Natural Products Expo West Draws Record Attendance
The 33rd annual Natural Products Expo West topped both exhibitor and attendee records this year, drawing more than 63,000 industry members and 2,428 exhibiting companies to the Anaheim Convention Center March 7-10.
The Expo showcased new natural and organic product launches, and provided the definitive community platform for brands, retailers and influencers in the natural, organic and healthy living sector.
"You truly had to be present at this year's event to experience the energy felt on the show floor and throughout Anaheim," said Adam Andersen, show director for Natural Products Expo West. "The Grand Plaza at the convention center became the natural products community's living room for four days, and is where we celebrated the industry's continued success."
Highlights of the event included Whole Foods Market unveiling its commitment to full genetically-modified organism (GMO) transparency by 2018; and the National Cooperative Grocers Association (NCGA) urging a majority of its suppliers to follow the guidelines set forth by the “Just Label It” initiative.
“The fact that so many of the brands advocating for this call-to-action exhibit at the show and are in retail stores such as Whole Foods, as well as the co-ops that serve communities nationwide, demonstrates Expo West's critical mass to push this campaign forward,” said Fred Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media, the agency that produced the event.
The event provided a unique view into the forces and product trends fueling the growth of the global natural products industry in every category, including food, beverage, supplements, beauty, household and pet products.
Three key macro forces identified at this year's event were:
- Wholegrarian Revolution: Consumers increasingly want real food over hyper-processed, nutrient-devoid fare. A few favorite brands at the center of this movement include Lyfe Kitchen, MegaFood, Made in Nature and Brad's Raw.
- Transparency: In response to growing consumer demand, forward-thinking brands are building next-generation transparency into their supply chains, manufacturing processes and packaging, as well as business and marketing practices. Leaders in this movement include One Degree Organic Foods, Vega, Dolphin Organics and newcomer Veggie-Go's.
- The Value(s) Brand: Many of today's best natural and organic companies are aligning their brands with philanthropic missions that benefit the consumer, the industry and the broader society. Examples include Organic Valley and Bhakti Chai.
Trends still prominent at Natural Products Expo West, with significantly more product options launching into the market, include gluten- and allergen-free products, sprouted foods, healthy snacks, non-dairy alternatives, vegan and paleo offerings, and healthier, cleaner kids' products.
"The natural and organic market is at the center of many of the most important and positive changes happening in food, nutrition and wellness," said Carlotta Mast, senior director of Content and Insights for New Hope Natural Media, and editor-in-chief, Natural Foods Merchandiser, newhope360.com. "We face significant lifestyle-related health problems, including obesity, diabetes, heart disease and mood disorders, and many of the solutions to these problems were on display at Natural Products Expo West."
Natural Products Expo West is produced by New Hope Natural Media, a leading media resource and information provider for the natural, organic and healthy products industry. New Hope Natural Media is a division of Penton.