Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Just Returned from the Healthy Products "Expo West" Trade Show

My partner and I have just returned from the Expo West meeting in Anaheim, one of the most amazing trade shows that I've ever attended. It was a jam-packed three days filled with new experiences in healthy supplements and just about every kind of food and drink that you can possibly imagine.

Imagine an area the size of four or five football fields filled with exhibitors showing off their wares from every supplement company in the world, and in the same space, all the healthy "organic" food products that you'd find in a Whole Foods Market or similar. It was quite an experience.

One thing that I noticed is that most companies sell "me too" products, to the point where one can get totally burned out on a category. For example, there were more liquid supplements at this event than I've ever seen before, and I have the feeling that the "superfruit" phenomenon has reached its peak. How many $30 bottles of fancy berry juice can companies really market successfully? I'd say that we've reached the top of the market for these liquid supplements (especially those marketed by multi-level marketing companies).

There were fewer new energy drinks in the small can developed first by Red Bull; my guess is that we are at the top of the market there as well. Many new energy products were being introduced in either fizzy tablets or in single serving powder pouches that you rip open and throw into a bottle of water. I counted over 70 varieties of those single serve packs that I hadn't seen before.

There were far fewer food and energy bars at this meeting than in previous years, even though my bag of swag from this show beats anything I've ever hauled home after a meeting. Two excellent products that we came back with were the Lifeway Kefir bars (probiotic enhanced bars-- they taste better than a Hershey's and are actually healthy) and Glenny's Brown Rice Marshmallow Snack Bar, which I personally can't get enough of. The single most impressive item was a small fruit jelly called "Berry Bites," from Artemis International, which offers a full serving's worth of Fruit and Vegetables antioxidants in three tiny (and oh, so delicious) berry flavored gummy bites.

I'll let you know of more WHAM's that I uncover from Expo West.


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