Did you know? The 30th annual Natural Products Expo East took place from Sept. 16-19, 2015 at the Baltimore Convention Center in downtown Baltimore, Maryland. It was the biggest health & beauty, supplement, specialty food, organic products and services trade show of this Summer. Who knew one building could host over 1,350 exhibiting companies representing the natural, organic and healthy living consumer marketplace not to mention the 25,000 attendees from independent retailers across America. Natural Products Expo is a one stop shop for everything trade show and conference concerning the organic and natural food & beverage industry.
“Each year our mission is to build the growth potential for the attendees and exhibitors of Expo East, though we never lose sight of the tandem goal to create a stronger community between our industry and Baltimore itself. This year we launched a unique community concept, the first Farm-to-Market tour which visited nearby farms and the retail stores they serve, all within a drive of the city center; the added experience of this connection far surpassed our expectations,” said Adam Andersen, Managing Director for Natural Products Expos
This year entrepreneurs had the chance to take part in the Natural Products Business School which is a full day of learning and networking that provided comprehensive solutions to universal business challenges that step up growth potential. The first morning of the expo begin with a keynote address from Josh Tetrick of Hampton Creek, who talked about finding the ingredients that we used 100 years ago and how we can use food as the podium to impact good. “Good people will do good; just make it easy for them,” said Josh Tetrick.
Heavenly Organics, based in Fairfield, Iowa was the competition winner of Natural Products Business School Pitch-Slam for their sustainably harvested honey and support of local farmers.
The conference program was headlined by keynote speakers: Dylan Ratigan, a sustainability entrepreneur and former MSNBC host; Joel Salatin, a third generation farmer; and Michele Simon, a public health lawyer. I only attended Joel Salatin’s keynote address which was very informative and included a complimentary book giveaway and signing after his talk. Salatin’s is such a renegade food advocate.
Be sure to check out my photo slideshow for a glimpse inside the 30th annual Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland.
The education sessions were broken into six themes: Natural in the Media, Ingredient Reform, “Future of” Series, Non-GMO Series, Trends & Growth Series, and Conscious Leadership.
Other major headlights events from the Expo included two awards celebrations which are listed below: The Best of East Awards, the official Natural Products Expo East show award, were presented to the most innovative products exhibiting at the event. Successors are listed below:
- Chosen Foods, based in San Diego, California, for their Avocado Oil Mayo
- Savannah Bee Company, based in Savannah, Georgia, for their Royal Jelly Body Butter
- Tio Gazpacho, based in New Haven, Connecticut, for their Gazpacho de Sol
The Retailer of the Year awards were presented for the second year in a row to stores that demonstrate distinction quality in today’s retail world through community, innovation, sustainability and values that characterize the natural products industry. Successors are listed below:
- Best New Store category: Mustard Seed, based in Ohio
- Community Engagement category: Whole Foods Kimberton, based in Pennsylvania
- Innovation category: Local Foods, based in Illinois
- Most Sustainable category: MOMs, based in the mid-Atlantic
Wow, ExpoEast is such a premier business-to-business event! Did you know? Natural Products Expo West 2016 will return to the Anaheim Convention Center, March 9-13, 2016 in Anaheim, CA. Natural Products Expo East 2016 is planned to take place at the Baltimore Convention Center, September 21-24, 2016 in Baltimore, MD.
Be sure to follow @NatProdExpo or #ExpoEast on Twitter for continuing conversations or join their Facebook or LinkedIn groups to keep up on Natural Products Expo latest news developments.