Natural Products Community Rallies After Expo West Postponed

Here's a rundown of events that are taking place in and around Anaheim during what would have been NPEW--plus ways the industry is rallying to help smaller brands.

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Anaheim, CA—Following the official postponement of Natural Products Expo West due to concerns regarding novel coronavirus, COVID-19, many in the industry took to social media to discuss what can be done to support smaller companies and emerging brands that are expressing concerns about lost investment and missed opportunities to spread the word to retailers and investors about their products.

WholeFoods Magazine is committed to sharing information that can help support and educate all in the industry. Here, we are sharing news of smaller events and industry efforts to help support brands.

This post will be continuously updated as more news is shared with us, with the latest additions at the top of the list and events that have passed moved to the end. Please send information to maggiejaqua@wfcinc.com.

*Threshold Enterprises, Ltd. launched “Virtual Expo West,” a short video tour of our booth with every Source Naturals, Planetary Herbals, and distributed brands special honored and available. “Obviously, this video is no substitute for Expo West,” said Tom Grillea, CEO. “It’s just a small display of resilience and unity with some really good deals thrown in. Of course, because wellness can be undermined by stress, wellness and immunity support products are flying off the shelves. As the parent company of Source Naturals and Planetary Herbals, we have been working around the clock to ensure public demand is met. Both of our Source Naturals and Planetary Herbals teams have had to mobilize quickly to respond to a spike in demand. Luckily, we had a plan in place, but that plan meant double and triple shifts for a lot of our people. Rest assured, we’re all-in to make sure shelves remain stocked.” View the video here.

*Dwight Richmond of The Fresh Market is also here to help! He shared: “I am putting out an open invitation to all that were trying to exhibit at this show and know The Fresh Market. Are you a vendor who has a great product or new product that you ‘know’ will help drive incremental innovation to our offering? …I will make myself available to anyone who wants 30 minute call/webcast whatever. Email me directly at dwightrichmond@thefreshmarket.net. If I can help I will, know my heart, my love goes out to you all who gambled all, and I refuse to let you loose. Hit me UP!!” Dwight told WholeFoods that over the next three weeks he will be doing 30 minute calls for all the brands that reach out.

*Offering assistance to brands, Christie & Co  announced: “Christie & Co and adVenturesAcademy empathize with all those who participate in the wonders of NPEW – from heritage brands to the emerging entrepreneurs and all those who work with them. Like any challenge, innovation will arise and a better solution will develop. For any company who needs help, we are offering free growth consultations and an invitation to attend our March adVenturesAcademy webinar. Together we are making the world better. Please call 805-969-3744 8 AM to 5 PM PST or email us for a free consultation.” 

*KeHE Distributors shared: “Since the postponement of Expo West, we have been working hard to continue to support the supplier community along with our retail partners. We are still proceeding with our TrendFinder Event, scheduled to take place at Expo West, by virtually meeting with the suppliers. Learn more here. We have also partnered with RangeMe to create a customized experience for brand submissions. These submissions will be prioritized and sent directly to our Category Managers. See more information on the partnership here.

*RangeMe shared a blog outlining the company’s efforts to support brands and buyers, noting: “Amidst this time of travel restrictions and trade show cancellations, RangeMe will support the CPG industry by working with brands and buyers to keep bolstering the momentum of product discovery and support of emerging brands. RangeMe is the largest online platform that streamlines product discovery, sampling, and sourcing. During this time of uncertainty, RangeMe will continue to provide both brands and buyers the opportunity to connect. Read the full blog post here.

*Elliot Begoun, Founder of TIG (The Intertwine Group), offered his assistance on LinkedIn, posting his intention to “place my attention on what little I can do to help lessen the blow that has been dealt to the brands that are at the most vulnerable stage of their lifecycle. For those brands, Expo West is the Superbowl.” He started a “Sharing Community for Early-Stage Expo Brands” to “collect and disseminate information to key individuals and companies that many of the early-stage brands were hoping to meet at Expo West this year.” The form can be accessed here.

Related: Expo West 2020 Product Roundup We at WholeFoods Magazine were gearing up to sample our way across the Expo West show floor. In light of the postponement, we… decided to do it anyway—virtually. Check out our “stroll” here.

Expo Week Events

Several events still happened in and around Anaheim between March 4-March 7, in the days that would have brought an estimate 86,000 attendees to Anaheim for the show.

*No Evil Foods has scheduled various free events in Southern California to give consumers the chance to taste their products and receive some free swag. The events:

      • Wednesday, March 4, 8:00 PM-11:00 PM: Animal Alliance Network will be hosting their weekly pig vigil in Vernon, CA, at 3049 E. Vernon Ave., and No Evil Foods will be providing free curry ‘no chicken’ salad wraps to attending activists.
      • Friday, March 6, starting at 5:30 PM: No Evil Foods will be giving away free street corn tostadas and running menu specials at Doomies NextMex Express. The first 50 guests will get No Evil Foods swag bags.
      • Sunday, March 8: No Evil Foods will be serving ‘Pit Boss’ sliders with pear jalapeno slaw at the launch party for the New Day, New Chef TV show. 

*Elixicure was spreading word about a free networking event–the “Natural Products Expo West 2020 that Never Was Networking Afterparty” set for Friday, March 6, starting at 8 pm PST. Larry King, Director of National Accounts at Elixicure, shared, “On behalf of all the CBD-related businesses in Orange County that were attending or exhibiting at the ‘postponed’ EXPO in Anaheim this week, we at Elixicure will be hosting a California-style party for all our out-of-state friends, especially distributors, retailers, sales reps, medical professionals, and manufacturers, and anyone else related to the legal Hemp space. Local businesses welcome as well. Bars close early and there’s not a lot going on after Disneyland. So come to the Hemperor’s Club for live music, refreshing food and drink, with lots of parking.” 3501 W. Moore Ave, Santa Ana, CA 92704, Ste. A

*Wiley’s Finest invited all to learn about the company’s new vegan formulas, CatchFree Omega and Bold Heart by Cardiosmile, at its new product introductory webinar on Thursday March 5 at 10 am EST and 2 pm EST, and Friday March 6 at 10 am EST and 2pm EST.

*For those who traveled to Orange County and are sill in the area during Expo West days, Alkemist Labs shared an invite on social media, offering tours of the company’s new lab.

*Transfer Point is remaining in the LA area to offer workshops and education on immune support and beta glucan at various health food stores until the end of this week. Events will be held at: GMP Vitamins (721 S Harbor Blvd, Fullerton, CA 92832) on Thursday, March 5th, from 2 pm – 4pm PST; and Mother’s Market & Kitchen (151 E Memory Ln, Santa Ana, CA 92706) on Friday, March 6th, from 12 pm – 2pm PST.

* On Wednesday, March 4, Papa & Barkely will host its #ExpoWest CBD Outpost--cannabis and cannabidiol (CBD) education experience and brand immersion for retailers, distributors, brokers, and press who traveled to Anaheim and are currently in the LA/OC area. The event will take place at the company’s Pasadena campus from 10 am – 4 pm PST. At 12:30 pm, there will be a Panel Discussion: An Expert’s Guide to CBD in 2020 on CBD Regulation, Safety, Efficacy and the Legal Landscape from Trusted Brands with Papa & Barkley, KGK Science, and Arnall Golden Gregory LLP. The company will also be live-streaming the discussion on Facebook (https://lnkd.in/gTjSiEj), Twitter (https://lnkd.in/gvuah8Q) and Instagram (https://lnkd.in/gzd36WU).

 

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