March 12, 2010

Expo West…Ready or Not, Here I Come!

It’s Friday, March 12th and I’m setting off for Natural Products Expo West 2010 with a spirit of adventure and anticipation.  This is the second time I’ll be attending for Elephant Journal, and I’m glad to have that experience behind me.  It was my very first time reporting at a large event.  I think I did a good job, going in completely fresh, but I felt so naiive!  This time, I am armed with knowledge, a good camera, and memories of last year’s event to guide me. 

In case you’re thinking of attending, here’s the lowdown on NPEW:

People come from all over to attend this mega event.  It is HUGE!  Massive!  Ginormous!  There are companies represented from all over the world at Natural Products Expo West (NPEW for short).  According to the official website, www.expowest.com,

“attended by more than 53,000 industry professionals from across the globe, Natural Products Expo West is the premier trade show for the healthy products industry. Co-located with SupplyExpo, the Nutracon conference, the Healthy Baking Seminar and the Fresh Ideas Organic Marketplace, these combined events showcase the entire value chain of healthy products from start to finish, identifying the bestsellers of today and the trends of tomorrow. Natural Products Expo West is ranked as one of the top 100 shows in the US and one of the fastest 50 growing tradeshows in the US and Canada.”

I remember it as being a sampling fest…actually, the term “feeding frenzy” is more apt.  And, having worked in a health food store since last attending NPEW, I have an even greater appreciation of the natural foods industry.  Of course, natural means different things to different people, and I’ll be your guide in terms of determining what’s healthy, more or less SUSTAINABLE and natural…and what’s loosely termed as “natural”.  For example, the potstickers that my mom buys now (they must have made a major deal with Costco last year), are natural, sure, but they are loaded with sodium and made with white flour.  Natural, maybe.  Healthy, not so much.  I’m most interested in products that are geared towards lifestyles of health and sustainability, and I’ll be keeping my eyes open especially for things geared towards that category. 

Last year, one of the major buzz terms was “gluten free”.  A Celiac’s delight, there were all kinds of things made sans gluten.  I wonder what the major buzz words, or terms will be this year?  I’ll let you know. 

Now, I’m setting off, putting my faith in the OCTA (Orange County’s ailing bus system) to deliver me to NPEW safely and soundly, and probably, in a couple hours…sigh…at least it’ll get me there, and for that, I am grateful.  I’ll report back with my findings later tonight.  Stay tuned!


Claire Amber, author of the forthcoming book, “From Burned Out to Fired Up: Feng Shui for Your Body, Mind and Surroundings”, is a writer, feng shui consultant, and green business advocate.  She is known in the green business and spirituality circles as “the feng shui fairy”. 

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