Expo West can be a dauntingly large show. Throughout last week, I told people I would be back to see them, knowing full well that it was a wash, that they would be lost in a sea of 86,000 attendees—that circumstances would conspire to get me further and further away in a truly expansive show floor.
Expo West is huge. And it’s growing. Since it began in 1981, New Hope Network’s Natural Products Expo West has been continually expanding. The event boasts more than 85,000 industry attendees and more than 3,500 exhibitors spread across 555,000 square feet of event space.
“Every year at Expo West we foster the connection between emerging brands who are impacting the landscape and industry pioneers who have paved the way for decades,” said Lacey Gautier, Group Show Director at New Hope Network, in a press release. “This event highlights the importance of community engagement and the role everyone plays to create a more sustainable packaged goods industry. With so much to celebrate in organic agriculture and ethical business practices, you can feel the energy throughout the campus.”
With a schedule that spanned five days—March 5-9—and a footprint that traversed the entirety of the Anaheim Convention Center, the Hilton Anaheim, and the Anaheim Marriott Hotel—the show 39th annual Expo West was truly epic in its scope.
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Throughout the week, attendees could take advantage of the show’s robust conference education program (and start each day with yoga, while we were at it)—a program including the Natural Products Hemp and CBD Summit; a keynote panel with This Saves Lives Co-Founders Paul Yoo, Ryan Devlin, and Todd Grinnell; a Natural Products Business School featuring a long slate of speakers and educators; and a keynote by consumer advocate Erin Brockovich.
The event also boasted its annual Natural Products Business School’s Pitch-Slam competition judged by Alisa Williams, Carole Buyers, JJ Cantrell, and Ryan Pintado-Vertner. Plant-based frozen dessert brand Hakuna Banana took top honors, winning a free booth at next years expo among other prizes.
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On this International Women’s Day we’re cheering for the women who make the natural products industry so great! The World-Changing Woman on our #ExpoWestFab5 Influencer team @daniellewalker stopped by the woman-owned @bonafideprovisions booth to talk about trusting your gut as a woman for both business and the health of your family! #ExpoWest #internationalwomensday #gogirls!
New Hope Network also announced the winners of its 2019 NEXTY Awards, honoring 32 outstanding companies across a broad spectrum of natural products. Companies like World Centric PizzaRound, Picaflor Live Culture, Strong Roots, Annabella, Applegate, Mooala, and Love Beets were recognized for outstanding products in the natural food space.
The show was a perfect occasion to spot emerging trends, network with buyers and suppliers alike, and experience the breadth of the natural food space.
I can’t wait for Natural Products Expo West 2020, March 3-7 at the Anaheim Convention Center, and maybe we'll see you atNatural Products Expo East at the Baltimore Convention Center September 11-14, 2019.