Natural Products Expo West has been officially canceled, and organizers look to bring aspects to the show to Expo East. 

Organizers also have created a $5-million fund to support emerging brands significantly affected by the Expo West 2020 disruption.

According to information on the event’s website:

“After consulting with key partners within the natural products community, New Hope Network has decided that, due to the developing circumstances around the COVID-19 virus, we will not move forward with hosting a rescheduled Natural Products Expo West event in Anaheim in 2020. We are shifting our focus and resources toward making Natural Products Expo East 2020 (Philadelphia, Sept. 23-26) this year’s world-class innovation showcase and community gathering needed by the natural & organic products industry.”

It marks the first time in 40 years that they will not host an annual natural & organic products show in Anaheim. 

“We’re disappointed, and we know many of you will be as well,” Organizers said, adding that they are directing attention to Philadelphia. 

In a Frequently Asked Questions section, event organizers detailed how they would handle credits. 

For those who were scheduled to exhibit or sponsor at Expo West 2020, organizers will be offering a full credit for exhibit space and sponsorship/marketing programming contracted directly with New Hope Network toward future activity. 

Organizers explained:

“With the community already rallying around our move to Philadelphia, and with the increased engagement from retailers and other buyers that we are building for our Expo East show, our hope is that this credit will be used toward exhibiting at Expo East 2020. With that said, the credit can also be applied to 2020 media solutions, 2020 data and insights programming (NEXT and Nutrition Business Journal) and toward Expo West 2021 exhibit and sponsorship programming. The credit must be used by the end of February 2021. To further discuss how to strategically apply this credit, please contact your New Hope account manager directly.”

As for attendees, organizers said they intend to refund all paid badges, education upgrades, training sessions and tours that were associated with the official registration for the Expo West 2020 event. 

“We will begin processing refunds in the next few weeks to conclude by mid-April. The refunded amount will be issued back to the credit card associated with your registration,” they said. 

The $5M New Hope Fund

New Hope also established a $5-million fund to support emerging brands significantly affected by the Expo West 2020 disruption. 

“An independent advisory council has now been formed to help us establish criteria for how we best manage and most fairly disperse our $5 million fund,” organizers said. “In addition, this council will be advising how to ensure we make Expo East 2020 the most valuable innovation and community event possible for retailers/buyers and brands large and small and will provide input and ideas for how we best serve the industry in Philadelphia and beyond.”

Led by industry veteran John Grubb, a former managing partner of Sterling-Rice Group and the current board president of Naturally Boulder, this group is composed of leaders from across the natural and organic products community. 

The advisory council convenes for the first time on March 16 and will aim to deliver guidance to the New Hope leadership team by the week of April 6.

LIVE UPDATES: For full coverage of how the confectionery industry is being impacted by the coronavirus, click here.