Natural Products Expo West, produced by New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton, announced the successful wrap-up of its 33rd annual event. The Expo showcased a record number of 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.
Topping both exhibitor and attendee records, Natural Products Expo West drew more than 63,000 industry members and 2,428 exhibiting companies at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 7 to 10, 2013 in Anaheim, Calif. Engredea and Nutracon, the ingredient and supply chain's most comprehensive trade show and conference were colocated with Natural Products Expo West.
Expo West is the largest of Penton's 60-plus annual trade and professional events.
"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."
Whole Foods Market announced at the event its commitment to full genetically modified organism (GMO) transparency by 2018. "This compelling news is an important next step for the industry, possible legislation and ultimately consumers," said Fred Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media.
Supporting this product labeling rally, the National Cooperative Grocers Association also made connections with a majority of its suppliers at Expo West asking that they follow the guidelines set forth by Just Label It.
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, Linder said.
The NEXT pavilion, part of New Hope Natural Media's new NEXT Natural Products Industry Accelerator program to support emerging natural brands, featured innovative new products, and added to the event's buzz. "The NEXT Accelerator provides the information, tools, community and connections needed to cultivate the next generation of natural products entrepreneurs," Andersen added.
Natural Products Expo West 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 of Natural Foods Merchandiser and 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."
The official Natural Products Expo West "Best of West: Press Award" went to Justin's Nut Butter, dark chocolate organic peanut butter cups; Aculief, wearable acupressure and Zing Anything, citrus water bottle.
For ongoing industry news and coverage of Natural Products Expo West visit NewHope360.com. For new developments in the launch of the NEXT Natural Products Industry Accelerator, designed to give entrepreneurial brands searchable access to the information, tools, service providers and networking contacts they need to launch and grow their natural products businesses, visit NEXTknows.com.
Natural Products Expo East 2013 will return to the Baltimore Convention Center, Sept. 25 to 28, 2013 in Baltimore. Follow @NatProdExpo or #ExpoWest on Twitter for ongoing conversations or connect on our Facebook or LinkedIn groups to keep up with our latest developments.