Chicago, IL—The first annual Healthy & Natural Show was held May 5–7 at the Chicago Navy Pier with over 1,100 attendees and 125 exhibiting companies. Produced by William Reed Business Media in conjunction withFoodNavigator-USAandNutraIngredients-USA, the show is scheduled to return next year, May 4–6.

The Midwest has long been a wellspring for food development as well as leaders in the good food movement, but there is often a gap in national representation and distribution for natural products. The Healthy & Natural Show seeks to bridge this gap.

Exhibitors included both veteran and emerging companies vying for the attention of retailers that included Whole Foods Market, Costco, Walgreens, Fresh Thyme Farmers Market and Target. “We talked to a lot of meaningful people,” said Luke Blotsky, CEO of Mineral Biosciences, Goodyear, AZ. “I think the Healthy & Natural Show will continue to grow and become a hub for natural products in the Midwest.”

Education was an important focus of the show, with programming throughout all three days of the show that provided retailers with valuable knowledge about the growing influence of the natural product industry, how to better engage their customers and complex product categories such as probiotics, cannabis and Ayurveda. “We found a great amount of take-a-ways from the show including education and new contacts,” said Jennifer James, national key account manager for Wyndmere Naturals, Inc., Minnetonka, MN.

Posted on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 6/2/16