ANAHEIM, Calif., Mar 8, 2004 -- No longer a niche, natural and organic products continue to soar. The 23rd annual Natural Products Expo West, which took place here March 4 - 7, demonstrated the seemingly unstoppable growth of the natural products industry in the United States. More than 2,500 exhibitors and 36,000 attendees from 86 countries crowded the Anaheim Convention Center to display or shop for the latest food, beverage, supplement and personal care items. More than 13,000 retailer/buyers attended the tradeshow, which is an increase of 18 percent over the previous year's show.
"Natural Products Expo West is the largest natural products tradeshow in the North America," said Fredrik M. Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media, producer of the trade show. "We're seeing better science and manufacturing quality every year. The industry's trends continue to impact the mainstream and appeal to a broad spectrum of consumers who are concerned about health and wellness."
-- Low-carb foods will be the hot trend this year as evidenced by
the record number of booth exhibits offering samples of
everything from breads to sweets and snacks
-- Supplements manufacturers responded to the recent ephedra ban
by offering new, ephedra-free products
-- Manufacturers responded to the Baby Boomers' desire to stay
youthful with supplements, personal care and physical fitness
-- Organic and natural foods are increasingly being accepted into
mainstream foodservice. Since the first Mad Cow was discovered
in the United States in December 2003, restaurants have sought
natural and organic beef, as it is perceived to be less risky
than conventional beef, carving out an emerging trend of
healthy fast food and even organic products custom designed
for food service
All of these trends are tied to the first link in the manufacturing production chain: ingredients. SupplyExpo, the raw materials tradeshow, and Nutracon, an executive-level conference, also showed increased attendance numbers that were more than double last year's figures.
Retailers did brisk business with exhibitors. "We wrote more orders at this show than we have at any shows in our history," said Paul Howland, buyer for Bashas' Supermarkets, based in Arizona.
New Hope Natural Media is a division of Penton Media, Inc. (OTCBB:PTON), a diversified business-to-business media company that provides high-quality content and integrated marketing solutions to the following industries: health/nutrition and natural and organic products; aviation; design/engineering; electronics; food/retail; government/compliance; business technology/enterprise IT; leisure/hospitality; manufacturing; mechanical systems/construction; supply chain.