The 2020 edition of Natural Products Expo East, due to have been held in Philadelphia on 23-26 September, has been cancelled due the ongoing Covid-19 crisis, organiser New Hope Network announced yesterday. 

In a statement, New Hope said: “While we were excited to welcome the community to Philadelphia, and have spent the last three months creating detailed health and safety plans for the event, we have made the difficult decision to cancel.

Difficult decision 
“We are making this decision now—more than three months before the event—because we want to do what’s best for you. We’ve learned from surveys and conversations that many community members, including retail buyers, are not confident they will feel safe traveling to or attending a large event in September. A potential lack of buyer participation, along with the show changes we would need to make to ensure the health & safety of the Expo East community, would have prevented us from delivering the quality experience and return on investment our exhibitors, sponsors and the broader community deserve and that we strive to provide.”

The organiser said it was grateful for the “incredible work and support our Philadelphia partners have poured into Expo East”.  It added: “Philadelphia is amazing, and we look forward to welcoming the Expo community to our new East Coast home in September 2021”. 

Spark Change
To “fill the void”, in a year when both Expo West and Expo East and have now had to be cancelled, New Hope is launching a series of digital events under the banner ‘Spark Change’. 

“Beginning in August, Spark Change will guide the natural & organic products community through a virtual journey of product discovery, education and connection. Brands and innovators will have the opportunity to get in front of retail buyers, consumer influencers, investors and others via digital storytelling and product sampling; retailers and others will be able to easily navigate new innovation based on theme, trend and product category—and meet the people behind these offerings; and the entire community will have access to interactive and actionable conference education and digital networking.”