Three lessons from the Natural Products Expo West show


If you’re in the CPG or food and beverage industry and you haven’t made at least one trip to the Natural Products Expo West show, you’re missing out. Even if you’re a brand that doesn’t make natural products (and has no plans to), the show is an invaluable experience, loaded with trends, free samples and inspiration.  

The quench team makes the pilgrimage to Expo West every year to commingle with clients and track the aforementioned trends and it’s easily one of the highlights of our annual trade show schedule. Here are three things we learned last week in Anaheim at the country’s largest food product trade show: 

If the idea isn’t new, the format can be. We saw countless brands breathing new life into existing products by reimagining the way it looks. Gummies in the shape of stars, crescent moons and balls. Things shaped like balls were EVERYWHERE at Expo West. 

Don’t just sample, build an experience. We all know that an immersive and engaging trade show booth is important, but Expo West took that lesson to a whole new level. It’s not just about handing someone a sample. Your booth must bring your brand to life – sometimes with the help of a celebrity spokesperson – and give people interesting and Instagram-worthy ways to sample your brand and your products.  

Old trends can still be hot. quench knows trends better than anyone. We also know that just because a trend is “sooooo three years ago” that doesn’t mean that trend (and the products associated with it) aren’t still in demand by consumers. Some trends stay hot longer than others and some get hotter with time. Examples seen at Expo West: mushrooms, honey, enhanced water, world flavors, clean labels and renewable packaging. 

To recap: Shapes are cool, branded experiences are cooler and some trends just get better with age. Next up on the quench trade show calendar? The National Restaurant Association Show in May.

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