Start The New Year Right With Ideas From the Natural Products Expo

Expo West 2017-Pictures and all rights by Peter Hsieh

Natural Products Expo West 2017

The world’s largest organic and natural products expo will return this March at the Anaheim convention center.  Natural Product Expo West (a.k.a Expo West) played host for more than 80,000 attendees and a whopping 3,100 exhibitors. Whether the consumer packaging from your favorite foods contains buzz words such as Organic, Non-GMO, or Vegan, chances are you’ll find it here at Expo West.

What’s great about visiting Expo West is not only is this a meeting destination among distributors and buyers from the retail marketplace, this is also the perfect place for new product launch for consumer products goods (CPG) based on the momentum of store demand.  Because of this reason,  you’ll have an opportunity to see (and taste!) new arrivals in your favorite grocery store.  You’ll also be able to see and taste some products that sometimes will NOT make it into the stores due to limited shelf space.  As a current worker in a specialty grocery store myself, new product launches occur more frequently than might think.  Personally, I’ve witnessed shorter than usual product life cycles. (Sorry Mario Batali’s tomato Sauce) *Do note* Expo West is an industry only event.

Expo West 2017-Pictures and all rights by Peter HsiehExpo West 2017-Pictures and all rights by Peter Hsieh

Chris Reed of Reed’s Ginger Brew Jams with fellow employees

As a first time visitor here, it can be intimidating. Every company will share their love for organic, and explain their vision with technical jargon in how they play a part in this world.  So many companies here will want to provide the best products and stand out among their competitors.   Since I was a newbie,  I gravitated towards the brands I was familiar with the first couple of days I was here.  I wanted to see the new products from my favorite companies, perhaps new flavors or different packaging.

Then I realized perhaps this was the perfect place to get out of my comfort zone.

I started to look at my favorite products but from different manufacturers. After all, anyone and everyone from the industry was here and it was definitely the best time to ask questions even if I felt intimidated. With over 500+ new exhibitors last year and even an international section, Expo West was the marketplace of marketplaces!  You can try a sip or a bite,  ask questions, and take home a sample  a LOT of samples and share with your love ones. It’s not only tbe perfect place see your favorite brands new products, it’s also the perfect place to try the ones you normally won’t buy.

Expo West 2017-Pictures and all rights by Peter HsiehExpo West 2017-Pictures and all rights by Peter Hsieh

Local restaurant B Sweet and their Nitro infused Matcha and Hibiscus Coffee

As a result of visiting this place, I wouldn’t say I am more knowledgeable but I could definitely say there are more items on my grocery list now as a result of visiting Expo West.  With so many products available, Natural Products Expo produces a yearly Nexty Awards showcasing best items from every category recognizing integrity, innovation, and inspiration.  These were the products from last year and typically sets the trends for what’s to come.

Tickets for Expo West can be found on their registration page.   If you work at a qualified retailer, distributor, or a health practitioner and register prior to Feb. 2, the cost is free. Otherwise, the attendee registration varies in cost based on the registration time category for qualified individuals. Again, this is an industry only event so hopefully you’re in the industry or know someone who will be going and be able to take some goodies home for you. There is so much to see, taste, and try. Yes, there is also a small section with organic consumer beauty goods as well.   Stay healthy and make healthy choices that will benefit you in the long-term.  This exhibit will help guide you the way to see on what you’ll be eating for weeks and perhaps years to come.

 

Natural Products Expo West

March 9-11, 2018

Anaheim Convention Center

800 W Katella Ave, Anaheim, CA 92802

 

Craft beer lover, BBQ enthusiast, Wine taster, Tequila aficionado, All 'Kine Hawaiian and occasional marathoner to burn all this off.

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