BOULDER, Colo., Jun 19, 2006 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Organic and natural products are big newsmakers this year as natural products sales in the United States grew 9.1% across all retail and direct-to-consumer sales channels in 2005, topping more than $51 billion. At the epicenter of this thriving industry is Natural Products Expo East, the largest East Coast trade show for this industry and a "must-attend" for retailers and journalists. Held at the Baltimore Convention Center, produced by New Hope Natural Media and co-located with Organic Products Expo-BioFach America and the Healthy Foods Conference, this year's show features a bevy of "firsts," including:
-- New dates. Held October 4-7, 2006, this year the show floor is open Thursday-Saturday, with educational seminars beginning Wednesday, October 4.
-- New products. New products in this industry are launched at Natural Products Expo East. The New Products Pavilion and New Products Theater (sponsored by UNFI) offers sampling, ordering and more information for thousands of brand-new products. The 4th Annual New Product Showcase Awards highlight the most popular new products of the show.
-- New events and features. New events this year include an Organic Harvest Festival, a benefit for the Organic Farming Research Foundation, sponsored by Organic Valley; Club 21 Casino Night; and a Women in Naturals roundtable breakfast. Also new is a Decadence Bar featuring culinary classics with a natural and organic twist.
-- New partnerships. In partnership with the National Nutritional Foods Association East, Natural Products Expo East will debut new workshops and events developed specifically for independent retailers.
-- New experts. Natural Products Expo East offers a full slate of educational seminars and expert speakers. Marion Nestle, Ph.D., MPH from New York University, will keynote Natural Products Expo East and the Healthy Foods Conference ( www.healthyfoodsconference.com).
New Hope Natural Media is a division of Penton Media Inc. (PTON) , a diversified business-to-business media company that provides high-quality content and integrated marketing solutions to more than a dozen industries including natural and organic products.