Brand Titans Embrace Healthy Products at Natural Products Expo East 2004; Natural and Organic Products Industry is Catalyst for Change

BOULDER, Colo., Oct 18, 2004 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Healthy living and wellness seem to be contagious among branding giants Kraft, Frito Lay, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, PepsiCo, and Dean Foods, among others. These titans of consumer product branding validate the mainstreaming of natural and organic products with the presence of their subsidiaries at Natural Products Expo East/Organic Products Expo-BioFach America in Washington D.C., October 14 - 17, 2004. This annual tradeshow is produced by New Hope Natural Media, a division of Penton Media (PTON). This year's show posted growth in both attendance, with more than 22,000 attendees, and exhibitor variety over its September 2003 tradeshow.

"Health and wellness are the top drivers in consumer packaged goods today," said Fredrik M. Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media, producer of Natural Products Expo East/Organic Products Expo-BioFach America. "This tradeshow's roster of more than 1,100 exhibitors, from upstart entrepreneurs to Fortune 100 companies, proves that natural and organic products have crossed the chasm to mainstream America."

Many pioneering companies exhibiting at Natural Products Expo East, such as White Wave and Horizon Organic (subsidiaries of Dean), Small Planet Foods (subsidiary of General Mills), and Solgar (subsidiary of Wyeth Consumer Healthcare), are representing their parent companies in the areas of organic food, socially responsible business practices, and reaching the health-conscious consumer.

"The quality and taste of organic has become synonymous with gourmet. Clearly, from the retailers that were here, we've arrived," said Gary Hirshberg, President/CE-YO, Stonyfield Farm, in which the international food conglomerate Group Danone has a major financial interest.

The health and nutrition industry, $65.2 billion in 2003 according to Nutrition Business Journal, continues to attract an international audience, with 72 countries represented at this year's show.

Top trends witnessed at this year's Natural Products Expo East include:

1. The New Lesser Evil: Mainstream companies are responding to the
demand for healthier dietary and lifestyle solutions by
reformulating their products, as well as looking to the
well-established natural products industry for insight.

2. Diversification: Organic and natural ingredients and products
are entering broader market channels including foodservice,
club stores, spas and ethnic markets.

3. More health for families: New products being shown in
categories from natural & organic food, healthy vending
machines in schools, organic baby clothing, herbal and
homeopathic medicine formulas, natural pet foods and non-toxic
household products.

"Mainstream companies are actually coming to us," said Karen Raterman, VP of Content Development for New Hope Natural Media. "Forbes, USA Today, and The Washington Post have all covered topics within the past month that originate from our industry. The natural products industry has had the answers to America's health issues for a long time. We're ready to help these companies bring healthier solutions to the marketplace."

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