Probably the biggest news to come out of Natural Products Expo West, which closed Sunday, was the announcement from the Whole Foods Market chain that it would label all products in its stores that are genetically modified by 2018.
The Whole Foods announcement coincided with an initiative also introduced during the show about product labeling by the National Cooperative Grocers Association.
The transparency issue is one of the most significant trends in the organic and health foods industry today, according to a number of experts in the field, making the Whole Foods announcement so significant.
“The natural and organic market is at the center of many of the most important and positive changes happening in food, nutrition and wellness today,” says Carlotta Mast, editor-in-chief of Natural Foods Merchandiser.
According to New Hope officials, the show had 393,000 net square feet, more than 63,000 attendees and 2,428 exhibiting companies.
Natural Products Expo West is the largest event held by Penton Media, the parent company of New Hope Natural Media, and one of the largest events held each year in Anaheim. The Anaheim Convention Center is planning an expansion that will allow it to grow even larger. Meanwhile, this year the show was for the first time able to take advantage of the Grand Plaza, a new 100,000 sq. ft. exterior space in front of the center that shows are just now beginning to use.
“The Grand Plaza became the natural products community’s living room for four days,” says Show Director Adam Andersen. “You had to be present at this year’s event to experience the energy.”