Largest event in $274 billion industry proves the power of bringing like-minded people together to fuel change


India Post News Service

Informa Markets’ Natural Products Expo West, part of the New Hope Network family of brands, safely and successfully hosted the in-person return of the industry’s largest trade show March 8-12 at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. Celebrating its 41st occurrence, the event gathered over 2,700 exhibitors and over 57,000 registered attendees to experience the newest innovations in natural and organic foods and beverages; clean beauty and home products; and supplements and ingredients.

Expo West drew retailers from stores such as Albertson’s, 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, Fresh Thyme and more who sought out the hottest new products coming soon to store shelves.

 “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.

Known as the best venue to spot innovations, the exhibit halls were filled with companies that are shaping the future of food and wellness, including 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% to $274 billion in 2021 and is forecast to surpass $300 billion in sales by 2024 and $400 billion by 2030, driven by the lasting ways the pandemic changed consumer behaviors and the new customers who entered natural and organic.

 “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. 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,” said Cindy Convery, Founder, Pure Wild Co.

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. For additional details and examples of companies at the forefront, read more online. “Consumer behaviors are changing, and with that comes the opportunity for the natural products industry not just to meet consumers where they are, but also to predict where they’re heading,” said Jessica Rubino, Executive Director, Content at Informa Markets’ New Hope Network.

A gallery featuring winners of the prestigious NEXTY Awards, representing what tomorrow’s healthy living landscape will look like, can be viewed online. 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. New for 2022, the New Hope Community Purpose & Impact Awards celebrated individuals and organizations that help cultivate a prosperous high-integrity CPR and retail ecosystem that creates health, joy and justice for all people while regenerating the planet. Winners can be found online.

Event attendees participated in four full 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 information-packed The State (and Future) 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, Senior Vice President and Market Leader at Informa Markets’ New Hope Network.

New Hope Network, in partnership with (included), a membership collective for BIPOC executives in the CPG space, hosted a J.E.D.I. (Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion) Community Happy Hour, to help breakdown some of the barriers in place for under-represented groups in the industry.

 “The turnout we’ve seen this week is a strong indication that the industry prioritizes face-to-face connection and product discovery and recognizes in-person events as the most effective means of conducting business. The energy at this show was palpable and we are really excited to be back in Anaheim with our incredible clients, community and vendor partners,” said Lacey Gautier, Vice President of Events, ‘Informa Markets’ New Hope Network.

Expo West, the largest B2B trade show to take place in the U.S. in over two years, was pleased to return to the vibrant city that has hosted the event since its first occurrence. This year’s expo brought nearly 45,000 room nights to local hotels and supported more than 23,000 local jobs. In total, Expo West brought an estimated economic impact of $145 million and an estimated $2.3 million in tourism occupancy tax (TOT) revenue for the city.

 “With the return of Natural Products Expo West, we can truly say Anaheim is back,” Mayor Harry Sidhu said. “After a difficult two years for all of us, this shows the resilience of our city and the natural products community. We once again were able to gather safely and celebrate natural, organic and healthy living. The return of Natural Products means so much, helping Anaheim support more than 346,000 residents, 20,000 businesses and 25 million visitors.”

In addition to best-in-class health and safety protocols, New Hope Network increased the event’s sustainability commitment with enhanced 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 vital nutrition, hope and support for refugees fleeing the Ukraine conflict, as well as those in food poverty in other places.

Industry members who participated virtually accessed live streamed content throughout the week via the Natural Products Expo Virtual Community platform. These sessions will be archived for viewing following the in-person show alongside prior virtual programming, including a keynote with actress and Goodles Co-Founder Gal Gadot, as well as, future sessions to be added throughout the year. Virtual Booths are open throughout March for product discovery and meeting requests.

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 September 28-October 1 at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia. Natural Products Expo West 2023 will take place March 7-11 at the Anaheim Convention Center.