This year's Natural Products Expo East ( www.expoeast.com), held October 15-18 at the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center, drew more than 26,000 industry attendees and featured more than 2,100 exhibits. The show's healthy attendance echoes the continued strength of natural and organic products nationally and in the northeast region in particular. According to Natural Foods Merchandiser's(TM) June 2008 Market Overview, the natural products industry grew 9.8 percent in 2007 to more than $62 billion in sales. Natural retailers' growth in the northeast grew 9.5 percent and accounted for nearly 20 percent of total sales in the United States.
The 24th annual gathering of the East Coast's largest natural and organic products tradeshow and conference continued to be a launch-pad for new products, showcasing the natural, organic and healthy trends of tomorrow. Winners of the 6th Annual New Products Showcase Awards were: One With Nature Soaps' Dead Sea Mineral Body Wash (Health & Beauty); Peaceworks Holdings' KIND PLUS Mango Macadamia Nutrition Bars (Food); Earth Mama Angel Baby Organics' Mama-To-Be Tea Sampler (Supplement/Herbs); VerTerra Ltd.'s Renewable Dinnerware made from fallen palm leaves (Green/Environmentally-friendly); Undercover Vegetable Co.'s Yotta Bars (Most Innovative); and Gourme Food Co.'s Gourme Mist (Best Packaging). In the newly introduced "New England's Best" category, Putney Pasta's Chicken Alfredo Skillet took top honors.
Other highlights included keynote speaker Frances Moore Lappe, author of the best seller Diet for a Small Planet, and the presentation of the Spirit of Organic Awards, honoring unsung heroes of the organic movement, which took place at the Organic Harvest Festival. Exemplifying the principles and spirit of organics, award recipients were: Anthony Rodale, former CEO of the Rodale Institute and advocate for organic farmers; Kelly Shea, vice president of government and industry relations at WhiteWave Foods Co.; LaRhea Pepper, a fifth-generation farmer and executive director of Organic Exchange based in O'Donnell, Texas; and Kevin Brussel, president of Ag Organics and superintendent of the Organic Dairy Research Farm at the University of New Hampshire.
"Boston has proven to be a fantastic host city for this show and for our clients," said Erica Stone, show manager for Natural Products Expo East, produced by New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media."We were especially pleased to provide our exhibitors the opportunity to meet with new retailers in the northeast region, and we're looking to grow this audience even further in the coming years."
Next year's show will be held September 23-26, 2009 in Boston.
New Hope Natural Media ( www.newhope.com), a division of the Penton Media Inc., is 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.