Unless you actually go to Natural Products Expo West, there are few words that can accurately describe what one sees, smells and takes home. Although the Anaheim Convention Center is massive, it still seemed ill-equipped to hold the over 71,000 attendees and 3000 vendors that swarmed the place for 3 breakneck days.
Now, there’s going to be a Natural Products Expo West this September in John Water’s hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. And since there’s a good chance we’ll check it out, we’ll be able to compare which expo is more insane, But in the interim, we offer you our Top 10 which, as always, in no particular order.
Top 10 Things We Saw or Did at Natural Products Expo West
1. Beyond Meat. Beyond Meat absolutely killed it at Expo West. Not only did they successfully satirized McD’s, but they served up the new Beastly Sliders and Beyond Chicken Spicy Buffalo Poppers!
2. Violife. If you haven’t tried Violife yet (which wouldn’t surprise us because it’s not readily available in the U.S.) you will be floored when you do. When this cheese starts hitting the supermarkets grab some, you won’t be sorry!
3. Swag. This below photo is only a portion of the insane amount of swag you can get at Expo West. On day one we were also given a sweet tote bag that was stuffed with goodies.
4. Daiya. Daiya is sometimes the butt of vegan jokes. Well, the joke is over because they’ve upped their game. Have you tried their cheesecake yet?
5. Connecting and Meetings Vendors. It was a pleasure to connect and greet the many industrious, passionate and smart innovators that made up Expo West. When I start setting up my vegan business (early next year?), I will surely contact my contacts.
6. Friends. It was great to meet up with our NYVC (New York Vegan Crew), and to meet new folks. We were also happy to meet virtual friends for the first time!
7. Samples. Although not all of the exhibitors offered samples, the ones who did made up for it big time. The samples were so plentiful one doesn’t even need to eat breakfast or lunch.
8. Upton’s Naturals. The super nice folks at Upton’s Naturals introduced us to their amazing new Jackfruit, gave us a great tote bag and let us hold a jackfruit. That sucker weighed 27 lb!
9. Field Roast Party. The geniuses at Field Roast threw a rather cool party at the Hilton. We ate, drank, laughed and snagged a (presumably) free souvenir glass.
10. Gardein. Gardein rolled out some impressive array of new items, including very authentic-tasting Porkless Bites and Crabless Cakes which will be a can’t-miss hit.
This humble Top 10 list barely scratches the surface of this massive event. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or neither, consider checking out this amazing annual event and make sure to pace yourself and wear comfy shoes!