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Natural Foods Merchandiser
Autumn's change is so pertinent to the natural retail industry right now Christine Kapperman Getty Images

Autumn: Time to plan, prepare in the natural products industry

Leaves are turning, the air is crisp and holidays are approaching. It’s the perfect time for the natural products industry to consider the changes it faces.

Christine Kapperman Senior Content Director, New Hope NetworkChange has filled my mind lately.

I just can’t help it at this time of year. An alive crispness fills the air. Yellows, oranges and reds burst from green to remind us of the power of possibility, of the cycles of life and of change—the inevitable, the unforeseen and the chosen.

Harvest reminds us to give thanks and appreciate rebirth.

It’s all so pertinent to me and to our natural retail industry right now.

Retail renewal

In the July/August issue of Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine, we reported the state of natural retail through our annual Market Overview issue. The numbers came out more positive than I had expected. For that, I give thanks.

But just about half of those surveyed expect this year to be better than last. And already I’ve cried at some of the news of closures and those likely to come.

Now is the time to consider rebirth. What will health food stores look like on the other side of the change? We must not accept the “inevitable.” We must look at and examine possibilities, so that we may choose our future. Setting strategy to guide the way will be the subject of the retail breakfast Friday, Sept. 13, at Natural Products Expo East. Please join us to explore and plan a way forward for your store.

Natural Foods Merchandiser refresh

This magazine, too, is going through a refresh. Next year, NFM will look a little different and we will introduce some additional coverage as we strive to better examine today’s natural retail environment.

What do you need to know? What would you like to read about more? Please let me know. You can reach me at 303.998.9384 or ckapperman@newhope.com.

I’m also food business reporter, Adrienne Smithexcited to announce that we have a new food business reporter, Adrienne Smith. Adrienne brings a long and diverse food background, much of it spent advancing Spanish food commodities and culture. She will be covering product trends and the business of natural foods. A sommelier with a passion for food, she has worked across the globe to spread good-food practices from origin to packaged products to restaurant plates. 

Adrienne dives in this month with a look at natural indulgences for the In the Aisle section.

Expo East takeoff

Natural Products Expo East serves as a great launchpad for thinking about changes. It comes just as businesses review their strategic plans and commit to actions for the coming year. It arrives before most finalize their calendar-year budgets.

Whether or not you attended this year, it’s never too soon to prepare for Expo East 2020. It’s the perfect opportunity to engage with industry experts and connect with other retailers to prepare for coming business cycles. A change is coming for Expo East as well: The annual convention moves to the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in 2020.

Reflect. Plan. Plant seeds for the future. That’s what this time is for.

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