Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailers the focus at annual NNFA show

Las Vegas may be a city best known for its casinos, bright lights and leisure activities, but for a weekend in July it will be the hot destination for the natural products industry. From July 15 to 17, the National Nutritional Food Association will once again set up camp in Vegas for its 68th annual Natural Products Convention and Trade Show. Each summer, the natural industry?s top suppliers, buyers, manufacturers and retailers head to the city not to play the slots, but to explore the latest offerings in natural foods and health products, supplements, personal care, sports nutrition and much more.

?We are anticipating NNFA 2005 to surpass last year?s total attendance of more than 7,000, and pre-registration figures are already putting us on track to do just that,? said David Seckman, NNFA?s executive director and chief executive.

Despite such growth, organizers hope to maintain the show?s one-on-one nature. ?While we have grown, we continue to achieve a well-balanced show that remains intimate while providing for ample business opportunities,? Seckman said. ?We understand that as we grow, it is vital to maintain our high ratio of qualified buyers to exhibitors.?

NNFA 2005 will feature a wide array of educational events dealing with all aspects of the industry. In-depth seminars on everything from consumer trends to drug-herb interactions will be led by industry professionals and experts, giving attendees a leg up on new scientific advancements, marketing tactics, and regulatory and legislative developments. Technical sessions, with their smaller group format, will offer opportunities for discussions with experts and peers on legal, scientific and governmental issues such as the Food and Drug Administration and product labeling and claims. Scientific poster sessions will give attendees the opportunity to meet with authors and researchers behind newly published scientific data, findings and validations. A full schedule of educational events can be found at 05/attend/educationlist.htm.

Michael T. Murray, N.D., director of product development and education at Natural Factors, the Canadian supplements manufacturer, will deliver the opening keynote address on Friday.

?Inflammation—A Natural Perspective? will cover the role that inflammation plays in many diseases and how natural medicines can produce significant clinical benefits by impacting the underlying features of inflammation.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, the show?s keynote speaker, will deliver ?Changes and Solutions: A Message from Capitol Hill? on Saturday. Harkin, a longtime supporter of the natural products industry, will give attendees an inside perspective on current and potential legislations that will affect the industry.

The closing keynote address will be given on Sunday during the annual NNFA Business Meeting, Breakfast and Awards Ceremony. The speaker has yet to be announced.

The conference will also introduce a few new show-floor activities, including the New Product Trends Theater and the Technical Session Theater. ?These interactive sessions offer attendees a convenient forum right on the show floor to enjoy engaging presentations covering the latest products and issues,? Seckman said. ?Our goal is to offer retailers information that they can take back to their store and implement immediately.?

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVI/number 7/p. 50, 52

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