More than 43,000 visitors attended Expo West and the collocated ingredients and ingredient technologies show Supply Expo between Friday 24 and Sunday 26 March - up from 38,000 in 2005.
The number of exhibitors at SupplyExpo also rose by 40 percent on last year, and the organiser noted that superfruits with a high antioxidant profile such as acai, goji berries and mangosteens were very much in evidence, as were innovative joint health ingredients.
The trade shows' growth is set against a backdrop of burgeoning interest in the sector. According to Nutrition Business Journal, US natural and organic foods sales rose by 13 percent to be worth $18.38 bn in 2004.
SupplyExpo, now in its fourth year, is intended to offer opportunities "for those at any part of the supply chain to connect with critical decision makers and create product development and business relationships," said New Hope.
It was supported by a strong conference programme at Nutracon, featuring education sessions by food and supplement industry stalwarts such as ethno-botanist and author James Duke, PhD, and John Holroyd or Nairns Oatcakes.
"The feedback has been excellent with more than 75 per cent of exhibitors resigning for 2007," said Mike Roberts, publisher of New Hope's Functional Foods and Nutraceticals.
Feedback from exhibitors and attendees was equally positive. Bob Milam, trade show manager of Kerry Americas, called SupplyExpo was "remarkably successful".
"We saw all key customers and prospects. The right people were there," he said.
For Joseph Stern of SunOpta it was "the busiest show ever", which "generated a great environment for networking through non-stop contacts with customers and suppliers".