the same time juggling enquiries from lots of potential new customers, many of those online”. He added: “A lot of the companies that I’m talking to are reporting that they are selling a lot of products at the moment. The biggest immediate challenge, frankly, is keeping up with demand”. But he said that supply chain issues, and shortages of in-demand ingredients, were presenting a challenge. 

“Moving forward, I think independent retailers will be in a strong position because they will have built up loyal support over this period within their local communities. So when we get through this, I’m sure the health food retail community can thrive again”.