Every year I look forward to Natural Products Expo West, the three days in March when the natural industry makes an annual pilgrimage to Anaheim, CA. In this case, “industry” is a loose term. Technically, it means natural retailers, distributors, health practitioners, manufacturers and suppliers.
But in a real sense, the convention draws people who envision, create, manufacture and just plain love natural products. They know the difference between “natural” and USDA Certified Organic, can tell you exactly what it means to be Fair Trade Certified, and put their energy, time and money towards companies that just make things better—better for you, and for the planet.
These are people who get excited about composting bio-plastic and a new fish oil supplement that won’t make you burp. Okay on that last one, I’m talking about me.
Expo draws people who get excited about composting bio-plastic and a new fish oil supplement that won’t make you burp. Okay on that last one, I’m talking about me. I remember the first time I came to Expo West, eight years ago. I was breastfeeding my third child in the back row of some of the most exciting conferences I could imagine. It was the first time that I truly understood the impact of my actions, that what I bought could literally change the health of my family.
It was the first time that I really understood my own personal ability to change—and to inspire change. I responded by creating Mommy Greenest and EcoStiletto the following year so that I could share products and ideas with more than just my mommy group.
Seven years later, here we are!
People like us made this industry take off like wildfire—and in the middle of a recession, too. The Organic Trade Industry reported 81% of American families now purchase organic food—resulting in a 240% increase in the period between 2002 and 2011, and compared to a 3% increase in the non-organic food market.
Meanwhile, sales of natural and organic products in general reached $81.3 billion in 2012, up 13.5% from 2011, according to Information Resources. And the supplement industry alone topped $32 billion in 2012—increasing 7.4% from 2011—thanks, in part, to regular promotion by Dr. Oz.
So I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us this year, at Natural Products Expo West! And I’m thrilled to announce that I’m one of just 12 bloggers chosen to be on their We.Blog team. I’ll get the sneak peek at all the latest and greatest. So stay tuned, because I’ll be sharing those first-looks with you!