Posts Tagged ‘natural products show’

Natural Products Show — Expo West

Monday, March 12th, 2012

The Natural Products Show West was an amazing show expertly managed by New Hope Media. There were hundreds of booths selling everything imaginable in the healthy living space. Many of the mom and pop businesses are now gone – gobbled up by larger, less personable companies – and this is disappointing. As a healthy living believer, I find it disconcerting that many of the founding companies (of the health movement) have been acquired and lost their heart and passion. I sampled many products, but few of the vendors truly knew about these products. They we just hired hands, and they offered no context. Like many mainstream conventions, the larger companies hired pretty girls/women to bring in customers. This seemed to contradict the earthiness and hipness of the healthy living movement. Even Whole Foods does not resort to these kinds of hiring gimmicks. There were a few mom and pop companies left, and I felt bad for them. They bought a booth on hope yet they do not seem to have the resources to secure distribution or be able to produce their products in any great quantity or with efficiency. One chocolate company I met proudly produces everything by hand. There is no way they could ever support themselves or even make a profit. The ingredient and overhead costs are too high and their margins are thin. The product was good, but not “wow” outstanding. I admire these people, but a little naivety only takes you so far. The other companies who began in this space figured out a way to scale and make a profit, and it took them years to do it. They also had passion and an underlying desire to grow the healthy living movement. It was not a business to them, but rather a lifestyle. That is why they were acquired.

Context of Life?

Thursday, March 17th, 2011

Life is out of our hands. Recently I spoke with a college student, who is graduating this spring from a prestigious university. He reached out to me to get a reality check on the entertainment business. I was honest and passionate about the ways of the business. He wrote me back an elegant email saying that while he appreciated my candor, he was disillusioned. I started thinking about all of the wonderful people I met at the Natural Products Show last week, and the samples I ate. All were selling their own “secret sauce.” No matter what they were selling, they believed that they had the best products. Maybe they did, and maybe they did not. Life is about context. The university student thought he was very important (in college) and now realizes that his competition is just beginning. The food vendors have to convince buyers that what they are selling is good, but then the customer will eventually decide the product’s fate. Television networks, studios, and, ultimately the consumer will determine the student’s fate. Life, in most instances, is out of our hands, but you can embrace it everyday and make it a good life.