WholeFoods Magazine wanted to know: How did Expo East 2013 stack up this year? Here is what some exhibitors and attendees had to say about their experiences at the 2013 show.

Dan Ashby, vice president of sales, Activate Drinks, Los Angeles, CA
“This is my first Expo East, after having been at Expo West three or four times. What’s new for our company this year is our partnership with Solgar, at whose booth we are showing our flavored, nutrient-enhanced water. We were regional before, but plan to ship nationally as of January 2014, now that we have distribution through Solgar. We found the show fantastic. Retailers and other booth visitors responded very favorably to the cucumber lemonade flavor that we sampled.”


John Willard, Willard Water, Rapid City, SD
“This year’s Expo East has been a bit better than last year’s, but we have to point out that last year we did much better at the SOHO show in Florida than we did in Baltimore. We had more traffic and more orders at that regional show. Nevertheless, we still think it is always good to be here for the exposure, even if we don’t get a lot of direct sales.”


Marymae Lorenzo, sales manager, NOW Foods, Bloomingdale, IL
“After the first two days of the show, we were getting good feedback on our personal care line. On the supplement side, new products like Siliphos, to help maintain liver health, and Omega-7, intended to support healthy glucose metabolism, were capturing a lot of interest. Also, orders were going very well.”


Jainica Jeng, founder, Kitchens of Africa, Raleigh, NC
“I was born in The Gambia, part of West Africa, educated in Canada and now live in Raleigh. I launched my company, featuring sauces and spices from my childhood. These African flavors have received little attention in the West, and I am hoping to change that. My assessment of Expo East is that it wasn’t as strong as the Fancy Food Show in New York City this summer. That one had more energy and more traffic, but Baltimore was impressive in its own way.”


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. One offers 15 billion live microorganisms per serving, and the other 50 billion. Both use the same single strain, Lactobacillus plantarum (LP229V), and both use vegetarian capsules as the delivery format.”


Dan Adams, Wiley’s Finest, Coshocton, OH
“It was a phenomenal show. We’ve gotten immediate excitement about the packaging. We’ve taken a lot of orders and leads to follow up on back at the office. One of the most exciting things people are clinging to is the sustainability story.”


Donna Kraus of Nature’s Pantry, Fishkill, NY
“We accomplished a lot. 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.


Cheryl Myers, chief of education and scientific affairs, EuroPharma USA, Green Bay, WI
“We’ve had good traffic. I would say that it was a spectacular success...I’ve been extremely impressed. There’s been a lot of upbeat people, and I think there’s a lot of confidence coming back into the industry.”


Full Expo East 2013 Coverage

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