55,000+ people are preparing to converge in Anaheim, California for Natural Products Expo West, where they’ll get a glimpse of the latest natural and organic offerings in the food, beverage, health and beauty categories.
I was fortunate enough to catch up with this terrific trio to get their thoughts prior to their trip.
What made you decide to attend Expo West?
Cherri: Well, after 3 years of NOT going, as soon as I heard it was happening in person, I leapt at the opportunity to be there.
Anna: I agree, Cherri! Expo West provides such fertile ground for insights and inspiration; I can’t wait to see what’s new in the world of food and beverages.
Maggie: For me, it seems like I’m working on more food- and beverage-related projects than ever, and from talking with Cherri, Anna and others at Seed, I knew this conference would provide invaluable learning on new trends and technology in the food and beverage space.
Why do you think that it’s important for Seed to be there?
Cherri: Seed just celebrated our 20-year anniversary and for all 20 of those years, more than half of our work has been in the food and beverage industry. Our clients look to us to be on the forefront of emerging trends to help them stay ahead of the pack.
Anna: Echoing what Cherri said, as we work to help our clients grow their business, we need to be on top of the evolving competitive set, new jobs to be done, and emerging trends, benefit spaces, ingredients and technologies.
How are you feeling about going back to an in-person conference for the first time in a while?
Anna: After a two-year hiatus, I can’t wait to be off-screen when meeting new people!
Maggie: So true! It’s been a long two years of a fully virtual life. It will be great to interact with companies and brands in person—and, of course, sample the food!
Cherri: Ah, yes, the food samples. You know, they just aren’t the same on a Zoom call!
What trends will you be tracking? What topics will get most of your time and attention?
Cherri: I will continue to be looking for more sustainable packaging solutions and brands that are cracking the age-old tension of “if it’s good for you, it can’t taste good.”
Anna: That definitely seems to be an evergreen tension, doesn’t it? Personally, I am curious about evolution of the “bite-size” trend and the lines being blurred between meals and snacks. I am also excited to learn more about innovations in the upcycling space and what opportunities they may present for our clients.
Maggie: Oh, good answers! Those are all definitely worth exploring while we’re there. I’m most excited to check out new packaging innovation, especially those that simplify consumers’ lives—whether by making food easier to prepare, easier to serve, easier to eat, or even just easier to store. I am also really intrigued to see what types of diets appear to be trending—is Keto still going strong? What’s next?
This has been great. Thanks for your time. Any last thoughts or other things you are looking forward to?
Cherri: I miss seeing friends, clients, and mentors (sometimes they are all rolled up in one person), so the conversations and human connection is really the essence of what I’m most excited about.
Maggie: It’s all about the people for me, too. As someone who started at this company right at the beginning of the pandemic, my in-person time with my coworkers has been somewhat limited, so I am really looking forward to connecting more in this exciting environment!
Adam Siegel is the Editor of The Accelerator and VP, Creative at Seed Strategy, where he draws upon his diverse experience in advertising, research and innovation to craft breakthrough creative and winning concept copy.