2018 Natural Products Expo East Recap
Cricket protein, kombucha, meat substitutes and organic supplements all under one roof. Another year of the Natural Products Expo East brought together manufacturers, importers, retailers and distributors for four days in Baltimore, Maryland. As natural and organic products increase in popularity with consumers, the show grows larger and the products become more innovative. Products such as mushroom jerky, oat milk and sleep-aid beverages prove that there is still plenty of room for new ideas.
The major topic of discussion this year was Hurricane Florence, which had just touched down a few states south of the Expo. Because of the Hurricane, the crowds were smaller than usual and exhibitors were unable to have the types of conversations that bring them to these events. Buyers from major retailers and distributors backed out of the show due to travel complications, leaving many of the exhibitors frustrated and expecting lesser returns than what they’ve seen from other trade shows.
The impact that natural disasters have on logistics and supply chains was a frequent talking point among exhibitors. Transportation and warehousing capacity is already tight throughout the country, and as we saw last year with Hurricane Harvey, the hurricane season will only increase the capacity crunch during peak season, especially with regard to the transportation market. With trucks and warehouses being refocused on relief efforts while having to navigate road closures and flooding, the availability for logistics services is limited.
The overarching theme of our conversations at the Natural Products Expo East was that planning and forecasting is the key to a resilient supply chain that can survive situations like this. If you’re looking to build a supply chain that can withstand disruptions like Hurricane Florence, contact us for a solution. Port Jersey Logistics, along with our operating companies, Tyler Distribution and Continental Logistics, will work with you to develop a strategy for storing and shipping your product.