For our industry, Natural Products Expo East signals the change of season—the kids are back in school; businesses are gearing up to transition into the fourth quarter; consumers, retailers and manufacturers are starting to think about the holidays: What will I buy? What will I sell? Is my newest product line going to be well received this Thanksgiving?
Resettled in Baltimore, our home city, the focus this year is less about the place and more about the people and products. I was pleasantly surprised when one of my colleagues pointed out that the strength of the Eastern seaboard’s demand for healthier products is increasing faster than the national average. The cost of ignoring Expo East is becoming increasingly high for manufacturers and retailers alike.
I am excited by the ever-increasing caliber of products showcased at Expo East. So many new trends and emerging opportunities will be represented by the brands exhibiting.
Debuting in the New Products pavilion (and among this year’s 300 first-time exhibitors) are Bum Boosa, a certified B corporation producing bamboo baby wipes; Awearables, which offers kid-friendly allergy-awareness accessories; and Frubob, the company behind a new line of natural fruit float beverages. These represent just a few of the innovative new products retailers will experience at Expo East.
In an effort to help retailers follow the innovations and trends shaping the natural products industry, the Expo East team has created a compelling and informative education program for this year’s show.
This year also marks the return of several tried-and-true Expo East programs that promote green practices, that enable participants to save cash and that encourage buying across the show floor. The Travel Green Save Green program reimburses qualified buyers and media members for using public transportation into or around Baltimore; the 25 Percent Club offers discounts of 25 percent or more on show floor purchases; and the Green Exhibitor program highlights those exhibitors that engage in sustainable practices in their booths and their day-to-day businesses.
I really do look forward to the season changing and the opportunity for our community to reconnect once again and experience everything that is special about Natural Products Expo East.