Earlier this month we had the pleasure of attending the 29th annual Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore, Maryland. Acclaimed as the east coast’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products event, the show brought in over 20, 000 attendees and upwards of 1200 exhibiting companies. Featured exhibits displayed products in numerous categories including food and beverages, supplements, and health and beauty supplies.
Another beneficial feature offered by the expo organization were various conference sessions in a wide variety of fields including Natural Product Marketing, Digital Strategy, Ecommerce Startup, Lessons in Sustainability, and book signings by key note speakers. The workshops were scheduled throughout the day providing flexibility for show attendees like ourselves.
Expo East was held at the Baltimore Convention Center across from Orioles Park. The main show floor was conveniently divided in the different categories of the show making it very easy for attendees to find specific interests or drift smoothly from section to section with ease – All Natural & Specialty Foods being the largest category, followed by Organics, Health & Beauty, Supplements, and Natural Living. The upper level was dedicated to the NEXT Pavilion which highlighted smaller brands in an environment more advantageous for buyers looking for new and innovative products. The atmosphere throughout the diverse show levels was lively though casual, the exhibit floor and pavilions bursting with exhibitors connecting and networking with attendees.
As many of us interested in the food industry have observed, the health and wellness market is steadily on the rise, with companies specializing in organic, all-natural, and gluten-free products expected to help develop a trillion dollar global industry by 2017. These trends are represented well in tradeshows across the U.S. with Natural Products Expo leading the charge. Trends prominent at this year’s show included sourcing ingredients through goats’ milk and pumpkin seed oil rather than cow milk and olive or vegetable oils. We saw entire rows dedicated to mental stimulating teas for encouraging ideas and focus, caffeine-free energy drinks and sodas, and biodegradable packaging. There was high emphasis on farm-to-table, grass fed and free range meat supplies as well meat alternatives.
To supplement the topic of meat alternatives, another growing trend consists of more food meeting the requirements for vegan classification. Whether it’s due to allergies, dietary restrictions or just a desire to consume cleaner food, we noticed a definite boom in these type options made from nuts, corn, beans, and other natural ingredients. Many of the samples we tasted rivaled the flavors of their meat counterparts. Now to translate this into sous-vide!
Looking to the Future
The overall message of the Expo East show not only promoted healthy lifestyles and clean nutrition but also provided the means with which to achieve your personal health goals. Our Retail team is proud to showcase a full line of all-natural products at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA March 2015. We’ll demonstrate the benefits of using all natural ingredients but also how sous-vide can help to inspire palates that still believe natural and healthy foods cannot be flavorful as well as good for you. Some of the all-natural products we can look forward to include grass fed & free range Beef Sirloins and Lamb Shanks, hormone free Turkey, and Braised Kale among several other selections. All delicious and of course, all sous-vide!
For more information, click here. See you at the show!