As the trickle of investments in natural and organic brands rises to a steady flow, these sessions can guide investors to a font of information. Take a look.

Douglas Brown, Senior Retail Reporter

March 1, 2024

4 Min Read
Natural Products Expo West offers investors a wealth of events

The 2010s and the early 2020s ranked as a golden era in investments in the natural and organic products industry. Startups with good ideas and decent teams routinely attracted intense interest from investors. Brands grew and grew, regardless of paths toward profitability. Even traditional tech investors pivoted over to natural and organic products, tossing money at myriad brands that seemed to at least hold some potential.

The pandemic didn’t turn off the investment spigots, although it complicated matters, as the supply chain and inflation suddenly loomed large in making every decision. But the United States Federal Reserve’s steady ratcheting up of interest rates across 2022 and 2023 turned the flood of investments into the industry into a trickle.

Yet the world of ashwagandha gummies, non-dairy caramel ice cream, gluten-free pasta and magnesium-infused hair oil carries on. Industry insiders anticipate the investment trickle soon will begin rising into a steady stream of capital.

Natural Products Expo West has always served as a magnet for people and groups with capital seeking fresh investments. The annual event brings together all the industry’s stakeholders, including investors.

Investors and those who might drop some coin into natural and organic products might be particularly interested in these Expo West sessions. For more information, visit the Expo West agenda page.

Working at the Intersection of Climate & Nature: The Opportunities & Challenges Companies are Facing Accounting for Their Efforts

This session will provide real-time case studies of projects underway that are working at the intersection of climate and nature, and the pathways companies are taking to account for this work. Hear from Organic Valley and its pioneering insetting program; Whole Foods about its insetting, carbon-abatement newly launched program with MadAg, among others.

This session will be moderated by Tim Greiner, founder and principal at Pure Strategies, a leading consultancy working with brands throughout the industry to navigate the equally complex and rewarding space at the intersection of climate and nature.

This session is part of Climate Day at Expo West and is included with Exhibit Hall Badge. It will be recorded and available on demand here one to two weeks after Expo West concludes.

Date | Time: Tuesday, March 12, 10:15-11:15 a.m.
Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom E

Keynote: The State of Natural & Organic

Don’t miss this data-packed session highlighting industry trends and consumer insights, with a focus this year on Gen-Z shoppers and the perspectives you need to empower your business in 2024. You’ll leave informed, inspired, and ready to fuel prosperity and positive impact throughout the year.

Sponsored by: Acosta Group
Date | Time: Wednesday, March 13, 8:30-10 a.m.
Location: Marriott, Ballroom Center

Using Mission Based Business as a Catalyst for Consumer Acquisition and Growth

Hear two real-life case studies of how a mission-based brand and a mission-based retailer have grown well above industry averages while delivering best-in-class experiences for their customers. Hosted by Alive Publishing’s Group VP of Publishing Nina Wagner, who provides a statistical overview of consumer perspectives on mission-based businesses, then moderates a panel style discussion with True Grace founder Kristina Hall, and Jimbo’s founder Jim Someck.

Presented by: Alive
Date | Time: Wednesday, March 13, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
Location: Marriott, Platinum Ballroom 3-4

The State of Supplements

This data-driven session will take a comprehensive look at the trends and categories that continue to drive supplement industry growth, along with key opportunities and barriers to growth for brands, retailers and investors. Also hear from industry experts what advancements in AI will mean for the future of supplements.

Date | Time: Wednesday, March 13, 10-11 a.m. Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom F

Opportunities in Women's Health

Responsible for more than $2 trillion in healthcare spending every year, women represent a vastly underserved and untapped market for supplement, functional food and beverage, and other wellness-related brands. Find out how the industry is responding to women’s unique needs and how to stand out as more and more and more brands enter this exploding category.

Date | Time: Wednesday, March 13, 12:30-1:15 p.m. Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom

The End of Business as Usual: Transforming the Food System with Regenerative Thinking

In this panel, key members of the natural food products industry will discuss how they are evolving their business strategy and reconciling their frustrations. The panelists are finding new ways to innovate their approaches to climate action, regeneration and sustainability by challenging a dominant, mechanically based theory of change that emphasizes repetition, scale, and bite-sized changes.

Date | Time: Thursday, March 14, 2:45-3:30 p.m.
Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom

NCN Investor Kickoff & All-Star Pitch Showcase

The NCN Investor Kickoff & All-Star Pitch Showcase is Nutrition Capital Network’s exclusive session at Expo West purpose-built for investors, featuring top innovators from the 2023 NCN cohort.

Attendees will also receive access to NCN’s curated list of Exhibiting Companies Seeking Capital, featuring companies in trending categories at Expo West.

Date | Time: Friday, March 15, 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom F

The State of Alternative Proteins

Alternative proteins hold the potential to deliver critical improvements to the global food system for improved sustainability, public health and food security. Join the Good Food Institute and expert panelists for a look at the current state of alternative proteins across the globe. This session will cover the latest insights on market trends, consumer sentiment, investment figures and more followed by an in-depth discussion with industry specialists.

Date | Time: Friday, March 15, 11-11:45 a.m.
Location: Marriott, Grand Ballroom E

About the Author(s)

Douglas Brown

Senior Retail Reporter, New Hope Network

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