The 31st Annual Natural Products Expo East, held September 21-24, hosted more than 1,450 brands including 450 first-time exhibitors. This year, the exhibit space was expanded to both the third and fourth levels of the convention center to accommodate increasing demand.
This was the largest show on record and grew by 10%, gathering over 28,000 community members to the Baltimore Convention Center in Baltimore. Natural Products Expo East is produced by New Hope Network and is co-located with Biofach America, NPA East, and the Harvest Festival.
“The timing of Expo East is important for us as a fast growing brand because every six months can bring a lot of change. We’ve already expanded to national distribution for the newest product we launched at Expo West in March, making this opportunity for face-to-face East Coast connections crucial,” said Mike Steele, Sales Director of REBBL.
Natural Products Expo East is timed in early fall to offer an opportunity for brands to showcase products ahead of the new year, making it an essential event for spotting trends in food, beverage, supplement and personal care products.
“Attending this show helps keep me professionally current, on top of market trends and in the conversation. I meet dedicated and innovative people who share their passion and expertise, and I come home rejuvenated and infused with hope. You realize you are part of a large movement of interested, educated, articulate and often brilliant people and the experience is thrilling,” said Leslie Li, Director of Food Services, Organic Food Program, Rudolf Steiner School.
The content and research team at New Hope Network tracked the following macro forces and consumer trends at the show: A Climate of Change, The Modern Meal, Beyond Nutrition, and Conscious Consumption. For examples see the online gallery at newhope.com.
The official Natural Products Expo East “Best of East: Press Award” went to Justin’s Honey Peanut Butter and Banana Chip Snack Pack. Runners-up included Chosen Foods Black Garlic Avocado Oil May and Laird Superfood Coffee Creamer. The winner of Natural Products Business School’s Pitch Slam was Milton’s Local. A full list of the winners of the 2016 Natural Products Expo East NEXTY Awards, representing what tomorrow’s healthy living landscape will look like, can be found online here.
The conference featured a robust education program including keynote presentations from Paul Hawken, environmentalist, entrepreneur and author; and Robyn O’Brien, founder of the AllergyKids Foundation, former financial analyst and author. The conference also featured a special keynote panel discussion addressing the disparity of healthy food access in America led by Whole Foods Market Co-CEO Walter Robb.
“As this industry continues its explosive growth, Natural Products Expo East has become the event on the East Coast for natural and organic brands to showcase new products and tell their unique stories. Every year there are more products unveiled in these halls that can help address challenges such as making healthy food more accessible to everyone and supporting sustainable sourcing,” said Adam Andersen, Managing Director, New Hope Network.
Source: New Hope Network