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Everything you need to know about the NEXTY Awards

Twice a year, the NEXTY Award trophies are bestowed on those companies that demonstrate what's next for the natural products industry. Here’s everything you need to know about the NEXTY Awards.

What are the NEXTY Awards?

The NEXTY Awards are a twice-annual awards program in which New Hope Network recognizes the most innovative, inspirational and integrity-driven products in the natural products industry. The awards are connected to New Hope Network’s largest annual natural product expos: Natural Products Expo West in March and Natural Products Expo East in September. 

The NEXTY Awards launched in 2011 as a joint partnership between New Hope Network and the Sterling-Rice Group to recognize products that aligned with trends and growth opportunities in that year’s NEXT Forecast Report, an annual insider’s guide to where the natural products market is now and where it’s headed. Since then, the NEXTY Awards have grown to become the premiere award bestowed upon companies in the natural products industry. See the past winners. 

How do we win a NEXTY Award?

NEXTY Awards are only open to exhibitors at Natural Products Expo West and Natural Products Expo East. The nomination period and judging for NEXTY Awards is completed in the two months prior to Expo West or Expo East.

Companies nominate their product by filling out a form and questionnaire on the expowest.com/nexty website. Additionally, they send samples of their product to the New Hope Network office in Boulder, Colorado, to be evaluated by a series of judging rounds. The judges, who are members of the New Hope content team and Sterling-Rice Group culinary team, whittle the full pool of nominees down to a range of two to six finalists in each category, depending on how many entries are in each category. 

From there, the NEXTY finalists move on to the final round of judging. The judges for the final round are members of the New Hope content team, as well as a rotating panel of industry judges. For the final round of judging, the judges converse, debate and in some cases even argue until they decide on the single winning product in each category.

The winners of the NEXTY Awards are kept secret until they are revealed at the expo. 

In addition, New Hope gives out five or six Editors' Choice NEXTY Awards, one in each of these categories: food, beverage, supplement, beauty product, natural living product and ingredient (Expo West only).

What’s the difference between a NEXTY Award and an Editors' Choice NEXTY Award?

New Hope Network created the category of Editors' Choice NEXTY Awards in order for the New Hope content team to reserve the right to discover those diamonds in the rough—the products that stand out for innovation, inspiration and/or integrity, but haven’t necessarily been seen or evaluated by the team yet.

The New Hope content team scours that show floor during the convention and then meets as a team the final morning of the show to decide the Editors' Choice winners, who are then awarded later that afternoon.

What is NEXTY Gold?

New in 2017, the NEXTY Gold Award will be given to one or two companies (not products) who continue to innovate and impress us with their NEXTY nominations year after year. The award will not necessarily be given at every expo—it is reserved for just those companies that hit high marks on the criteria of innovation, inspiration and integrity when we consider their product offerings and their company and mission as a whole.

The NEXTY Gold is awarded at a separate winners' reception following the announcement of the other NEXTY winners.

When will the winners be awarded?

The NEXTY Awards are given right at the winners’ booths on Friday at Expo East and Saturday at Expo West.

The Editors' Choice NEXTY Awards are given right at the winners’ booths on the last day of the show.

When will the winners be announced to the industry? 

All of the NEXTY Award winners will be announced to the industry via newhope.com the week after the expo.

What are the criteria products are judged on?

The editors and judges use these criteria to determine whether a product is worthy of a coveted NEXTY award:

Innovation: The product or company shows truly creative thinking and execution (not a "me too" approach); uses a newly discovered or rediscovered ingredient, flavor profile, technique or process; fills a legitimate (though perhaps not yet recognized) natural products market need or niche; and/or is predicted to have longer-term impact in the industry.

Inspiration: The product or company adheres to an unusual or new mission targeting an issue or problem not yet widely addressed; its message/mission is clearly communicated, focused and effective, with real, wide-reaching potential or already proven positive social or environmental impact.

Integrity: The product or company takes a creative, next-gen approach to clean ingredient(s), sustainability, transparency, traceability and safety/security.

Additionally, all products must meet New Hope Network's Ingredient Standards & Guidelines, which are the same standards and guidelines in place for all exhibitors at Natural Products Expos and Engredea.

What are the benefits of winning a NEXTY Award?

NEXTY Award finalists and winners receive a lot of industry recognition before and after the natural product expos.

All finalists receive a display tent at their booth and winners receive a trophy. The finalists have exclusive rights to use the New Hope NEXTY logo in promotions and packaging. They also receive a print feature in Natural Foods Merchandiser and inclusion in special features on newhope.com and to consumers via New Hope’s consumer brand, deliciousliving.com.

The NEXTY finalists are included in a NEXTY showcase in the convention center, as well as in the digital show directory. NEXTY winners also have access to the winner’s toolkit to maximize their award.

Read a few success stories of past NEXTY winners:

Banza
Bitsy’s Brainfood
Farmhouse Culture
One Degree Organic Food
Youtheory

How do I nominate next year?

The call for nominations for the NEXTY Awards at Expo West open in November. The call for nominations for the NEXTY Awards at Expo East open in June. 

As an exhibitor at either of these shows, look for notifications in your inbox as well as newhope.com newsletters.

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