Thoughts from the Show Floor

March 16th, 2010 | Simcha Weinstein | 1 Comment »

This past weekend, March 12-14 was the Natural Products Expo West Show in Anaheim, CA. It is by far the largest Natural and Organic foods show in this country with nearly 56,000 people in attendance this year including exhibitors and attendees. As we always do, Albert’s had a booth at the show (see photos below), and we were proud and excited to be showcasing and sampling our new Heartland Meadow beef. Of course, I do understand that my endorsement of this product will at best seem like pure self promotion, but just the same, that is not going to be enough to keep me from saying it . . . “this meat is amazing!” But moving along, I did want to share just a few general thoughts from the show:

– It really is wonderful to be immersed in something for an extended period of time. It’s as if the entire universe is only about the specifics of life that you are engaged in, and it goes on non-stop for three days. Re-settling back into reality is a bit of a trick, but the benefits you gain from the immersion are well worth it.

– The organic and natural foods industry are loaded with wonderful people. Many people go to business conferences and often the only thing that they share in common is that they all work for companies that are engaged in a similar business. Not so with our industry. I have never been to a conference/show where both the people inside the booth as well as the people walking the show floor are equally as engaged and excited about what is going on. We are very fortunate to be involved in our work and in an industry where people feel so much passion and excitement about what they do. This show offers a tremendous view of this passion and excitement.

– Being in the field of Marketing, I always enjoy looking at the different booths and getting a feel for marketing strategies that different companies use to showcase their wares. One thing I noticed is how there seems to be a shift away from product displays and more of an emphasis on concept. Now my take as I walk the show floor may not be the best indicator for what works or doesn’t work, but I certainly enjoy booths that feature more the actual products. Food elicits such a visceral response and being able to touch it, smell it, and certainly see it seems important. Concept is great, but not at the sacrifice of the actual product. As a dear friend and one of the best marketing minds I ever knew once said “show the monkey the banana.”

Well that’s it from the show floor. Oh just one more thing . . . and this is actually more of a question. I do notice at every show the growing number of new chips, crackers and cookies that emerge. I find this fascinating. Do we really need another chip . . . or cracker . . . or cookie?  Just wondering.