CPG Development – Natural Products Expo West 2016
It’s that time of year again, it is snowing in New York City and I am looking forward to my annual pilgrimage to Anaheim, California. No, it’s not a fun filled trip to Disney Land, not a trip to visit NASA’s JPL (that’s in Pasadena), nor a fun Yoga Retreat, well there may be a little yoga involved. It is time for ExpoWest, the largest natural products expo in the world. ExpoWest is a place where new Hope 360, pays homage to thousands of entrepreneurs who chose to work hard in bringing natural products and foods to the world, making it a better place for us all.
Many put on their best running sneakers and hit the tradeshow floor running the aisles for days and sampling all the chia, jerky, and various plant waters they can get their hands on. Visiting the thousands of booths is of course why we are there, but there is so much more. There is first and foremost a community of like minded people with many social events that are created to bring us all together, and yes that includes morning yoga if you can wake up early enough. There is also an often overlooked Educational Series that I have found to be extremely impactful and a fantastic way to get insight on cutting edge topics with deep dive discussions from expert panels.
In addition to connecting to some great people, my work in CPG product development brings
me to the less publicized, but always entertaining Engredea Show. This is a place where I can gather with my fellow food-science focused colleagues to see the newest plant protein, organic emulsifier and get to know ingredient suppliers from around the world.
Maybe my favorite thing about ExpoWest is still the NEXT Pavilion. This is the place to find the newbies, the cutting edge, trend setting and innovative creators of tomorrow and to check out the NEXTY Award nominees and see if I can guess the winners.
Let me know if you are planning on attending, maybe we can meet up over morning yoga!
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Daniel Karsevar, Founder & Chief Problem Solver at SOLUTIONTOPIA & is also a Mentor at The Brooklyn FoodWorks.
SOLUTIONTOPIA provides turn-key solutions, product development, and operational scaling solutions for food start-ups in the natural foods CPG space.