Natural Foods Merchandiser

Expo Briefs

Expo Spotlights Natural Foodservice
No longer must cafeteria food mean "mystery meat," or dining out mean giving up organic and natural eating principles.

At Natural Products Expo East, a new spotlight will shine on natural food products for the foodservice and hospitality industries.

"There is a disconnect between restaurant owners and [natural foods] distributors," said Sandy Voss, exhibit sales and services director at New Hope Natural Media. Voss hopes that this year's Expo will bridge that gap and show that natural products can fit into restaurants and cafeterias.

Natural Products Expo East will feature a showcase of foodservice-ready products, plus a buying guide to help restaurant owners and foodservice workers find natural and organic products for their businesses.

New Hope's Expo team also plans to host two chefs who will prepare meals with the same natural ingredients—one restaurant-style and one cafeteria-style—in Café Expo.

Red Carpet's Out for New Product Awards
What do you get when you let all the attendees at Expo vote for their favorite new products? The very best new natural items on the market, according to Amy Maisch of New Hope's Expo department.

For the first time, New Hope Natural Media presents the New Product Showcase Awards. Twenty-five consumers and 25 retailers will nominate 25 products at Natural Products Expo East on Friday.

On Saturday and Sunday, retail attendees may vote for the top new product in each of five categories: Food, Supplements, Personal Care, Most Innovative and Best Packaging.

Before the final votes are cast, finalists in each category will get display space in a special awards booth and a five-minute overview in front of the retailers, so attendees can learn about what they're voting on. The awards will be handed out Sunday.

Maisch said this event will give retailers a sense of what the hottest new products at Natural Products Expo East are. But the New Product Showcase Awards will also help exhibitors, said Maisch, by giving them a chance to gain recognition for high-quality products. For example, a product that wins one of the categories may put the award on its label, letting consumers know they have been recognized for the quality of their product.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 8/p. 16

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