Natural Foods Merchandiser

Events add sizzle to Hot Products Hall

Before you hit the show floor, hit Hall E at Natural Products Expo West. Opening at 9:30 a.m., a half-hour before the rest of the show floor, jolts of joe from the coffee cart will be served in free reuseable, sustainable coffee cups to early birds on a first-come, first-served basis.

"Hall E—the Hot Products Hall has a little bit of something for everyone: extra exhibits, exciting education and the all-organic café," says Monica Benway, Expo West operations manager. "Start your day and spend some time in Natural Products Expo West's most happening hall."

The hall has more than 400 booths and is home to the Healthy Ethnic Foods Pavilion. Manufacturers will be sampling ethnic foods, and Debby Eddy and Phillip Arons will demonstrate merchandising ideas for this growing category in the Hall E Theater.

Also at the theater, celebrity chefs will give cooking demonstrations. Come watch Mollie Katzen, Tre Wilcox, Laura Diaz-Brown (known to fans as Chef LaLa) and Saifon Chang work their magic on the theater's stove.

A retailer game show will be another attraction in the Hall E theater. Shannon Szymkowiak, marketing and member services manager at Whole Foods Co-op in Duluth, Minn.; retail consultant Jay Jacobowitz and produce expert Mark Mulcahy will pit their wits against each other and the audience members who will use signaling devices to record their answers. Supermarket Guru Phil Lempert will emcee.Lempert is also the featured speaker for "Trend Watch: The Future of Naturals."

Find out about the latest trends in eco-fibers as experts Barbara Filippone, Daniel Sanders and Pippa Sorley discuss organic cotton, hemp, bamboo and other fabrics for sustainable apparel.

After he gives the keynote presentation on Saturday, author Michael Pollan will go to the theater for a Michael Pollan Unplugged presentation, where he will answer questions from the audience. Following the Q&A, Pollan will sign his books in the Hall E bookstore. The bookstore will also feature other speakers' books, and books of interest to Expo attendees.

Attendees looking for a little sustenance can go to the One World Café, where they'll find a salad bar, a juice bar and a grab-and-go case. All food at the café will be organic.

If you want to feed your head, not your body, Dorset Cereals is sponsoring the Expo Internet Café, where computers and printers will be available.

Eat well, do good

The Organic Farming Research Foundation will hold the 11th Annual Meet and Greet Luncheon from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 13. Chefs Donna Prizgintas and Chris Blobaum will prepare an all-organic buffet feast for this Expo West traditional event. Enjoy wonderful food, network with organic-industry leaders and hear an update on OFRF's work and direction.

Luncheon tickets are $75, and all proceeds go to OFRF. Register at

The Organic Center will host its 5th Annual VIP Dinner from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m., Friday, March 14, at the Anaheim Marriott Hotel immediately following the Organic Trade Association's Organic Industry Reception, which starts at 6 p.m. A silent auction will be held at the reception to benefit The Organic Center.

Dr. Andrew Weil will give the welcoming presentation.

The VIP Dinner will feature a three-course organic dinner, with a variety of organic wines to accompany the meal. Individual tickets for the dinner are $175. Members of the Organic Trade Association receive a $25 discount. Buy tickets at

The Organic Center's mission is to advance credible scientific research about the health and environmental benefits of organic food and farming and to communicate those benefits to the public.


Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIX/number 3/p. 35

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.