ExpoWest: The Wild, Wild West of the Natural Products World

  • March 21, 2019

If you’re even remotely involved in the health space, ExpoWest is the granddaddy of them all when it comes to events supporting the industry. In its 30-year history, ExpoWest has grown to encompass the entire Anaheim convention hall plus all remaining spaces outside, in the arena and in the hotels next to the complex. For four days, it is the epicenter of the healthy living space and is open to the businesses, retailers and manufacturers who are looking for the next trend, big idea and distribution deal. The projected attendance at the event came in at 85,000 people, up from 52,000 just ten years ago. And rough estimates put exhibitors and sponsors at more than 3,200 companies.

Catapult was onsite, and with multiple pairs of very comfortable shoes, made the rounds. While the now established, “big” brands in the natural and organic space took up much of the main halls, the buzz was really happening in the Hot Products Pavilion.

Here are the top four trends that were on display:

SNACKS
Snacks and convenience are big business. The number of chips, trail mix, jerkies, popcorns, energy bites/bars was overwhelming. Standing out in the crowded field will take moxy, an edge and endurance. There can only be so much granola in the world.

No baked granola bar on wooden background with copy space. Energy natural snack. Top view, flat lay

BEVERAGES
Beverages are still the rage. We saw everything from Organics by Red Bull to water sold in reusable bottles. One booth that was hustling was Metta, a drink built to increase awareness. It was indicative of many of the pitches promising clarity, energy, focus and endurance.

Beautiful woman sitting with healthy green food and drinking smoothie at home. Vegan meal and detox concept

CBD
Anything with CDB was popular and guaranteed to draw a crowd. So, once you’ve tackled your challenges with your energy drink, you can relax with your CBD-infused drink. Us humans like our ups and downs.

hemp leaves on wooden background, seeds, cannabis oil extracts in jars.

NO PLASTIC
Most interesting, the no plastic movement was not as prevalent as you’d think. A lot of product is still packaged in plastic and while most brands promoted a social responsibility message, the climate discussion advantage is still out there for brands willing to tackle it.

On the cloth reusable bag lie cellophane disposable bags, gloves, egg storage container, crumpled plastic bottles. Recycling concept , environmental pollution.

The buzz, traffic and energy at ExpoWest is truly remarkable. The healthy products space is at full throttle with innovation, ideas and market adoption. If you are in the healthy space, looking to crack into the space, are wondering how you’d stand outside the noise of an event like ExpoWest, let’s talk. We have many ideas just waiting to find a home.