Informa Markets’ Natural Products Expo West welcomed the in-person return of the industry’s largest trade show March 8-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, California.
Now in its 41st year, the event drew more than 2,700 exhibitors and 57,000 plus registered attendees to experience the newest innovations in natural and organic foods, beverages, clean beauty, home products, supplements and ingredients.
Expo West drew retailers from stores such as Albertsons, Kroger, Aldi, 7-Eleven, Sprouts, Whole Foods Market, GNC, Costco, Cambridge Naturals, PCC Markets, Earth Fare, Natural Grocers, Healthy Edge, Medly, Jimbo’s Naturally, Natural Grocers and Fresh Thyme.
“Expo West is a good place to understand what’s coming up next and find emerging brands that are just starting out. 7-Eleven has been trying hard to branch out in organic and specialty, to bring in some new brands and find items that our customers wouldn’t be expecting. Expo West is a great place for that, it makes me feel energized and invigorated to be here and ignite ideas,” said Adam Franks, director of emerging brands, 7-Eleven.
The exhibit halls included 625 up-and-coming brands making their event debut. According to New Hope Network’s Nutrition Business Journal, the natural and organic industry grew 7.7 percent to $274 billion in 2021 and is forecast to surpass $300 billion in sales by 2024 and $400 billion by 2030.
“This is our first time at Expo West, so it was a big eye-opener and really exciting to be surrounded by this group of people,” said Cindy Convery, founder, Pure Wild Co. “As a new brand that’s just launched, it makes you feel a little more welcome and supported by the natural foods community. Meeting buyers and distributors was great, and I also found some excellent suppliers and co-packers.”
A team of New Hope Network content experts and trend forecasters tracked the top natural product trends at Expo West, including “hot now” ingredients as well as complex ideas challenging the CPG industry. The team’s 2022 natural products industry trend predictions reveal a shift from merely surviving today’s problems to creating solutions for a brighter future.
The winner of the Pitch Slam was Tanka Bars, part of Native American Natural Foods. The Rising Star award went to Navy veteran Thereasa Black, founder of Bon AppeSweet.
Event attendees participated in four days of education sessions including the keynote “Raising the Standard: Clean, Healthy Nutrition for All Kids,” featuring a discussion with actress and Once Upon a Farm Co-Founder Jennifer Garner; the keynote “The Joy of Plant-Based Eating” with influencer Tabitha Brown; and the keynote “The Color of Food: Navigating Cultural Appropriation, Ownership and Heritage in the Food Industry.”
Additional highlights included “The State of the Natural & Organic Industry” session that examined what’s next in product innovation that will drive positive change within the natural and organic products industry.
“Gathering the community again for Expo West is an important milestone as we move forward to shape the future of health and wellness together. Being in the same space allows for the important conversations and meaningful connections that are catalysts for increasing inclusivity and igniting the joy and passion that has fueled this industry into what it is today,” said Carlotta Mast, SVP and Market Leader at Informa Markets’ New Hope Network.
In addition to health and safety protocols, New Hope Network increased the event’s sustainability commitment with efforts around waste diversion, including donations of 171,000 pounds of leftover food to Second Harvest as well as materials to Habitat for Humanity. Event organizers also stepped-up efforts to increase renewable energy sources, carbon offsetting and mindful procurement.
In response to the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, Natural Products Expo West and their parent company Informa, have donated $100,000 to World Central Kitchen, and are welcoming event attendees to get involved by visiting their fundraiser page. These donations will provide nutrition and support for refugees fleeing the Ukraine conflict.
Natural Products Expo West is produced by Informa Markets’ New Hope Network and is co-located with Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace.
Natural Products Expo East 2022 will be held Sept. 28-Oct. 1 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Natural Products Expo West 2023 will take place March 7-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center.