Natural Foods Expo West

Visiting the Producers of Gluten Free Products

Early in March, I attended the Natural Foods Expo West. I had a wonderful time and gained some interesting insights. I attended last year and was amazed at how much bigger it was this year. It was so big that next year I will have to spend at least two days going to vendors because it is just too overwhelming to try to do it all in one day. My brain can’t handle it.

One of the things I noticed was the change in attitude about gluten free and the thought of people sharing ideas and information at a consumer/grass roots level. My mother-in-law went two years ago, and when she asked about gluten free products, no one seemed to know what she was talking about. The two of us went last year, and there were a lot of gluten free product vendors. But they didn’t seem to care much about our idea of starting a website. We had just come up with the idea and wanted to start dipping our toes in the water. Nobody seemed to care about us since we weren’t a big, established brand like “Whole Foods” or something.

But this year was a different story. People were really excited about the idea of our website. I think that companies are starting to realize that traditional ways of doing things are starting to fade. No longer is it the companies deciding what we should want, how we should want it, slapping up a big billboard or television ad, and telling us to buy it. They are realizing that the consumer is taking things into his/her own hands. We are talking to each other, even if it’s over thousands of miles (thanks to the internet). WE are deciding what WE want and like and finding ways to get it.

Tomorrow I will talk about a few of the vendors that were really great. Until then, here’s to… Living better, easily!

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