March Trade Show Wrap-Up: Expo West, ProWein, Work Truck Show and More
From organic foods to home décor to work trucks, here’s a look at the month’s most successful trade shows and events.
International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York
Nearly 15,300 industry professionals convened at Javits Center in New York City March 3-5 for the co-located International Restaurant & Foodservice Show of New York, Healthy Food Expo New York and Coffee Fest. Produced and managed by Clarion UX, the show featured an exhibit hall that grew 33 percent from 2018, showcasing new products from 547 companies and covering 91,000 square feet.
“Javits Center was the place to be for the largest food and beverage experience in the Northeast,” said Tom Loughran, vice president of Clarion UX’s food and beverage group. “By bringing together the specialty coffee and tea industry and the healthy food marketplace with the restaurant and foodservice professionals, we expanded the trade show floor and offered more special events, more education, more new products and more networking events than ever before.”
New at the show this year was a program called Match, through which Clarion UX staff arranged meetings between restaurant and foodservice operators with participating exhibitors and suppliers. Many competitions, such a latte art contest and a bartender battle, generated buzz on the show floor. In addition to the many delicious samples available to attendees of the three shows, the event also shared the wealth, donating 4,500 pounds of food to the rescue organization City Harvest.
This year marked a hallmark for ProWein, the International Trade Fair for Wines and Spirits, as it celebrated its 25th anniversary and record participation figures. In total, 61,500 attendees from 142 countries gathered at Germany’s Messe Düsseldorf for the three-day show, held March 17-19.
“When we launched ProWein 25 years ago, none of us could have imagined just how incredibly it would develop,” said Hans Werner Reinhard, managing director of Messe Düsseldorf. “It's taken a lot of hard work and strong support along the way from our partners to grow this exhibition, step for step, into the world's largest and most important trade fair for wines and spirits.”
More than 6,900 exhibitors from 64 nations were spread out among 10 exhibition halls based on winegrowing country and region, with Italy, France and Germany having the largest presence at the show, respectively. An additional 400 spirit providers also exhibited. A special exhibition featured 100 select suppliers of craft spirits, craft beer and cider.
Regarded as the gold standard for the wine and spirit industry in terms of both scale and scope, ProWein 2019 highlighted major trends for the industry. Among them: wines from high elevations, canned wines, and the renaissance of chenin blanc and Gamay.
International Home + Housewares Show
Selling out in January with more than 2,200 exhibitors, according to show owner/operator International Housewares Association, expectations were high for this year’s event—and it didn’t disappoint. Held March 2-5 at McCormick Place in Chicago, the show’s quality of top-to-top buyer and seller attendees was its strongest in years, according to show officials.
“Senior-level attendance from both retailers and suppliers was particularly strong,” said Derek Miller, president of the not-for-profit IHA, which owns and operates the Show. “Exhibitors also noted strong international buyer attendance.”
The show's IHA Smart Home Pavilion expanded this year and featured three days of educational programming at the Smart Talks stage. Specialty beverages were a key focus, demonstrated by a Celebration of Coffee event that featured coffee-making products and accessories, along with demos and educational sessions.
In 2020, the show will debut a new name: The Inspired Home Show, IHA’s Global Home + Housewares Market. The change is part of IHA’s expansion of its platform The Inspired Home, created to align with consumer lifestyle trends.
Natural Products Expo West
Marking the 39th year of one of the largest events around natural and organic products, Natural Products Expo West convened more than 86,000 attendees from 136 countries at Anaheim Convention Center from March 5-9. It was a record-setting year, with more than 600 of the 3,600 exhibitors new to the show.
“Every year at Expo West, we foster the connection between emerging brands who are impacting the landscape and industry pioneers who have paved the way for decades,” said Lacey Gautier, group show director at New Hope Network, which manages the show. “This event highlights the importance of community engagement and the role everyone plays to create a more sustainable packaged goods industry.”
Throughout the convention center campus, exhibits showcased the latest in healthy foods and beverages, beauty and home products, and supplements and nutrition items. New exhibit space was added this year at the nearby Hilton ballrooms, accommodating 300 brands, and this year marked the first for Step Up to Organic, a program highlighting organic companies at the show.
A company called Hakuna Banana, which makes plant-based ice creams with bananas and coconuts, took the top prize in Natural Products Business School’s Pitch-Slam competition.
Natural Products Expo East will take place at Baltimore Convention Center from Sept. 11-14.
Work Truck Show
More than 14,000 professionals from 28 countries gathered in Indianapolis March 5-8 for North America’s largest work truck event, which has evolved into Work Truck Week. Having maxed out traditional display space at Indiana Convention Center, the 2019 show expanded to include a new exhibitor pavilion across the hall from the exhibit floor. It also occupied a section of hallway dedicated to manufacturing technology displays and demos.
The event is produced by NTEA – The Association for the Work Truck Industry.
“This is a diverse industry, and our stakeholders have many different needs, from improving operational efficiency to knowing how to specify the right truck for the job,” said Steve Carey, NTEA president and CEO. “The growth and success of the show rests on helping our exhibitors and attendees meet those needs, through education, networking and the opportunity to share equipment innovations.
Ford Commercial Vehicles generated major buzz, kicking off the new product section of the show by introducing its new F-600 Super Duty chassis cab. Electric vehicles were also a big talking point.
“We have a lot of positive momentum going into our 20th anniversary event next year,” Carey added.