Natural Foods Merchandiser

Expo Briefs

Where the food aficionados gather
You pass thousands of natural products retailers, manufacturers and distributors on the Natural Products ExpoWest show floor, but how do you really get to know people in your industry?

Start with the Organic Farming Research Foundation's Meet and Greet Organic Benefit Luncheon. Bob Scowcroft, OFRF executive director, says the luncheon is "like a recipe. The key ingredient is organic industry executives and officers. It is well-spiced with retailers, nonprofit folks and farmers." OFRF expects about 400 people to attend. The event has long been billed as "the best meal you'll have at Expo." Since Chris Blobaum and Donna Prizgintas are cooking, chances are it will live up to its claim. Chris Blobaum is the executive chef of Wilshire in Los Angeles, and Donna Prizgintas is a private chef for the rich and famous of Hollywood. The OFRF lunch takes place Thursday, March 23, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in room 210 of the Anaheim Convention Center.

You don't want to miss the International Welcome Reception. This year's reception will turn its spotlight on Thailand. You can expect a delicious feast of Thai food and beverages. Bring your small talk and your appetite to the Palm Area outside the convention center from 6 to 8 p.m., March 23.

Also on Thursday evening, you'll want to go to the Organic Trade Association's annual Organic Industry Reception featuring seven guest chefs from OTA member companies, plus Chef William Smith of Aramark. They will cook up Mediterranean- inspired food from 7 to 10 p.m. in the level-3 ballroom.

More than matzo balls
A growing number of consumers are looking to kosher foods for reassurance that they are getting a clean product. Muslims, Seventh Day Adventists and Hindus also use kosher certification as a way to adhere to their own religious dietary laws. In fact, Jews who are strictly kosher purchase only about 15 percent of all kosher foods.

With that in mind, you don't have to be Jewish—or cater to Jewish customers—to enjoy Kosher World, part of the World Ethnic Market, which is co-locating with Natural Products Expo West 2006 for the first time. From March 23 to 24, you can walk around and enjoy samples of everything from kosher wine, caviar and chocolate to kosher pizza and deli food, as well as halal and ethnic foods. Give your feet a rest and exercise your brain with lectures by industry experts at the kosher educational seminars, which include buyer- specific seminars about different applications for kosher products. Seminars run all day March 23 and March 24. For more information visit

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXVII/number 2/p. 12

Hide comments


  • Allowed HTML tags: <em> <strong> <blockquote> <br> <p>

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.