Natural Products Expo West Shows How to do Business Naturally
From its humble beginnings 34 years ago of only 200 booths, the 2014 Natural Products Expo West show saw its largest numbers to date.
More than 65,000 attendees visited 2,600-plus exhibits and just over 415,000 square foot of showfloor space at a convention center that embraces sustainability.
“The Anaheim Convention Center has been an incredible partner for us,” said Adam Andersen, group show director, New Hope Natural Media.
He added, “There has been great investment in sustainability by the convention center, from being LEED-certified to the planned installation of solar panels, to using compostable utensils and collecting bio kitchen waste. It has allowed us to walk our own talk as well as demonstrate you can have a green show that thrives. The proof is in the attendance and we could not be more pleased.”
Natural Products Expo West ran from March 6-9 and the hot topics included GMO labeling, food accessibility and food that is both convenient and healthy.
“There is a lot of focus on how to speak to, and reach, consumers for healthy eating and living,” Andersen said.
He added, “This is a key focus for both large and small businesses – working on food labeling to provide information consumers need to make healthy choices.”
First-time attendee Sara Arscott, Ph.D., manager of Clinical Research at Standard Process, had her assignment for the show.
“My first priority has been to take in the show information, both from the exhibits and the educational sessions,” she said. “With so much information and engagement, it can seem overwhelming, but I am excited to immerse myself and soak in all the show has to offer.”
Attendee Feather Jones, owner of Sedona Tea Blends and docent on the Herbal Tour Walk, said, “The show to me is so critical, as it provides information and experts from plant to plate. I appreciate the opportunity to come out to the Fullerton Arboretum with attendees to educate them and see that conversation continued throughout the show.”
A new feature at the show was the “Pitch Slam”, where nearly 300 entrepreneurs participated in pitching their products “Shark Tank” style to industry leaders and companies. These smaller companies rose to the challenge with products and marketing that matched larger and more mature companies in terms of sophistication.
For many of these entrepreneurs, Natural Products Expo West was the clear choice to launch their product.
Exhibitors and owners of Modern Table Meals, Jennifer Eiseman and Gulbin Hoeberechts, said, “For our company and product launch, we knew this show was the place to do it. We have been able to meet with consumers, distributors, grocery channels, and press, all in one place. This has been a great experience for us.”
Natural Products Expo West 2015 will be held March 6-9 at the Anaheim Convention Center.