Natural Products Expo West: Is It Worth All the Hype?
In just a few short weeks, over 70,000 attendees will descend upon the sprawling city of Anaheim to attend the annual Natural Products Expo West. Once considered a gathering for granola munching, natural health food brands when it started 36 years ago, it has grown to be one of the most important trade shows of the year, not just for natural products, but for everyone.
New Hope Media
Natural Isn’t Niche Anymore
Natural and organic foods have been growing at an astonishing rate of 9% every year, according to New Hope Media, the producer of the show. They represent $98.6 billion dollars in retail sales, as of 2014, which isn’t exactly pocket change. Even the biggest food companies are gobbling up natural brands, such as General Mills, whose natural and organic portfolio includes Annie’s, Cascadian Farm, Epic, Food Should Taste Good, Immaculate Baking, Larabar, and Muir Glen.
See What's Trending
Coconut water is so passé, how about birch, cactus, or artichoke water? Plain old bars just don’t cut it anymore, they’re made of everything from super fruits and pea protein to roasted crickets and meat. Expo West is the place to catch up on new product launches, flavor trends, and innovative packaging design.
It's a One Stop Shop
Only at Expo West can you meet over 600 fresh-faced entrepreneurs and see the latest in innovation at the New Products Showcase at the Anaheim Hilton, and then walk over to the Anaheim Convention Center to see the rest of the 3,000 natural companies exhibiting at the show. Another highlight is Engredea, the natural ingredients section of the show.
Psssstt….There’s Some Really Good Food in the OC
If you’re not completely stuffed after walking the show, we highly recommend getting off the beaten path and into some of the country’s best Vietnamese Food:
- Brodard Chateau – excellent Nem Nuong Cuon, spring rolls filled with pork sauce, lettuce, cucumber, carrots, daikon and mint, served with sweet and spicy chile dipping sauce.
- Com Tam Tran Quy Cap – famous for their “broken rice” dishes, which are like fried rice but much more refined. Our favorite version included toppings of shredded pork skin, fried shrimp cake, shrimp, egg cake, and Vietnamese sausage.
- Favori – a Vietnamese French seafood spot, their specialty is Ca Nuong, grilled catfish served with plenty of fresh veggies and rice paper for DIY spring rolls.
This year we’ll be supporting our clients Specialty Rice (booth #H629 in the Hilton) and Truitt Family Foods (booth #2599) with samples. Please stop by and say hi, or let us know if you’d like set up some time to grab coffee (or a spring roll!) together. See you at the show!