Expo East: proof of mainstream swing?

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Related tags: Natural products expo, Organic certification, Organic food

Natural Products Expo East organisers say last weekend's show broke
all previous attendance records, with an unprecedented diversity
reflecting the changing demographics of natural product fans to
include the mainstream consumer.

Natural Products Expo East organisers say last weekend's show broke all previous attendance records, with an unprecedented diversity reflecting the changing demographics of the natural and organic product consumers to include the mainstream consumer.

Diversity and business growth have always been hallmarks of the natural and organic products sectors - growing at 7 per cent and 20 per cent respectively - noted exhibition organisers New Hope Media, but they add that acceptance by the mainstream consumer is a newer phenomenon.

Last month FoodNavigator.com​ provided details of a new report on the global organic food and drink market from UK market analysts Organic Monitor which placed North America in the number one slot for organic consumption. This was attributed to the implementation of the National Organic Programme (NOP) that succeeded in raising the profile of organic products - today highly visible in mainstream retailers.

Fresh fruit and vegetables were said to boast the biggest market share, although it seems Americans are generally buying organic food and drink products because they are seen to be healthier and more natural than their non-organic equivalents.

On the opening day of last week's Natural Products Expo East​, running from September 4 - 7 at the Washington DC Convention Center, more than 20,000 attendees from 75 countries reportedly visited the show floor, filled with more than 1,700 exhibitors.

New Hope suggests that 'whether conservative or liberal, mainstream or fringe, a diverse cross section of consumers are now driving the explosive growth of the natural and organic products industry'.

"The show's attendance, both on numbers and quality, demonstrates that every segment of the industry - from raw material suppliers to manufacturers to retailers - is experiencing success,"​ said Fredrik M. Linder, president of New Hope Natural Media.

Organic Products Expo - BioFach America, a new international show within the show, also proved successful, and provided visitors with an opportunity to sample new certified organic products from 13 countries.

"Natural Products Expo provided an international platform for organics,"​ said Herta Krausmann, president of Nuernberg Global Fairs. "We're delighted to have the BioFach concept and ideals on a worldwide platform, with our new presence in the US market. The benefit for North American attendees from BioFach is the increased access to a host of new manufacturers and products."

Among the winners of new product awards at the show was hemp food maker Nutiva, which received the Best New Supplement/Herb award for its Organic Hemp Protein Powder from The Hemp Trade Association.

Related topics: Markets

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