Natural Products Expo West

Natural Products Expo West 2024: Five Booth Trends on Display

Beet gummies? Power bars fueled by renewable energy? Noontropic mushrooms that “improve your thinking”? All were on display at Natural Products Expo West that took over Anaheim Convention Center, March 13-16. The show welcomed more than 65,000 attendees and 3,000 exhibiting companies, showcasing the latest in natural and organic food and beverages, supplements, ingredients as well as home and beauty products.

Sustainable practices were also part of the show’s makeup. Show organizers partnered with rCup to provide re-useable cups to all on-site networking events throughout the campus and continued its partnership with Second Harvest and Habitat for Humanity to ensure leftover products and booth materials end up with organizations that support communities in need. Additionally, New Hope Network, which organizes the event, partnered with Climate Impact Partners to cover carbon offsets for attendees and exhibitors through a new carbon footprint calculator tool available on-site.

EM hit the showfloor to check out sampling strategies, booth trends, and what’s on the horizon for health-conscious culinary marketing, too.


Sampling as Connection

Natural Products Expo West Hippeas

An abundance of samples in Hippeas’ booth.

“One bag of samples per day” (and that’s a huge bag), stated a sign at the entrance to the showfloor. But for a show that’s traditionally all about samples in hands, the tide is changing towards experiential.

Several large brands, such as Impossible Foods and Kodiak, had a presence on the showfloor and a food truck outside. There was a lot of creative sampling, but brands large and small took the opportunity to have a conversion about their product. Among popular concepts were different types of sampling bars and clear display cases, as plant-based protein powder brand Truvani offered, where attendees could pick out what they wanted to try, giving exhibitors a chance to talk about the product in detail.


Celebrity Buzz

Natural Products Expo West Bloom

Bloom designed a buzzworthy photo opp.

In a space with cult-like brand followings, the influencers behind trending products become celebrities and drive serious traffic on the showfloor. One notable example: Bloom Nutrition surprised its fans with the appearance of the brand’s founders Gregory LaVecchia and Mari Llewellyn, who posed for pictures in their exhibit’s photo zone, creating one of those delightful surprise encounter moments that attendees crave.


Rocking Smaller Spaces

Natural Products Expo West Displays

Unique display materials caught our attention.

Creativity in 10×10 and 10x20s, which made up the vast majority of the one of the halls, was astounding. From bold and catchy brand displays from a variety of materials (crates? carton furniture?) and thoughtful lighting, to rollerblading staff in outfits color-coordinated with the booth, brands made big statements with relatively small spaces and kept the energy strong.


Bringing in Nature

Natural Products Expo West Lundberg

Lundberg Family Farms’ booth featured rice plants and a soundscape.

It might not come as a surprise that at a show dedicated to natural products, nature would factor into displays but some brands went above and beyond. Lundberg Family Farms, producers of organic rice, framed their island exhibit with different types of rice plants that grow on their farms and added a soundscape with birds for an even more immersive experience. Gaia Herbs featured plants hanging from the ceiling in its meeting room, which also had a greenhouse as a backdrop, a design choice that seems obvious but had a real impact on the space.


Showing What’s Inside

Natural Products Expo West Herb Pharm

A Mushroom Wellness display by Herb Pharm.

With mushrooms such a hit, one of the popular activations was a Mushroom Wellness display by Herb Pharm where attendees could see the mycelium network, the structure that grows mushrooms, as well as explore different types of mushrooms under an actual microscope. At a show where so much conversation was about the product’s impact on human health, a brand taking a different approach and leaning into attendees’ curiosity to dig deeper into the science and get hands-on, paid off. Maybe there’s something to the mushrooms’ supposed nootropic qualities after all.


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