Natural Products Expo East
NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO EAST brings together the natural, organic and healthy-lifestyle industry with thousands of products from passionate manufacturers, inspiring and practical education, and networking events where you will meet the contacts that will carry your business through its next stage of growth.
Today, natural and organic products are sold in almost every retail channel, and the industry is worth nearly $68 billion, according to Natural Foods Merchandiser’s “2009 Market Overview.” In three decades, one constant for the industry that has grown from fringe to mainstream has been Natural Products Expo West. It all started in 1981 with Doug Greene and a vision for an event to connect the young natural products industry. As the publisher and editor of the 2-year-old Natural Foods Merchandiser, Greene traveled around the country, interviewing natural products retailers who shared their business strategies, struggles, and successes. “I knew all these amazing retailers, but they didn’t know each other,” says Greene, who is now an industry consultant. “I thought, ‘Wouldn’t it be wonderful to bring all these folks together in one place?’”
So in 1981, Greene created Natural Foods Expo to connect retailers with each other as well as the natural health community and manufacturers. More than 3,500 industry members, including 1,200 retailers, attended the first Expo West from March 29 – 31, 1981 in Anaheim, Calif., at the Anaheim Convention Center. “The original Natural Products Expo in California was a catalyst, as it brought natural and organic retailers and vendors all together for the first time,” said Michael Besancon, global executive vice president at Whole Foods Market. “Having attended the show thirty years ago, I believe it marked the transition of the natural and organic products business from a movement to an industry.” For the past 32 years Natural Products Expo has been the leading independent voice and industry event. There are now three Natural Products Expo events, West, East, and Asia, to better connect to the global natural and organic products community. This year Natural Products Expo West will host over 58,000 industry members and over 3,000 exhibits showcasing products in the categories of natural and specialty foods, organic, supplements, health and beauty, natural living and pet products.