Who: The whole VN team
What: Natural Products Expo West/Supply Expo 2008
Where: Anaheim Convention Center, Anaheim, Calif.
When: March 14–16, 2008
Why: Big-time business
The Scoop: Have you ever wondered what it’s like to have a private showing of the newest natural products held exclusively for you and 52,000 of your closest friends? That is precisely what the VN team found behind the double doors at the Anaheim Convention Center during Expo West. All the major producers of organic-type goodies (like soymilk/faux meat/organic fair-trade chocolate/organic home and body products) were there exhibiting their new product lines, new flavors, and new formulations. It was our solemn duty to test all the exciting new products and meet as many industry insiders as we possibly could during the three-day show. Suffice to say, we came, we met, we tested. We were lucky enough to have a booth adjoining that of Redwood Foods, the makers of Cheezly. All weekend long, they kept us supplied with hot, fresh pizza, while the good people from Tofurky kept us sated with sandwiches for lunch every day. These may well have been what kept us sane with the intense over-stimulation of literally checking out thousands of booths. We also awarded 12 outstanding new products with highly coveted VegNews Magazine Best of Show awards. For a full list of the winners, be sure to check out the July+August 2008 issue of VN. If that wait is too long to bear, here’s a little inspiration: vegan frosting, vegan-owned companies, and stellar vegan skin care. It was a whirlwind trip, an almost-overwhelming show, and, all in all, a ton of fun.