For those who are not familiar with it, Natural Products Expo West is an international trade show held annually. On the west coast it takes place at the Anaheim Convention Center. This year there were over 3,500 exhibitors to see, with more than 85,000 of us in attendance. It is the premier place to showcase any product or service related to the natural products industry. This is a closed event, not open to the public.
Natural Products Expo is also held in the United States on the East coast, and for them is appropriately named Natural Products Expo East. A similar natural products event is occurring next month in London, England; with another conference in Rome, Italy on the topics of natural products and medicinal plants. Due to logistics, I will not be attending any of these…
Of course, the best part of Expo West is tasting all of the new and delicious organic and/or unrefined foods on the market. My personal favorites are anything in the dairy family. Happily, there were plenty of cheeses, yogurts, ice creams and even cooked eggs to sample. Some companies representing pasture raised, grass fed beef also had samples. Boy were they good! Other items included fermented foods, such as krauts, ciders and soy products. Additional categories represented were the entire dessert side of things, with cookies, candies, chocolates, baked goods, and even naturally low glycemic sweeteners on their own. Plenty of prepackaged ethnic items were available as well. Some that come to mind were Indian, Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean foods, with plenty of others available for general meal preparation convenience. Hummus made a big splash this year. There were the typical savory flavors, as we would expect – but also available were plenty with sweet themed flavors rounding out the line-up. Of course there were numerous plant based foods in a variety of forms; from basic salads to juices, from frozen to freeze dried, and anything in between.
Other categories can be broken down by consumables: baby foods, protein bars, salad dressings, seasonings, breakfast foods, soups and broths, honey, condiments, animal protein alternatives, fitness food and drink, water, infused waters and coconut water, popcorn, snacks, nuts and seeds, protein bars, oils, vinegars, syrup, beers and cocktail mixes, Paleo compatible foods and beverages, teas and tisanes, vitamins, pre- and pro-biotics, and herbals. Non-consumables included: cosmetics, personal hygiene, dental products, massage chairs and hand-held devices, household items, cleaning products, and pet focused merchandise. Scope of business services represented: raw ingredients, packaging, organic guidelines and certifications, industry related associations, label printing, branding, market research and statistics, legal services, plus book publishing . I may have left out a few, but it was a long show with lots to see.
Of particular interest to me was the idea of using an extract from earth worms (boluoke) to help those with blood clotting issues. This has been a part of Far East traditional medicine for centuries, but is a relatively new concept to the western world. Allopathic (Western) pharmaceutical prescriptions primarily target keeping the blood thin. Boluoke (lumbrokinase) is responsive to both the ability of keeping the blood appropriately thin while maintaining the body’s ability to create blood clots when needed. Before considering lumbrokinase for treatment of hypercoagulation or any other blood situations, it is best to first consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner.
As for Natural Products Expo West, there is always plenty to learn. I’ve attended for many years and each show brings something new and exciting to look forward to. It’s a great vehicle for members of these related industries to share products, strategies and ideas. I’m already planning for next year!