Have you ever heard of ExpoWest? I haven’t either until fellow foodie blogger and Paleo cookbook author, Genevieve Jerome of @fittyfoodlicious told me about it a few months ago. I had really wanted to attend, but travel to California just wasn’t in the cards. Then a last minute family situation happened and I needed to head down for a few days. I was able to squeeze in one day to check it out and I am so glad that I did!
“The 39th annual Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural and organic products event, gathered an inspired community of more than 86,000 attendees from 136 countries, all working to drive positive change in the CPG industry. In another record-setting year, the event brought together more than 3,600 exhibiting companies, including more than 600 first-time exhibitors, shaping the future of healthy products.” For more click here.
You know that I am all about trying new things, adventuring and all things food, right? Well, Expo West was quite the experience!
My Top 5 Tips
- This is seriously not for the faint of heart. If you have any issues with crowds, be aware that there are people everywhere! Jostling, pushing, cutting you off. I grew up in So Cal so crowds don’t faze me.
- Go all five days, because you are going to need it! I didn’t have time to go to any of the classes since I only had from 9am-3pm on a Friday to see it. I got through 1 1/4 of what must surely be 7 expo floors!
- Wear sensible attire. Especially shoes. You will see the gambit here. People in suits all the way to people in athletic clothes. Depending on why you are going, really think about the image you want to project. If you are just going for the swag, then I guess it doesn’t matter.
- Off load as often as you can. There is a bag check area for all your goodies, but you can only check one bag. I had two bags full in just that short amount of time so make sure your car or hotel is close enough to take breaks. It’s also awkward going through the expo lugging huge bags and bumping into people all the time.
- Think about what you are taking from the expo. If you are flying home, will you be able to check your bag or bring stuff on the plane. Will you be able to try everything you take? Seriously, the swag is great but if you can’t or won’t use it, don’t stuff it in your bag, it’s ok to say no thank you. I have an allergy to Stevia so I had to say no to quite a few people. You don’t have to be rude, but all of this costs money so don’t abuse the freebies.
The Watkins Co., King Arthur Flour, Scratch & Grain
What I Learned at Expo West
I think my favorite take away from the event is all the wonderful products I never knew were out there because they aren’t marketed the PNW yet. I’m looking forward to sharing some of these in further posts here in the blog or on my Instagram @peppyfitfoodie.
I also learned that many products are getting away from Stevia and switching to Monk Fruit or other ways to add sweetness to their products. Since I’m not looking to get a migraine from a protein bar, that’s a good thing from my perspective.
What I really loved was taking the time to talk to many of the vendors about their products. I mean the swag was great, but I wanted to learn more about them. Where they were located, what was great about their products, where I could get them, what were they bringing to the natural products area that made them something that myself or my followers would like.
Vital Proteins, Mrs Meyers & Koe Kombucha
Women Who Inspired Me @ExpoWest
I decided that this month’s episode of Women Who Inspire needed to be about the women created, owned and marketed companies that I got to meet. All of them started for a reason, a passion, a niche market. Without further ado, here they are!
Buddyfruits, a healthier snack!
Created by two moms, Marine and Stephanie, looking for healthier, convenient snacks for their kids. I’m excited to think outside that box and use them for hiking adventures this season!
Stinkbug Naturals, the alternative anriperspirant.
Started in the kitchen of a mom wanting a more natural , less toxic alternative to antiperspirant. Made from organic, aluminum-free ingredients. Note: all have baking soda except the newest Vanilla Mint Charcoal deodorant.
Creation Nation, protein bars, balls and bites without all the crap.
Founder, Karen Nation is a certified Sports Nutrition Specialist with a passion for food, found a way to make creating your own bars at home easier. YOU control the way to sweeten then. Vegan, Gluten-Free, Paleo or Keto? There is a mix for you!
Better Than Coffee, a high-energy bar.
Creator Valerie Milovic needed something other than “chemical-filled energy drinks to make it through the long days.” It needed to be portable and easy to carry. Thus Better than Coffee was born.
To learn more about Expo West go to: https://www.expowest.com/