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Watch: Natural Products Expo East Buyerside Chat with Earth Fare

With a mission to improve lives by making healthy food available to all, Earth Fare gives problem ingredients 'the boot' so consumers don't have to.

New Hope Network staff

August 22, 2023

3 Min Read

Headed to Natural Products Expo East in September? Get to know innovative retailer Earth Fare before arriving in Philly! Pull up a cozy (or ergonomic) chair and join us ‘buyerside’ for an in-depth conversation geared toward Expo East exhibitors.

Earth Fare is a leading natural and organic grocery store in the Midwest and Southeast, with 18 locations in seven states. Led by their pioneering "boot list"—a list of banned ingredients, Earth Fare's food philosophy ensures all food is free from artificial colors, flavors and sweeteners; preservatives, high fructose corn syrup; trans fats; and other problem ingredients. They offer the highest food quality standards in the industry, while they continue to focus on accessibility. 

Senior Vice President of Merchandising and Procurement Mitch Orland and Senior Director of Fresh and Strategy Justin Betson will join New Hope Network's Senior Retail Reporter Douglas Brown to discuss Earth Fare's approach to store standards, consumer education and new product discovery at Expo East. Get the scoop from Earth Fare on Aug. 31, and don't forget to bring your questions.

Sign up to catch the live event on LinkedIn at 12:30 p.m. ET on Thursday, Aug. 31.

Meet the speakers

Mitch Orland

SVP Merchandising and Procurement at Earth Fare

Related:Watch: Natural Products Expo East Buyerside Chat with Sodexo

Mitch re-joined Earth Fare in 2020 and is currently the VP of Merchandising and Procurement. Mitch has a long career in the Natural Foods Industry working for Wild Oats, Sunflower and Fresh Thyme markets as well as Whole Foods Market. Mitch also owned his own natural products consulting firm, Greenfire Growth Collective, where he primarily worked with emerging brands. In addition, he graduated at thetop of his class from the Natural Gourmet Institute for Health and Culinary Art graduation. He was a founding co-owner and chef at BimBeriBon-Home, an award-winning restaurant offering a gluten-free menu in Asheville, North Carolina. Mitch sits on the board of Ashville Community Yoga and is a mentor for startup companies in the Venture Asheville Program. He has been enjoying going to Expo and seeing it evolve as a force for good for more than 20 years. 

Justin Betson

Director of Fresh and Strategy at Earth Fare

Justin Betson has been a leader and an innovator within the natural and organic grocery industry for more than 20 years, developing and implementing programs to help make healthy foods accessible and affordable to consumers. Justin is currently the senior director of Fresh and Strategy for Earth Fare, overseeing perishable departments including meat, seafood and produce. In addition to his extensive background with seafood sustainability and regenerative agriculture practices, Justin leads all promotional and traffic-driving strategies and is known for forming lasting and meaningful vendor relationships. In his spare time, Justin enjoys spending time with his family hiking in the Blue Ridge Mountains in Asheville, North Carolina, and playing classical guitar. 

Related:5 takeaways from PCC Community Markets' Buyerside Chat to help prep for Expo East

Douglas Brown

Senior Retail Reporter at New Hope Network

Douglas Brown worked as a full-time journalist for daily newspapers and magazines for more than 20 years, including six years covering the White House and Capitol Hill and a decade writing about food and agriculture for The Denver Post. He now serves as New Hope Network's senior retail reporter, covering a broad range of industry sectors. 

Natural Products Expo East begins Sept. 20 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. In addition to the traditional education sessions and trade show, New Hope's

Innovation Experience debuts this year. Attendees can enjoy the Harvest Festival, Pitch Slam, a Fun Run through the streets of Philly and a concert with Grammy Award-winning musician Wyclef Jean. Learn more about Expo East's agenda, exhibitors, retail buyers and registration.

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