Expo East Works its Magic on Charm City

expo east sprouts

Heather Wainer, WholeFoods publisher, gives Retailer of the Year award to Jim Nielsen, COO (left) and Eric Stover, VP of non-perishable sales and merchandising (right), of Sprouts Farmers Market.

Written By:
WholeFoods Magazine Staff
View more articles in:
share

Natural Products Expo East, held September 25–28 at the Baltimore Convention Center, put nearly 22,000 attendees in good spirits as they had the chance to visit 1,200 exhibit booths (including 480 new ones) and three days of events.

 Caryl Levine of Lotus Foods (left) and Naomi Whittel of Reserveage Organics give moving talks at the Women in Naturals Networking reception (sponsored by Reserveage Organics)

Though it is on a smaller scale than its sister show, Expo West, the Baltimore event was no less productive for most attendees. Expo East, with its smaller footprint, offered the chance for more in-depth discussions. “We accomplished a lot,” said retailer Donna Kraus of Nature’s Pantry, Fishkill, NY. “I found a lot of new items, and everyone has been very generous with samples.” Kraus said she’s been coming for over a decade, and that this year’s show was a good one for her, improving upon past experiences.

First-time attendee Kathy Creasey, Bloom Naturally, Bloomsburg, PA, also had a positive experience: “I love it. I’ve been looking for products that we don’t sell, and I liked two in particular—Evolution Salt’s Himalayan salt lighting fixtures, and Greenair’s line of essential oil misters. Either or both would make good holiday gift items.”

From the exhibitor side, companies commented on having meaningful meetings. Said Jay Levy, director of sales, Wakunaga of America Co., Ltd., Mission Viejo, CA, “Even though the amount of traffic appears lower than in some years, the quality of the people stopping at our booth is very good. We launched two new Probiata products, marking our first foray into high-potency probiotics.”

Companies also had the chance to sponsor some fun ways to interact with attendees. EuroPharma USA hosted a happy hour event at the show, and the company’s chief of education and scientific affairs Cheryl Myers said they had an overwhelming response. “We’ve had good traffic. I would say that it was a spectacular success.” Of the show in general, EuroPharma founder and president Terry Lemerond said, “I’ve been extremely impressed. There have been a lot of upbeat people, and I think there’s a lot of confidence coming back into the industry.”

The overall impression of the tradeshow floor was that it was ripe with new product launches. Some trends observed were an upsurge of chia products; many companies launching and reformulating with non-GMO ingredients; plenty of healthy snacks like chips made with lentils, pomegranate, seaweed, kale and other healthy ingredients; high-end teas with beautiful packaging; protein-enriched foods; and whole-food supplements.

 

WholeFoods Natural Choice Awards Given Out at Expo East

WholeFoods Magazine honored several recipients of the 2013 Natural Choice Awards at Expo East. Publisher Heather Wainer and Associate Editor Tim Person passed out this year’s awards.
 

Nature's Plus   Europharma

Wainer presents Jim Gibbons, president, and Shari Allen, VP of Sales, Nature’s Plus an award for Children’s Supplement.

 

Terry Lemerond, owner of Europharma USA, is happy to receive the Specialty Supplement award from Wainer.

Follow Your Heart   now foods

Katie Franklin, director of marketing at Follow Your Heart, accepts the Vegan Food trophy from Person.

 

NOW Foods’ marketing manager Jim Ritcheske is presented with the Supplements: Full Line trophy from Wainer.

Genesis Today   Bluebonnet

Wainer gives the Weight Loss Supplement award to Kim Olson, regional educator, and Drew Lamprich, business development manager, of Genesis Today.

  Kathy Smith, key account manager, and Pat Hessler, sales manager, of Bluebonnet Nutrition receive the Sports Nutrition Supplement trophy from Wainer.
udi's   derma e

Person gives the Food for Sensitive Diets award to Katrina Morales, director of natural sales for NW/NCal, and Denise Sirovatka, vice president of marketing at Udi’s.

 

Wainer presents the Full Line: Skin Care award to Linda Miles, executive vice president, and David Stearn, president/CEO of derma e.

 

Full Expo East 2013 Coverage

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, November 2013 (online 10/18/13)