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The unsung superheroes of Natural Products Expo? Our standards team

New Hope Network's in-house standards team upholds the integrity of our industry.

If you've ever exhibited at Natural Products Expo East or Expo West—or advertised in any of New Hope Network's magazines, such as Natural Foods Merchandiser, or on—your product has likely been reviewed by our dedicated in-house standards team. Helmed by Standards Director Michelle Zerbib, the department scrutinizes products that exhibit at our shows to help preserve the integrity of the natural industry by supporting self-regulation and increasing consumer confidence in products promoted with us.

Take a look around the next time you’re walking the show floor—it's unlikely that you’ll see any products that list artificial sweeteners, colors or flavors in the ingredients panel. That’s because Zerbib and her expert team uphold New Hope Network’s list of comprehensive guidelines that prohibit certain non-natural ingredients. It’s why you’ll see konjac flour—a type of seaweed—instead of steroyl lacylates being used as an emulsifier; it’s why celery juice is used to help preserve meat instead of synthetic nitrates.

Additionally, New Hope Network’s standards team ensures that per Food and Drug Administration guidelines, brands don’t make bold disease claims on their product packaging—which can prevent manufacturers from being placed under damaging regulatory spotlight.

Members of our standards team are the hidden superheroes of our industry. This helpful ('80s-style) informational video is designed to give them the spotlight they deserve. Give it a watch, and head over to to see if your product makes the cut.

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