February 22, 2023
With more than 3,000 exhibitor booths, 510,000 square feet of show floor and tens of thousands of attendees, it takes a dedicated team of professionals with diverse skills to ensure that Natural Products Expo West is an all-around success. Representing education to operations, client services, sales, marketing, design, standards, content and more, these and other New Hopers work behind-the-scenes—for months and sometimes even years in advance of a show—to make sure each expo runs smoothly, and to support New Hope’s mission statement to cultivate a prosperous, high-integrity CPG and retail ecosystem that creates health, joy and justice for all people while regenerating the planet.
This Expo West Show Scoop series highlights some of the many people at New Hope Network who make it all possible.
Here, Standards Director Michelle Zerbib shares what she loves about her job, Expo West and her tips for a successful show.
In one sentence, tell me about your job at New Hope? I review product labeling and marketing for compliance with the New Hope Network Standards for those products to be approved for exhibit at Natural Products Expos.
How long have you been doing this? 19+ years. Nov. 1, 2023 will mark 20 years with the New Hope Network standards team.
What do you love about your job? The people I work with, the brands I educate, the variety of products I review keeps the work so interesting. All of this keeps me returning each workday to do more.
What do you wish people knew about Standards? To our exhibiting brands, you definitely want the word on noncompliance about your products labels coming from us rather than the FDA. We’re here to help you stay clear of the FDA’s radar.
What’s your favorite thing about Expo West? It’s huge! So much to see, so many people to meet or catch up with, so many products to sample. I love our industry gathering!
What’s your least favorite thing about Expo West? It’s huge! Beware, with so many samples to try, too many different types of foods can lead to stomach upset. But wait... there are supplement samples for that too.
What’s the one thing you cannot live without at EW? Seeing what’s new from my favorite brands—I am quite a loyal and a passionate consumer of many of the products offered by the brands that exhibit.
Favorite Expo shoes? Skechers! Cushy shoes with memory foam, a must-have!
Favorite restaurant in Anaheim? Thai Tangerine on Harbor Blvd. in Garden Grove.
What are you most proud of about the work you do on EW? I repeatedly experience incredible self-fulfillment from knowing that I am contributing towards the quality of our events, the integrity of the brands promoted through these events and hopefully improving consumer trust and confidence in these products as they make their choices at shelf.
What does the natural products industry mean to you? Everything—it means the world to me. The natural products industry has given me purpose, a career, life-long friendships and has had a significant impact on my own health and well-being. I cannot imagine working in any other industry.
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