Natural Foods Merchandiser

Expo West turns 30

It’s a new year, and in 2010 Natural Products Expo West will be turning 30. Like many 30- year-olds, Expo West has matured significantly over the last three decades, and the natural products industry has grown right along with it.

Every year, a new group of budding entrepreneurs and seasoned industry veterans launches new products, brands and companies. This is the core of our industry and what makes it and the Natural Product Expos so great. When people ask me about our exhibitors, I tell them we have everyone from major consumer-packaged-goods companies to the person making soap in his or her garage looking to launch their products in Anaheim.

What has kept that entrepreneurial environment healthy and strong is the integrity and passion of those involved. From the beginning, this industry has relied mostly on self-policing of standards and what is considered natural. Flash forward to 2010, and we have official labels ranging from U.S. Department of Agriculture Organic to Certified Humane.

Achieving those labels has been no small feat, and many of the players who have been at Expo West for 30 years have taken a major part in that. These companies lead the way with their presence on the Expo show floor, in education sessions and with innovative products. We rely not only on our New Hope Standards Department, but on these exhibitors and attendees to give us feedback on what measures and standards of integrity they are following.

Expo West 2010 offers a variety of opportunities to keep this conversation moving forward—from listening to experts discuss the issues facing our industry today to experiencing in person on the show floor what you cannot through a computer: face-to-face interaction with the entrepreneurs and pioneers who started our industry.

Adam Anderson is the show manager at New Hope Natural Media.

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