Wow, Expo East 2008 was definitely the trade show of all trade shows. The largest one I’ve ever been to for sure; 26,000 attendees and 2100 exhibitors! It is incredible just how many green products and services are now on the market. The hot new buzzword this year: GLUTEN-FREE! It seemed like EVERYTHING you could ever want/need to eat is now available in a gluten-free alternative. Brownies, pizzas, muffins, cakes, mixes, burritos – people stopped by the ECOBAGS booth with their mouths stuffed with the stuff. Most of it was good, some of it…needed a little time in the product development lab.
Other than the gluten, we found that people are starting to become more educated about product material content. Our bags have always been made of eco-friendly materials like organic and recycled cottons and hemps, but recently polypropylene bags have flooded the market. At a pricepoint of $0.99/bag it’s hard to pass these up, even if you know they’re made of an environmentally toxic material. It’s becoming clear, especially in these times of economic hardship, that consumers and businesses are torn about where their priorities lie – to be eco-friendly or thrifty?
The Expo had a great turnout and we were glad to be a part of it. It’s always nice to refresh your perceptions of what the market wants/values at any given time. And it’s nice to put some faces to the voices you’ve spoken with over the phone for the past 20 years. Thanks to the Natural Products Expo crew and the Boston Convention & Exhibition Center for hosting a fantastic event!