Natural Product Expo East. It’s happened every year for the last 20 or so years, and MegaFood always attends. Expo East, as we call it, is the second largest Natural Products Expo (second to Natural Products Expo West - ha!) and is attended by over 30,000 natural products retailers and brands. Usually, our setup entails a nifty little retro kitchen that showcases our products and newest formulas. But THIS year was a bit different. We decided to switch things up… and by switch - I mean pull a TOTAL REVERSAL on the experience!
We didn’t bring a single product with us. We didn’t even bring our booth! The goal was to create a completely transparent environment and experience. And while things were not necessarily “see-through” (they don’t make clothing for that, haha) we created a literal blank canvas: white floors, white walls, white chairs, and every team-member working was ALLLL in white! (Try shopping for white after Labor Day - that was a challenge in itself, lol!)
We hung up 4 “idea walls;” giant canvases that stood 8 feet tall. Instead of selling to our industry - we took the opportunity to ask our industry: WHAT DO YOU WANT? What do you want in a new product? in our industry? In the name of transparency? And In regards to improving lives (a mission near and dear to our hearts)? Of course, in true MegaFood fashion we needed to be a bold with it… so #WTFresh was our official hashtag to get attention and encourage expo guests to give us their “Fresh” ideas. Add a boatload of markers for anyone and everyone to COVER those canvases… and let the fun begin!
Over the three days that the expo took place, we had the BEST response EVER!
Over 1,000 of our friends and industry family members participated in sharing over 500 total ideas. And for those people who didn’t already know what MegaFood was about? We got to have a pretty cool conversation with them about how we are a brand grounded in getting input, in helping our industry, in being creative and LISTENING to what our retailers and consumers want.
Some of the most popular New Product ideas circulating around our booth were Brain Boosters, Cannabis, More Powders, Hangover Solutions, and even Gummies!
We heard ideas about improving lives that included food for all and taking more time to connect on an 1:1 level (vs. all that screen time).
When it came to transparency, people wanted to know more about suppliers, farmers, and certifications. Ideas for the industry are a very hot topic and a HUGE passion point for us. Our CEO Robert Craven held a scheduled brainstorm session with retailers specifically to talk about how we can create change in our industry and keep natural products retailers at the heart of our communities. About 25 retailers came by to participate and watch while 170 watched from afar on a live-stream feed on twitter.
All and all, we had a BLAST doing something different, changing the conversation and truly listening to our industry about what they want! Talk about eye-opening and fun!
At MegaFood we will be using these ideas when planning our new products, for being more transparent and to elevate our commitment to improving lives.
Thank you everyone who participated - enjoy this recap video of all the fun!!! Next up: Expo West in 2017!
Sarah, Marketing Communications Manager, MegaFood