Baltimore, MD—Natural products professionals are preparing for this year’s Natural Products Expo East, being held at the Baltimore Convention Center, September 16–19.

A press release from the show announced that record numbers of attendees are expected at the show this year, with over 22,000 attendees and over 1,800 exhibitors. 30% of these exhibitors will be newcomers to the marketplace exhibiting for the first time.

This year’s event will feature three keynote speakers; one for each day of the show. Thursday’s keynote speaker is New York Times best-selling author, sustainability entrepreneur and former television host Dylan Ratigan. Friday’s keynote speaker is full-time third generation farmer Joel Salatin, and Saturday’s keynote speaker is Michelle Simon, a public health lawyer who has written extensively about the food industry.

As always, a wealth of informative sessions will be held during the show for retailers to gain insight both on market developments as well as ways to improve their own business. These include the “Future Of” Series, discussing what to expect in categories like labeling and seafood as trends shift. “Natural in the Media” and “All Things Organic” are also among the lecture series being presented this year.

Other events include the “Farm-to-Market” tour, an opportunity for attendees to visit nearby Baltimore farms as well as the retail stores that source from them; Harvest Festival, sponsored by Eden Foods; Thursday Evening Celebration, sponsored by G.H. Cretors and Hi I’m Skinny; and Women in Naturals networking event, sponsored by Reservage Nutrition. The second annual Expo East Retailer of the Year ceremony on Friday will honor retailers nominated in the Community Engagement & Outreach, Innovation, Best New Store and Sustainability categories.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, September 2015 (online 8/7/2015)