Natural Products Expo West saw record numbers in 2017, bringing over 80,000 attendees and 3,100 exhibiting companies to the Anaheim Convention Center. Our team set off last Thursday for a full weekend at the show, taking in as much of the magic as possible. Now that the dust has settled, we took a moment to ask our brand teams about their key takeaways from 2017.  

 

Partnerships

Once again, our teams used the event as an opportunity to connect with our partners, talk a bit of shop, and soak up the samples, sessions, and networking opportunities.

“We’re at the point where the conversation is more toward future initiatives.” John Waldram

“We’ve partnered with the right people, and we’re seeing growth.” John Waldram

“It was a great opportunity to come together, socialize, and be happy about all the things we’ve achieved together.” John Willkom

“It was really cool seeing brands open their partner gifts. Did you see the picture of Alaffia opening the socks we gave them?” Sara Collins

REDD Remedies, NetRush partner, winner of “Best Condition Specific Supplement” Nexty Award

Host Defense CEO Paul Stamets, with John Waldram

Industry

Over the last seven years, we’ve witnessed this gathering grow, evolve, and push the industry, justly earning its reputation as the world’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products event. By all accounts, 2017 garnered the most mainstream attention as the show shifted its focus toward larger, macro-level issues that will see the natural products industry assert itself even more in the near future.

“One thing I really noticed was that I saw a lot of beverages. There were a lot of probiotic drinks, cleanse-type drinks, fiber drinks… so many drinks! A lot of things were drinkafied.” Brittney Weissenbuehler

“A big shift towards transparency across the board, about the ingredients in both supplements and natural grocery products  as a way to differentiate your brand.” Maria Homnick

“The industry is starting to see the value of a partnership vs the traditional retail business model. That was really cool to see our vision being seen and solidified a little bit.” Brittney Weissenbuehler

“Digital savvy brands will stick around. Those that aren’t following the consumer, and who don’t care about customer experience or retailers, will fold.” Tabatha Johnson

“Hemp seems like the next frontier for HPC brands. They utilize responsible, sustainable farming. Kentucky could be the next Silicon Valley for hemp farming.” Shawn Fenton

“There was no shortage of overseas vendors at the show, and plenty of emphasis on sustainability, recycling, and co-packaging solutions.” Colby Grantz

 

Random thoughts

After four days of walking, talking, hugging, and listening, the mind begins to wonder…

The people at the booths get tired of standing while those visiting the booths are tired of walking. Seems like a zero-sum game.

The keynote speakers are from Campbell’s and Trader Joe’s; why didn’t they bring any snacks?

If I am what I eat, I wonder what kind of jerky I’m going to turn into.

I never quite realized the importance of working with a digestive enzyme company until now.

I wonder how many protein bars it would take to build a life-size replica of the Eiffel Tower.

When is there going to be a rumble in the park with a bunch of guys yelling, “Bro, my protein is better, bro”?

Colby Grantz

 

Read the Expo West pre-event blog here

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