Last weekend, I attended the Natural Products Expo West, produced by New Hope Natural Media, for the first time. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Expo showcased a record number of new natural and organic product launches and attracted more than 63,000 industry members and 2,428 exhibiting companies. From food items to cosmetics and other specialty goods, natural products are big business! Although I did not attend any of the conference sessions, I had a wonderful time tasting and sampling products at the Expo Floor, and meeting entrepreneurs at the Next Pavilion, which showcased new and upcoming brands.
I was warned by fellow bloggers that the expo could be a bit overwhelming, so my plan was to look for kids’ snacks, healthy office snacks, and coffee for future stories. I successfully resisted some of the really tasty samples and tried to keep my focus. Snack items were plenty, not so much coffee but plenty of tea! I ended up trying out so many probiotic treats it gave me indigestion but what was really satisfying was meeting the creators, founders, entrepreneurs and dreamers behind so many gluten-free, peanut-free, all-natural products. I will try to write about them in the upcoming weeks.
There were so many people at ExpoWest, it’s amazing that I bumped into someone I knew — the fabulous Christy Funk of , a pioneer of all-natural, eco-chic in Orange County. At the end of half a day, my shoulder was sore from lugging around a bag containing numerous sample products. Outside the air was cool, the sun was out, and there was a band playing. What a way to end an expo touting natural living!
I think it was a well organized event and New Hope Natural Media did great by emailing updates daily about the conference. They also had a mobile app that attendees used to plan their days.