Industry Thinking
March 7, 2017
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Countdown to Expo West

In just a few short days, 70,000+ attendees will descend upon Anaheim, California for Natural Products Expo West 2017. There, they’ll get a glimpse of the latest natural and organic offerings in the food, beverage, health and beauty categories.

Seed’s Cherri Prince and Lauren Selman are looking forward to being among those in attendance. We were fortunate enough to catch up with Cherri prior to her trip out west to get her thoughts about the expo.

 

So, what made you decide to attend Expo West?
First, I am just so excited to be joining over 70,000 people to see the hottest natural and organic brands! Without a doubt, it’s the MUST ATTEND event of the year when it comes to gaining insight on what’s new and emerging in the fast-growing natural & organic space. The entrepreneurial food startups that will be showcased at Expo West are leading the revolution in how America eats. Natural, organic and even plant-based foods are no longer limited to niche audiences. They are the ones writing the mainstream narrative today for mass audiences. And, because of my passion for driving brand growth with women and moms, I am especially curious to see emerging categories and brands “for her.” Oh, and last but not least—free food! Who doesn’t find that irresistible?!

 

Why is it important for Seed to be there?
New product innovation is core to what we do at Seed. We routinely work with 6 of the 10 top CPG companies in the world and many of our current clients are in the food and beverage industry. Seed is attending Expo West to help our clients find inspiration in the trends that are just bubbling to the surface. We want to ensure that their brands are the ones leading the way. At the end of the day, we believe that powerful insight and innovation requires getting out of the office and looking around. Literally, that is what Expo West is all about for us—it’s a great example of the kind of fieldwork Seed does on a weekly basis in order to stay hyper-connected to brands, categories, consumers and retailers.

 

What trends that are relevant to women will you be tracking?
Look no further than the steady drop in the number of “diet” brands as well as the decline in the number of women claiming to be “on a diet.” These confirm the demise of restrictive diets and diet foods as desirable weight loss solutions. That being said, “losing weight” is still the #1 reason women say they choose healthier options, so I’m really curious to learn about the emerging brands, ingredients and claims in this space. Also, like many marketers, I am interested in the growing economic power of Millennial Women. Finally, I know it’s important not to lose sight of Boomer women—they are still more influential than Millennials from a power-of-the-purse-strings standpoint—so I’m excited to see what new products, brands and categories are being designed for this vibrant generation that continues to redefine aging and living well, longer.

 

Are you looking for “white space” in any particular categories?
Store shelves are more crowded and competitive than ever—especially when it comes to food and beverages. It can be really tough to convince retailers to make room on the shelf for your new product and even tougher to get consumers to notice and care once you’re there. I will be looking for emerging brands that have found a “white space” to leverage, especially in the areas of portable snacks and mini-meals. These products reflect the way that so many busy Americans from all ages and walks of life are eating today.

 

Any last thoughts or things you are looking forward to?
While Expo West is primarily focused on food and beverage, I am also intrigued by the growth of supplements and beauty products that promise a “beauty from the inside out” approach. We’ve seen many new products pop up in this space and I expect to see many more at the expo.

 

Going to Expo West? Cherri and Lauren would love to connect with you there. Feel free to email them or reach them via LinkedIn. And be sure to follow Seed Strategy on our LinkedInTwitterFacebook and Instagram pages for more updates on Cherri and Lauren’s adventures at Expo West.

 

Adam Siegel is an Associate Creative Director at Seed Strategy where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.

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