NBJ Notes From Natural Products Expo West



The 30th annual Natural Products Expo West, which took place in Anaheim, California, from March 11-14, provided market analysts and venture capitalists with the fodder they need to remain bullish on the nutrition industry. The world’s largest natural and organic products tradeshow attracted more than 56,000 people from all over the world. Increased foot traffic from buyers and growth in exhibitor booth sales helped push the 2010 show over its 2009 high-water mark.

“I believe 2010 is a recovery year for the industry and the show really reflected that,” said Patrick Rea, Nutrition Business Journal’s publisher and editorial director. “But we have to remember that our down years have really just been slower than years we’re accustomed to—the industry has continued to expand." However, there were a few lingering signs of the recession. Slowed product development in 2009, which was brought about by the downturned economy, was reflected by a lack of emerging product categories at this year’s show. “You saw the continued presence of gluten-free foods, kids’ products, kambucha functional foods and some of the hot categories we’ve seen emerging for the past few years, but there didn’t seem to be one hot category everywhere you look,” said Rea.

One of the highlights observed by NBJ was Gaia Herbs’ new supplement traceability program that allows customers to go online with a purchase code to learn more about where those specific ingredients were sourced from. “I think it’s great that they’re taking the lead from food manufacturers and are promoting the traceability and local aspects that are valued by consumers,”said Rea.

“Overall, I was really struck by how much traffic there was—it was definitely more crowded than in years past,” said Rea. “You didn’t see many booths lightly manned, where in the past there were two sampling stations—this year there were four. I think companies have really made a move towards the in-person experience.” NBJ hosted its first-ever executive gathering at Expo West, which provided many leaders from supplement firms and ingredient supply companies—regulars at the annual NBJ Summit—with an opportunity to meet with leaders from the food and personal care side of the nutrition industry. Vitamin Angels, Axium Foods, Polyphenolics and Canaccord Adams assisted NBJ in providing a venue for the thought leaders to converge. “It was a good mix of industry veterans and it was nice to get everyone under one roof. I think most companies are headed into 2010 with a better outlook than in 2009,” said Rea.

Natural Products Expo East will take place in Boston, from October 13-16, 2010.

Related NBJ Links:
NBJ Video Interview: PCGA’s Janica Lane Dishes on Nutrition Industry Investment
Internet Marketing & Sales Presentations from Expo East 2009
2010 State of the Industry

Related NPI Center links:
World's Largest Natural and Organic Products Tradeshow Sets Record Attendance

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