Eleven days after announcing the postponement of their annual west coast event earlier this month, the organizers of Natural Products Expo West provided an update on Friday stating that the event is now officially cancelled, rather than postponed as previously announced.
Expo West organizers New Hope Network said Friday that after consulting with key partners of the natural products community, the group decided to not move forward with rescheduling the event in Anaheim this year amid ongoing concerns over the COVID-19 outbreak, and that they are shifting their focus and resources toward Natural Products Expo East 2020, which is set for Sept. 23-26 in Philadelphia.
Branded as the world's largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show, Expo West was scheduled to run March 3-7 and host 3,600+ vendors. In New Hope's March 2 postponement announcement, the group said it was expecting a 40 to 60 percent drop in attendance from previous years. New Hope posted an update on March 9 recapping the group's efforts to alleviate logistical headaches caused by the postponement, with those efforts including exploring the options and feasibility for hosting an Expo West pop-up event this summer. But those efforts were put to rest via Friday's cancellation announcement. In the March 9 update, New Hope said that it had established a $5 million fund to support emerging brands significantly affected by the Expo West 2020 disruption, "ensuring we help many of our most vulnerable and impacted community members."
"2020 will be the first time in 40 years that we will not host an annual natural & organic products show in Anaheim," New Hope said. "We’re disappointed, and we know many of you will be as well. So, what are we doing about it? We are directing our attention to Philadelphia and are excited about the opportunities we can provide the industry via our increased exhibition and gathering spaces within the Pennsylvania Convention Center and the plans we have for showcasing the industry’s emerging brands, new product innovations and sustainability efforts in unique ways."
Friday's update said that an independent advisory council has now been formed to help New Hope establish criteria for how to best manage and most fairly disperse the $5 million fund.