Photo courtesy of Sara Snow
Last year the Natural Products Expo West tradeshow in Anaheim, California was named one of "top 50 fastest growing shows" by Tradeshow Week. This year this position was solidified by the record breaking 53,000 people who attended. Today’s economic climate certainly didn’t seem to put a damper on the week’s activities or on exhibitors launching their new products. According to show producers New Hope Media, the expo spanned across 300,000 square feet and featured nearly 2,000 exhibitors, hailing from as many as 28 countries. Nearly 500 were new to the show. "The show’s success proved that, despite a cool economy, innovation and retailer interest in natural products remains strong," says Lisa Conover of the New Hope PR group, Fresh Ideas Group.
Photo courtesy of Sara Snow
And so, about a week ago, after four days dodging pull bags and huge shoulder totes loaded down with samples and other goodies, I dragged my tired butt home from the Natural Products Expo. Thursday was set-up day and I did a CNN.com LIVE segment from the show floor, then Friday through Sunday were full fledged show days and I hustled to visit booths and vendors between meetings and other obligations.
Homemade Harvey baby food pouch. Photo courtesy of Sara Snow
What I found was a lot more of the same…which is fine for me because I quite like good old fashioned natural foods. But I did find a few new surprising products. One is a new brew by organic tea maker Ineeka. Think afternoon tea meets front porch brew. It’s brewed with organic hops, barley, green tea, and ginger, and tastes as good as it sounds. Look for it on shelves soon.
Also new is a fun and easy probiotic drink called PhD Probiotics. Think Emergen-C powder packs meets probiotics for the PhD to-go. They also have bottles with the powdered probiotics embedded in the caps. Convenient and clever.
On Friday I spent a little time in the Homemade Baby booth doing a book signing and was able to sample their new baby food in a pouch called Homemade Harvey. I’m not lying when I say that I would eat this stuff and it just might become my new favorite airplane food. When fresh fruits aren’t available, freshly mashed in a pouch just might have to do!
Keep your ear to the ground for the companies who are surviving and thriving despite today’s economic temp. And if you’re a regular attendee of these Expos now is a good time to start your spring training. Expo East is only six months away!
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Sara Snow is a green living expert and regular contributor to TreeHugger via her Green Eyes On column. She can also be seen on CNN.com on Thursdays from 7 p.m. to 8 p.m. Her new DVD Growing Green Babies is now available through SaraSnow.com.