More than 21,000 industry members, including retailers, journalists, pioneers and entrepreneurs, explored more than 1500 booths to find the leading natural products of tomorrow at Natural Products Expo East/Organic Products Expo-BioFach America (www.expoeast.com), held Sept. 23-26, 2009, at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center.
“The importance of face-to-face meetings was validated by unparalleled exhibitor access to Northeast market retailers, with an average of 12 buyers for each exhibiting company,” said Erica Stone, show manager for Natural Products Expo East.
Natural Products Expo East hosted the 7th Annual New Products Showcase Awards and commended the following winners for new natural, organic and healthy products: Rescue Balm by Nelsons (Health & Beauty category), Mango Orange Pineapple Kefir by Redwood Hill Farm & Creamery, Inc. (Food), Yummi Bears Organics by Hero Nutritionals (Supplement/Herbs), Verterra Dinnerware/4 Square by Verterra LTD (Green/Environmentally-friendly), Organic B.R.A.T. by B.R.A.T. Diet, LLC (Most Innovative), Organic Honey by Honey Bunny, Inc. (Best Packaging), and Pumpkin Pie Soda by Maine Root Handcrafted Beverages (New England’s Best).
Natural Products Expo East launched the 25% Club to support a drive for increased buying activity. This program rewarded exhibitors offering discounts of 25 percent or more on orders placed at the show. Rewards included $250 toward entertaining clients, show labor vouchers, and increased promotional exposure.
“This was really an incredible show because the buyers were of such high caliber,” said Hugo Saavedra, president and founder of Hugo Naturals.
Additionally, editors and experts from New Hope Natural Media’s Natural Foods Merchandiser, Delicious Living, Functional Ingredients and Nutrition Business Journal, scoured the 300,000 square feet of show floor to identify the following top trends:
• Hot new ingredients included coconut oil, lavender, maqui, agave nectar, and ancient ingredients such as salba grain.
• Superfood producers continue on their quest for even higher levels of antioxidants, omegas, and other functional benefits and probiotics were found in drinks, powders, yogurts, cereals, and bars.
• Gluten-free products were found outside of the baked goods aisle; low-calorie and lower sugar were strong, especially in beverages.
• Dairy-free and nut allergy avoidance were also hot topics. Transparency of sourcing and a commitment to social and eco-responsibility were popular across many product categories.
• Value products were introduced to react to tightened budgets, and packaging trends included mini-sizing, portion control, and squeeze-packs or pouches, especially for kids.
Next year’s event will be held at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center, October 13-16, 2010.
New Hope Natural Media (www.newhope.com), a division of Penton Media Inc., the leading media resource and information provider for the natural, organic and healthy products industry, with print, in-person/event, and e-business products and services. Penton Media is the largest independent business-to-business media company in the U.S., serving more than 6 million business professionals every month. The company’s market-leading brands are focused on 30 industries and include 113 trade magazines, 145 Web sites, 150 industry trade shows and conferences, and more than 500 information data products. Headquartered in New York City, the privately held company is owned by MidOcean Partners and U.S. Equity Partners II, an investment fund sponsored by Wasserstein & Co., LP, and its co-investors. For additional information on the company and its businesses, visit www.penton.com.