Baltimore, MD—Professionals from all areas of the natural products industry are getting ready for the East Coast’s biggest and most entertaining tradeshow in their field. Natural Products Expo East, scheduled for September 25–28 at the Baltimore Convention Center, will attract retailers from all over the country who are interested in improving and expanding their businesses while having a bit of fun, too.

Attendees can visit more than 1,600 exhibit booths displaying new natural products and up-and-coming trends retailers may want to incorporate into their growing businesses.

Guaranteed to be popular is this year’s featured event: the Sustainable Seafood Tour (Sept. 25), sponsored by Blue Horizon Wild. Led by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources’ Fisheries Marketing Director Steve Vilnit, the tour will explain the practices of sustainable fishing, processing and buying. Included in the $75 fee is a sustainable seafood lunch on the waterfront. A Retail Store Tour is also scheduled for the same day at the same price.

Raj Sisodia, Ph.D., founder and chairman of the Conscious Capitalism Institute, will give the keynote address on Sept. 27 after a free healthy breakfast, sponsored by Earth Balance, Glutino and Udi’s. Through his speech, “Conscious Capitalism: Transform Yourself, Energize Your Business & Elevate Humanity,” Sisodia will share ideas with industry members on how to contribute to positive social change while improving their businesses. Sisodia, along with co-CEO of Whole Foods Market John Mackey, is the co-author of the best-selling book, Conscious Capitalism.

Other featured speakers include the economically friendly entrepreneur Judy Wicks, and Joel Fuhrman, M.D., considered the “father of nutritarian eating.” A best-selling author and family physician, Fuhrman believes strongly in preventing and reversing disease through a natural, nutritious diet.

Those representing new and growing brands may benefit from attending the NEXT Accelerator Product-to Shelf Workshop, an all-day event on Sept. 25 where experienced speakers with valuable business insight will discuss the many stages of getting a product idea into stores, including fundraising, manufacturing, branding and selling. Don’t miss the Retailer Workshop, where speakers such as Alf Dunbar will discuss ways to improve sales, avoid common retail mistakes, and utilize social media to expand your business. A free copy of Dunbar’s book Just Looking, Thanks! will be given to each workshop participant.

Expo attendees can also enjoy fun events such as the Organic Harvest Festival (Sept. 25), the Community Celebration (Sept. 26), the Women in Naturals Event (sponsored by Reserveage Organics, Sept. 27) and the Live Music Party with Karl Denson and Black Joe Lewis. All are free and are great chances to network with other members of the natural products industry.

Last, don’t miss the Organic Trade Association’s Annual Awards Celebration on Sept. 25. This year, the group will honor Arran and Ratana Stephens of Nature’s Path Foods with the Growing Organic Industry Award; Kyle Mathison of Stemilt Growers with the Organic Farmer of the Year Award; and Karen and Colin Archipley of Archi’s Acres/VSAT with the Rising Star Award. Tickets are $150 for non-members, and $130 for members. 


Printed in WholeFoods Magazine, Sept. 2013 (online 8/12/13)