NNFA Annual Trade Show and Convention Grows Again

Sen. Harkin delivers stirring keynote; Taylor assumes NNFA presidency

WASHINGTON, D.C. (August 2, 2005) — The National Nutritional Foods Association’s 68th annual convention and trade show, held July 15-17 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian Resort Hotel in Las Vegas, Nev., continued a growth trend by attracting more retailers than the previous year and increasing attendance overall.

“We’ve once again capitalized on a formula for success that delivers qualified buyers intent on placing orders and discovering the latest, most innovative industry products in a wide variety of areas,” said David Seckman, NNFA’s executive director and CEO. “Our show continues to attract the core natural products retailer in the growing numbers that our exhibitors want to see.”

In its second year at the Sands and Venetian location, NNFA’s 2005 showed an almost two percent increase from 2004 in overall attendance at 7,439, with a 3.3 percent increase in retailer attendance.

NNFA was honored to host Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) as the show’s Saturday morning Keynote speaker. A long-time champion of the natural products industry, Harkin emphasized the need for active participation in the legislative process to maintain access to dietary supplements. He also addressed recent unwarranted concerns about Codex Alimentarius and the Central America-Dominican Republic-United States Free Trade Agreement, or “CAFTA,” noting that “Any new law applying to supplements will have to go through the United States Senate. And I assure you that Senator [Orrin] Hatch [of Utah] and I will not let any international guidelines define what supplements can be made available here in the U.S. market.”

Taylor Assumes NNFA Presidency
At Sunday’s Annual Business Meeting and Breakfast, David Taylor of Nature's Harvest Market & Deli in Florida was sworn in as NNFA’s new president, taking over the position from Paul Bennett of Harvest Moon Natural Foods in Kansas. Taylor, who had served a year as president elect, began a two-year term, which will end at NNFA’s 2007 annual trade show. Bennett will continue to serve on the NNFA board for another year as past president.

Outstanding Achievements Honored
Just before the senator’s keynote address, the Socially Responsible Retailer Awards were presented to The Fruitful Yield Stores in Illinois; Rainbow Blossom, Inc. based in Kentucky, and PCC Natural Markets in Washington. The Socially Responsible Retailer Award recognizes NNFA member companies that excel in integrating social responsibility in multiple aspects of their businesses including volunteerism, education, employee empowerment, environment and health.

Other award winners at NNFA 2005 included: Robert Ullman (President’s Award), Dr. Philip J. Landrigan (Rachel Carson Environmental Award), and Dr. Richard Anderson (Burton Kallman Scientific Award). Recipients of the NNFA Clinician Award were Dr. Sidney Baker and Christopher Hobbs. Winners of the NNFA Crusader Awards were Susan Haeger of New Hope Natural Media, Aubrey Hampton of Aubrey Organics, Jim Hopper, formerly of Tree of Life, Carol Simontacchi of Island Nutrition Center, and Mark Stowe of Nutrition Cottage, Inc.

Recognizing the best booths on the show floor, NNFA presented awards to the following exhibitors:

· Best Theme: Earth

· Best Multiple Booth: Valerie Saxion’s Silver Creek Labs

· Best Single Booth: Chrysantis, Inc.

· Best Island Booth: Irwin Naturals/Nature’s Secret

· Best Display of Product: Michael’s Naturopathic Programs

The People’s Choice Awards, where retailers sample and rate exhibitor foods in a blind taste test, went to the following:

· Baked Goods (Non-Sweet): Comfy Cuisine All Natural Cheese Pizza (Carbs-A-Weigh, Inc.)

· Cold Beverages (Meal Replacement/Protein): Slim Smart Beverage (Grandma’s Herbs)

· Snack Foods (Sweet): Midnight Gold Classic Truffle (Queen Bee Gardens)

· Snack Foods (Non-Sweet): Comfy Cuisine All Natural Pepperoni Pizza (Carbs-A-Weigh, Inc.)

· Cold Beverages (Nutritional): Young Energy Beverage (CSI)

· Energy Bars: Cranberry Crunch Bora Bora Bar (Wellements)

New Board Members Sworn In
Also at this year’s business meeting, new members of the national board were announced and sworn in. Filling five Supply Council seats were Jodi Billet, executive vice president of Country Life in Hauppauge, N.Y.; Jane Drinkwalter, vice president of sales for Vitamer Labs in Lake Forest, Calif.; Harvey Kamil, president of NBTY in Bohemia, N.Y.; Rory Mahoney, COO and general manager of Nature’s Way Products in Springville, Utah; and Sharon Sherman, president of PetGuard in Green Cove Springs, Fla.

Newly elected to the Retail Council was Cheryl Hughes, owner of The Whole Eatery in Lancaster, Calif. Tom Sokoloff, owner of Paradise Health Foods in Palm Bay, Fla., joined the board from the NNFA’s Southeast region.

NNFA 2006 will be held July 14-16, 2006 at the Sands Expo and Convention Center and The Venetian Resort Hotel. For information about exhibiting, contact NNFA at (800) 966-6632, ext. 237 or e-mail [email protected]. Look for upcoming information on NNFA 2006 at www.nnfa.org.

About NNFA

The National Nutritional Foods Association (www.nnfa.org) is the nation’s largest and oldest non-profit organization dedicated to the natural products industry. NNFA represents more than 8,000 retailers, manufacturers, wholesalers and distributors of natural products, including foods, dietary supplements, and health/beauty aids.

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