We live in a culture of change—especially those of us in the natural channel. Our thirst for knowledge keeps us young and vibrant. The natural channel is built on disrupting the status quo and improving lives with quality healthy products, repairing the damage to our planet, making a sustainable difference in our community, and creating a better world for future generations. Education is at the heart of all we do.
There is an easy way and a hard way to do just about anything. Learning never ends as we strive to anticipate and exceed meeting the needs of our customers while we grow sustainable sales by providing products and services that consumers want and need. We can learn the hard way through trial and error or we can learn from others. The latter is much easier and more effective—especially when the advice comes from trusted and respected industry experts.
The show floor of the Natural Products Expo East is where ideas are shared and cultivated. Everything from the “next big thing” to new product trends are introduced. Education on the show floor typically comes in the form of brands educating prospective retailers, distributors, and other industry experts on the merits of their products and solutions. This is where the brands (exhibitors) become the teachers and the show attendees become the students.
One of the biggest challenges that natural brands have is in communicating what makes their products stand out from the ocean of other products on retailer’s shelves. Educating consumers about what's unique, different, and better about their brand is only half of the battle. They first need to convince retailers that their products belong on store shelves. One of the biggest and most important strategies that all CPG brands tend to overlook is the brand’s ability to grow sales for the retailer by increasing market basket size and driving foot traffic into the retailer’s stores. Unfortunately, most brands are more concerned about getting on the retailer’s shelf than staying on them for the long-term. This is especially true in natural. Natural brands need to do a much better job of helping retailers sell their products while growing category sales.
Expo also offers innovative workshops and seminars led by industry experts and thought leaders on a wide variety of topics. You can learn most everything about whole food supplements, GMO-labeling, digital strategies, consumer trends, etc. The education seminars begin on Wednesday and last through Friday during the week of Expo East. They provide an excellent opportunity for brands and retailers to learn about new trends, technologies, methodologies, and strategies to work together and better meet the needs of shoppers in every channel and in every economy. The seminars and workshops provide an opportunity for everyone to avoid the bumps and bruises that come from learning through trial and error and to learn from industry leaders.
What are you hoping to teach or learn at Natural Products Expo East this year?