New Hope Network announced in an email andonlinethat, due to the continued impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on events and travel, Natural Products Expo East is being cancelled. The event had been planned for September 23-26 in Philadelphia. New Hope added feedback from the natural products community, including surveys and conversations, have shown that many community members, including retail buyers, are not confident they will feel safe traveling and attending a large gathering in September.

"A potential lack of buyer participation, along with the show changes we would need to make to ensure the health & safety of the Expo East community, would have prevented us from delivering the quality experience and return on investment our exhibitors, sponsors and the broader community deserve and that we strive to provide," the company said in the announcement.

New Hope will be refunding all paid Expo East 2020 badges and education registrations, and will work with exhibitors and sponsors on a credit or refund plan. More information can be found onExpo East FAQfor more information. On that page, New Hope said Expo East 2021 will continue as planned, in Philadelphia September 22-25, 2021.
Related: 10 Tips to Getting the Most Out of Virtual Events Organic & Natural Health Hosting Virtual Pitch Sessions Getting On-Shelf In a Pandemic: Takeaways From the Supermarket Guru
Also looking to the future, New Hope announced the launch of Spark Change, described as a "Digital Product Discovery, Education and Connection Platform for 2020 and Beyond." The initiative is designed to:
  • Help brands and innovators get in front of retail buyers, consumer influencers, investors and others via digital storytelling and product sampling;
  • Help retailers and others navigate new innovation based on theme, trend and product category—and meet the people behind these offerings;
  • Give the natural products community access to interactive and actionable conference education and digital networking.
Related: MAHO 2020 “Summer Splash” Convention & MAHO Expo Go Virtual