The world’s largest industry trade show for natural, organic, and healthy products is coming to Baltimore, Md. on September 13-16 for its second showing this year and we’ve got the scoop on what to expect and anticipate.

“This is an exciting show because brands use it to debut new products,” Eva Scofield, a Client Strategist at ForceBrands, said of the three-day event. “The shows can be overwhelming in scope so it’s important to pace yourself.”

We sat down with Scofield, who works with companies of all sizes to help provide structure and organization to their teams, to chat about what excites her most about Natural Products Expo East, and what we can expect to see at this year’s show.

1. The Next Big Superfood
Everyone is on the hunt for the next big superfood. Blueberries, pomegranates, açaí, maca (a root grown in the peruvian mountains), and pitaya (dragonfruit), have all had their moment in the spotlight. I’m excited to see who will highlight the next big superfood and how it will be delivered!

2. The Use of Ancient Herbs and Spices
Turmeric has been around for thousands of years and yet we have recently seen a surge in tumeric-based products. Even Starbucks has even released a vegan-friendly turmeric latte in time for fall; it’s always great to see these incredible ingredients get the attention they deserve.

3. Sustainable Innovations in the Beverage Space
Sustainability and reusable bottles are becoming more popular (and necessary!). I’m looking out for how brands are taking strides in packaging now that there’s more focus on waste.

4. Sustainability in Food
Speaking of sustainability, we waste 40 percent of the food produced in the United States. Brands such as Misfit Juicery out of Washington D.C., have figured out how to utilize produce that is considered unsellable in markets to make their delicious cold-pressed juices. There is also a U.K.-based beer company called Toast that turns surplus bread into beer; we’re seeing more and more companies capitalize on food waste to make a positive change.

5. New Innovations From Brands You Love
The trade show is an opportune time to check out the latest products from your favorite brands. It’s a time for companies to showcase new products and have meaningful conversations with buyers and direct consumers, alike. For example, will siggi’s Icelandic-style yogurt launch a Chobani-inspired flip package? It’s always fun to see what new innovations will be coming to market.

Scofield also offered some solid advice for first-time Expo East participants.

“Don’t be afraid to engage and start discussions with people at the booths. Pace yourself on samples. And wear comfortable shoes.”

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