Retail buyers and brands to chart the future of conscious CPG at inaugural Newtopia Now event

Featuring “Buyerside Chats,” thematic neighborhoods, cutting-edge content, relationship-building events and more, Newtopia Now is a complementary experience to Expo West designed to deepen relationships between buyers and brands in the $300-billion market for natural, nutritional, organic, regenerative and related healthy lifestyle products.

Steven Hoffman

May 7, 2024

6 Min Read
Newtopia Now Denver

Consumers from Gen Z on up are becoming more and more aware of the concept of “health span” over “life span.” They are asking themselves not just “how long am I living,” but also “how long am I living well?”

As such, demand for healthful, conscious products continues to surge. From a market estimated at $97 billion in 2007, consumer sales of natural, organic and better-for-you products have tripled to more than $300 billion in 2023, according to market research data published in March 2024 by New Hope Network.

The challenge for retailers and brands is how to continually innovate to meet the growing demands of health-minded and environmentally conscious consumers.

For retail buyers, discovering innovative, commercially appealing products and building lasting relationships with their customers and brands are paramount for success. For conscious companies, finding meaningful, authentic ways to connect and foster relationships with buyers and consumers is key to the growth of their brands.

Enter Newtopia Now.

Presented by New Hope Network, producer of Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural products industry trade show, Newtopia Now is a decidedly different experience designed to directly connect buyers and brands in a more intimate, interactive and future-forward setting.

Related:The Gist – What’s up with Newtopia Now?

Featuring “Buyerside Chats” with such retailers as Whole Foods Market, Sprouts Farmers Market, Fresh Thyme, Thrive Market, Target, The Vitamin Shoppe, PCC Community Markets, Ulta Beauty, and other leading independent, chain, conventional and online retailers, plus unique themed product discovery “neighborhoods,” Newtopia Now will be held at the Colorado Convention Center, Aug. 25-28, in Denver, CO. The event also will feature insights for retailers, workshops, consumer and market research, cooking and product demos, buyer activation opportunities, experiential networking events and more. Centrally located, Denver, along with the entire state of Colorado, is renowned for its outdoor recreation, environmental awareness and healthy lifestyles.

“We designed Newtopia Now based on input from our retail buyer community, putting connection and product discovery at the center of the experience. The key theme of the event is building authentic brand and retailer relationships. We’ve created an intimate environment where retailers can not only discover their next bestselling CPG product, but also where they can strengthen relationships with brands,” said Jessica Rubino, VP of Content for New Hope Network. “We’re positioning Newtopia Now as a gathering place for the conscious products industry.”

Related:5 things to know about New Hope Network’s Newtopia Now event


Inspiring lasting buyer-brand relationships

“A good business relationship is just a good human relationship,” said Angi Rassi, Chief Marketing Officer for Red’s All Natural, a leading frozen food and burrito brand, in a seminar presented at Natural Products Expo West in March 2024. “It's about mutual understanding and curiosity and listening. So, when I heard about Newtopia Now, I was really thrilled. I know a lot of people are like, ‘What is it?’ That's what it is. It's about forming tighter relationships and deeper understanding in a much more experiential way,” she said.

According to Rassi, understanding buyers and helping them fill in gaps and solve problems can support brand and overall category growth. “I'm always looking for common ground between what a retailer is trying to do and what we're trying to do,” she added.

Four “neighborhoods” highlight conscious product categories

Four distinct thematic “neighborhoods” will be featured at Newtopia Now, including Thrive, Regenerate, Represent and Glow. Each neighborhood offers innovative exhibits, dynamic stages, product demos and unique activations such as a clean beauty salon and non-alcoholic bar.

Related:New Hope Network's Newtopia Now: A reimagined event for the conscious CPG industry

Also, all educational seminars, Buyerside Chats and content presentations will be delivered right on the show floor. As a result, buyers and brands never have to leave the neighborhood zones, ensuring more interaction, exposure and product visibility.


The four neighborhoods at Newtopia Now include:

  • Thrive –The latest innovations in human health

  • Regenerate –The products and business models making a positive environmental impact

  • Represent – The diverse products, founders and ideas to celebrate

  • Glow – The new face of natural beauty and holistic wellness

“I think that the four-neighborhood structure is really inspired. The way you have organized the show floor [at Newtopia Now] makes me want to organize my time in a similar way,” said Angela Bozo, Director of Member Programs for INFRA, the Independent Natural Food Retailers Association, during the Expo West seminar.

INFRA’s more than 360 independent grocery retailers across the country represent over 600 doors.

“Ultimately, we bring everyone together so that we can have the same kind of volume and buying power in the marketplace that larger retailers can. I think what makes brand and retailer relationships so successful is that, at our heart, we have the shared goal of moving product, being profitable and making sure that everyone is successful and sustainable, and making sure that your business is around in five years, similar to the retailer wanting to thrive and continue to evolve with the consumer,” Bozo said.

In addition to brands having a booth and activation in their choice of the four neighborhoods, they will also feature a flagship product in The Market—an interactive retail environment where retailers can discover products based on category before hitting the show floor.

Diversity and inclusion = profitability and success

For Aurora James, Founder of the 15% Pledge, Newtopia Now is remarkable in that it provides a unique opportunity to spotlight diversity in the conscious products market. After the Black Lives Matter movement gained momentum in 2020, James received a number of calls from retailers asking what they could do. “So, I had this idea where, since Black people make up almost 15% of the population in America, major retailers should commit 15% of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. By day 10, Sephora became the first major corporation to commit to the idea of the 15% Pledge. Since then, we’ve had 29 of the largest retailers across the country commit. Through those commitments, we’re now in the process of shifting over $14 billion in annual revenue to Black and Brown founders across this country.”

In support of this initiative and overall diversity in conscious products, Newtopia Now will feature an entire “neighborhood” dedicated to showcasing multicultural products, BIPOC entrepreneurs and CPG brands from traditionally underrepresented communities. Participants will have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with mission-driven brands from BIPOC-, women-, multicultural- and LGBTQIA+-owned companies. The Represent Neighborhood at Newtopia Now will “help buyers understand how it’s good business for them to be stocking the products from diverse local neighborhoods in their stores,” said Carlotta Mast, SVP and Natural Products Industry Leader for New Hope Network.

"I'm so excited to build connections between emerging brands and leading retailers like Whole Foods,” Daniel Scharff, founder of Startup CPG, shared with New Hope’s Jessica Rubino. “Newtopia's goal of deepened experiences, connections and relationships is exactly what our Startup CPG community needs, and how we thrive.”

For more information and to register, visit To view a list of brand partners participating in Newtopia Now, to date, visit here.

About the Author(s)

Steven Hoffman

Compass Natural

Steven Hoffman is managing director of Compass Natural, providing brand marketing, PR, social media and strategic business development services to natural, organic and sustainable products businesses. He also helps direct fundraising efforts on behalf of Regeneration International. Previously, he served as marketing director for the Arrowhead Mills organic brand, as the former editorial director of Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, former education director of Natural Products Expo East and West and co-founder of LOHAS Journal. Contact [email protected].

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