It’s a show that’s often (and inevitably) compared to its much larger sister show, but Natural Products Expo East is perhaps the preferred destination for new and small entrepreneurial beverage companies looking to stand out from the vast halls and dense crowds of Expo West. Indeed, this year’s show was significant for both the number of new brands and first time exhibitors most of whom offered highly positive assessments of event, praising both a high level of foot traffic along with significant contacts and interactions from buyers and distributors.
That being said, a surprising number of larger and more established natural beverage brands, including Vita Coco, Zico, Hint, BluePrint and Naked , were absent from Expo East. In their place, a wave of new coconut water, cold-pressed juice and tea companies held the floor and gained a substantial amount of attention from beverage professionals, constantly on the lookout for the latest trends and innovative products at the show.
In this video, BevNET CEO John Craven and Editor-in-Chief Jeff Klineman examine the impact of Expo East for small and emerging brands and how new companies have used innovation to differentiate themselves and, in the process, altered the trajectory of natural beverage categories. In particular, Craven and Klineman discuss how high pressure processing has grown in adoption and acceptance within the juice and coconut water categories and spawned a new generation of ultra-premium brands. Finally, Craven and Klineman offer their take on some of new products seen at the show and share reactions to the some of the more eye-opening ingredients from Expo East.