Discovery Zones at Expo West

Plan for an immersive experience at this year’s event.
Get ready for five days jam-packed with new sights, seminars and products. Natural Products Expo West, co-located with Engredea, is back for 2016 at the Anaheim Convention Center and the Anaheim Hilton, from March 9 to 13.

With more than 70,000 industry professionals and 3,000 exhibits expected at the event, Expo West is a veritable cornucopia for anything and everything in natural, organic and healthy products. Since there will be more than enough to see, hear and do during your time there, here are some highlights for the days and nights ahead. And when you head over to the trade show floor, be sure to stop by WholeFoods at Booth 2011 for free bags of samples and literature!

Featured Speakers

Take in inspiring views and insights from each day’s keynote, an experience that is included with your exhibit hall pass.

Martha Rogers is an acclaimed business strategist who founded Trustability Metrix, a system that gives companies a look into how they are trusted by customers, employees and business partners. She has co-written several best-selling books with Don Peppers, including the most recent Extreme Trust: Honesty as a Competitive Advantage. Rogers will be speaking Thursday from 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.

LandbergSamuel Kass, formerly a personal chef to the First Family from the start of President Barack Obama’s tenure until December 2014, has worked as a senior White House policy advisor for nutrition and as the executive director of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign. He is a member of the U.S. State Department’s inaugural class of American Chef Corps, with aims to use culinary engagements as a tool for public diplomacy. Kass will present Friday’s keynote from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Erik Weihenmayer is an athlete and author who was the first blind person to summit Mount Everest. His organization, No Barriers, motivates people with challenges to overcome personal obstacles and reach their potential through programs like No Barriers Warriors, which coordinates mountain-climbing experiences for disabled veterans. He is the author of the best-selling memoir Touch the Top of the World and book The Adversity Advantage. Weihenmayer will present Saturday’s keynote address from 9 a.m. to 10:15 a.m. and have a book signing event from 10:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.

Special Events and Free Education
Expo West is known for exciting special events. Check for information about registration, locations and payment. Educational events listed are those that are free with an exhibit hall badge.

Thursday, March 10
Early Morning Yoga. Get centered and ready for your day with a free group yoga session sponsored by Honest Tea. (7:30–9:00 a.m.)
Retail Store Tour. Looking for ways to boost your store’s flair? Take inspiration as you enjoy guided tours of specialty stores in Southern California for $60. (8:00 a.m.–2:00 p.m.)
Organic Farming Research Foundation’s 19th Annual Benefit Luncheon. This annual tradition with over 300 leaders in the industry will feature a keynote address by Fred Kirschenmann, president of the board at Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture, and a seasonal organic meal prepared by celebrity chefs Chris Blobaum and Donna Prizgintas. Seats start at $85. (11:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.)
SolgarState of the Natural Products Industry: Products & Consumer Trends Fueling Growth. Get an overview of the biggest factors influencing the natural products industry in this session. (12:30–2:00 p.m.)
Fresh Ideas. Enjoy the outdoors as you browse an abundant selection of organic goods from leading organic producers and manufacturers in a fun marketplace environment. Free with an exhibit hall pass in the Marriott’s Big White Tent. (12:30–5:30 p.m.)
The Herb Walk. For $60, get in touch with nature as you tour Fullerton Arboretum’s 26-acre botanical garden, featuring more than 4,000 plants. Learn about the many uses of culinary and medicinal herbs from a faculty of renowned herbalists. (1:00–5:00 p.m.)
Engredea/NBJ Reception: NutrAwards. See which industry players have hit the mark for innovation in functional ingredients and finished products. (5:00–6:30 p.m.)
The Organic Center’s Annual VIP Dinner. Join The Organic Center in celebrating organic at this ticketed networking event. Tickets are $195. (6:00–10:00 p.m.)
Evenings on the Plaza. Spice up your evening with food, drink and live music performed by a different talented band each night. (6:00–8:00 p.m.)

League of Angels. Take time to honor the work of Vitamin Angels, a non-profit that brings life-changing vitamins and minerals to millions of children and mothers in 50 countries. Contribute $75 in advance ($100 at the door) to take part in this fun event hosted by the group. Take a tour of the stadium, take a swing in the batting cages, buy a bottle of vitamins for someone in need and send them a special note, and enjoy appetizers and drinks. This event will take place at Angel Stadium of Anaheim, but free shuttles are available from the convention center area. (6:00–8:30 p.m.)


Friday, March 11
Early Morning Yoga. Prepare for the day ahead with a free morning yoga session. (7:30–9:00 a.m.)
Boulder Brands Breakfast. Get a delicious start to your Friday with a complimentary breakfast featuring the newest products from Earth Balance, EVOL, Glutino and Udi’s. (7:30–10:00 a.m.)
The Future of the Supplement Industry: Preparing for Challenges & Opportunities in 2016 & Beyond. It’s been a whirlwind year for supplements. See what lies ahead for the industry in this session, included in your basic registration. (10:00–11:30 a.m.)
Hall of Legends Award Celebration. The fifth annual Hall of Legends ceremony will honor the biggest industry movers and shakers to have influenced the natural products industry. (6:00–7:30 p.m.)
Evenings on the Plaza. Evening festivities continue at the plaza with live music by Soul Rebels. (6:00–8:00 p.m.)


Saturday, March 12
Early Morning Yoga. Start your day with some free relaxing yoga. (7:30–9:00 a.m.)
Japanese Breakfast and Anniversary. Retailers can join Mushroom Wisdom, Inc. for a free Japanese breakfast and 25th  anniversary celebration at the Sheraton Hotel, Park Ballroom (Doors open at 8:00 a.m., Doors close at 8:30 a.m.). Learn about how Poria supports kidney health from Sensuke Konno, Ph.D., from NY Medical College.
AlphaTime to Lead on Climate. Industry leaders launch a Climate Friendly Foods Movement in the wake of COP21. (3:00–4:30 p.m.)
The New Edge. Learn powerful skills for staying calm, centered and authentic in your business life. (4:00–5:30 p.m.)
Women in Naturals Networking Event Sponsored by Reserveage. In an evening dedicated to dynamic women in the industry, women and men alike are invited to network and learn from other professionals at the Hilton Sunset Deck. (5:30–7:00 p.m.)
Evenings on the Plaza. In case you’ve missed two other nights under the stars, take your last chance to enjoy fun, food and live music from the Revivalists. (6:00–8:00 p.m.)


Book Signing Event

Meet the much-loved leader of Bragg Live Health Products, Patricia Bragg, N.D., Ph.D., on Friday, March 11, 2:00–3:00 at the WholeFoods Magazine booth (#2011).
Bragg will be signing and distributing copies of the Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar book for free.


Sunday, March 13
Early Morning Yoga: Kick off your last day of Expo with a free yoga session. (7:30–9:00 a.m.)

Paid Education
If you decide to upgrade your badge to a Super Pass, you’ll gain access to a bevy of perks, including specialized seminars at the Marriott on some of the newest industry ingredients, products and practices. Here’s a sample of a few educational workshops.

Thursday, March 10
Organic & Carbon: The Climate Change Connection: Catch this panel discussion on climate change, featuring Tom Newmark, co-founder of Carbon Underground, and John Roulac, founder and CEO of Nutiva. (10:30-11:30 a.m.)

Tishcon Organic Demand Growing Faster Than Supply: Can the Tables Turn?: Come hear what the future may hold for organic agriculture. (12:00–1:00 p.m.)
Gatekeepers: The Role Retailers Play in Saving Supplements: Learn how retailers play an essential role in bringing products to consumers during this critical time for the supplements industry. (1:30–2:30 p.m.)
The Retail Fix: In this interactive presentation, a panel of experts will guide two retailers through questions and exercises to help them develop a plan for the future of their business. (3:00–4:30 p.m.)
• 2016 Politics: Implications for Organic & Natural: The organic and natural product industry is far from removed from the influence of politics. See what’s in store for the future. (5:00–6:00 p.m.)

Friday, March 11
Biotechnology & Genetic Engineering: Concerns & Opportunities: Hear from Systems Bioscience CEO Tim Avila and Melody Meyer, vice president of Policy and Industry Relations at Unite Natural Foods Incorporated, on the impact of biotechnology and genetic engineering on natural products. (10:30–11:45 a.m.)
Packaging Imperatives: Where We Are & Where We Need To Go: Come learn about the state of packaging and the advancements needed for sustainability. (12:30–1:30 p.m.)
• GMO Labeling: State & Federal Updates: Get up to date on the state of GMO Labeling at the state and federal levels. (2:00–3:30 p.m.)
Soil Matters: Protecting the Heart of Our Food System: Andre Leu, president of IFOAM-Organic International, and Kyle Garner, CEO of Organic India USA will share their views and knowledge on the significance of soil in the organic food industry. (4:30–5:30 p.m.)

Saturday, March 12
Building a Culture of Innovation & Creativity: Methods & Tools: Veteran chef Adam Melonas, founder and CEO of the food innovation lab Chew, will present this seminar on creativity and innovation. (10:30-11:30 a.m.)
The Evolution of Influencer Marketing: Experticity CEO Tom Stockham and Senior Vice President of Market-ing Inga Johnson will present their 2016 study on the impact of influencers on brand and product marketing. (10:30–11:30 a.m.)
VitaminAngels Achieving the Impossible with Your Brand: Case Studies in Success: This seminar will dissect how brands have realized opportunities for product success. (12:00–1:00 p.m.)
Launching Success: Tips for Keeping Your Next Product Rollout On Track: There’s a lot to paving a smooth road for product launches. Learn some pointers to help current or future projects in the pipeline. (1:30–2:30 p.m.)

Sponsored Education
If you’re curious about nutrients, ingredients and trends like healthy oils, probiotics and nutrigenomics, you’re in luck! These sponsored presentations on key topics are available free of charge with your basic exhibit hall badge.

Friday, March 11
The Omega-3 Paradox—Essential for Health yet Deficient in the Diet, presented by DSM: Omegas seem to constantly be on the tip of everyone’s tongues. What’s the trouble with this essential nutrient? (8:30–9:30 a.m.)
Healthier Oils: Out with Bad Fats, in with Good Fats, presented by Viterra: Come learn about healthy oils and the distinction between good and bad fats. (10:30–11:30 a.m.)
Natural Collagen Synthesis: Dtamatic Breakthrough for Sports Nutrition and Anti-Aging, presented by Natreon: Learn about the newest clinical trials about natural ways to support collagen synthesis. (1:00–2:00 p.m.)
Communally United, Preserving Our Shared Interests While Protecting Our Legacy Through Industry Advocacy, presented by Twinlab: Insight into how industry players can unite to promote mutual interests. (2:00–3:00 p.m.)
Probiotics: Delivering a Good Gut Feeling, presented by Carlson: Excited that gut flora is starting to get the attention it deserves? Get a handy primer on probiotics. (2:30–3:30 p.m.)

Trade Show Hours

Main Show
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Friday
10:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Saturday
10:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday

Ballroom, Arena, Arena Lobby
9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Friday
9:30 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Saturday
9:30 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Sunday

Exhibits at Anaheim Hilton
(Hot Products)

12:00 p.m.–6:00 p.m. Thursday
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Friday
9:00 a.m.–6:00 p.m. Saturday

Stop by WholeFoods at Booth 2011 for free bags of samples
and literature!

Saturday, March 12
Supporting Bone Density—The Novel Powers of Wild Spice Extracts, presented by North American Herb & Spice: Dr. Cass Ingram will discuss the potential of wild spice extracts and beta-caryophyllene in supporting bone density. (9:30–10:30 a.m.)
Fortify Your Life: A Case for Dietary Supplements with Tieraona Low Dog, M.D. Dr. Tieraona Low Dog, previously appointed by President Bill Clinton to the White House Commission on Complementary and Alternative Medicine Policy, will speak on research and share her views on the American diet and the need for supplementation. Sponsored by MegaFood. (10:30 a.m.–12:00 p.m.)
TribestThe New Frontier of Nutrigenomics and Molecular Nutrition, presented by Natural Factors: Dr. Michael Murray, N.D., will shine a light on this growing field of DNA-based nutrition research. (1:00–2:00 p.m.)
Other sponsored presentations include: NAXA (Science = Profit in the Emerging Natural Astaxanthin Market, 11:00–12:00 p.m., on Friday), Greenberg Traurig, LLP (Labeling Litigation, 12:30–1:30 p.m., on Friday), Non-GMO Project (The Future of Non-GMO Standards, 10:30–11:30 a.m., Saturday), and Nature’s Path (From Seed to Sprout, 1:00–2:30 p.m., Saturday). WF

Published in WholeFoods Magazine March 2016.