Day two of the Natural Products Expo West began with a different vibe. I knew where I was headed and exactly what I was looking for. Hall E was much larger than the New Products Hall from yesterday, so I made it a point to start out with some of the “big guns” that I knew used honey. Many had been the recipient of a product write-up, but some I definitely wanted to nab for a profile Q&A or Honey Summit purposes.
I’m glad I got an early start, because some of the larger companies with huge booths/displays/rooms weren’t too preoccupied to talk to me. Starting early in the middle of the room with Chobani, Lifeway and the larger companies who were show sponsors definitely paid off on day two.
After that, I made it my mission to kill it with this entire room. I was going to visit every vendor I possibly could and talk as much honey as possible. But first, it was 10:30. Phil Keoghan, host of the Amazing Race and honey lover (eek!) was due downstairs at the No Opportunity Wasted energy bar booth. I ran down to meet him, all the while trying to send a Tweet. I landed at the beginning of the line, and since Phil wasn’t there yet, I struggled with my phone, which was getting zero service. I look up, and there he was, walking straight toward me. He said “hi” and I said “hi” back, and then a girl told me the line was “back there.” I took my proper place, but the inadvertent line butt was way worth that moment. I was the first person he talked to upon arrival, and it was really a cool moment because we were both flustered (he for being late, me for no Tweetage).
Once I got the chance to properly meet Phil, we talked about honey, how his dad (who was a botanist) used honey on cuts and other injuries growing up, and Phil even signed his DVD “Love Honey.” It was the perfect moment and made my entire weekend.
The rest of the day was spent making connections with barbecue sauce, peanut butter, juice and yogurt honey lovers. I stumbled upon actress Jamie Luner, who posed for a photo without even being asked. I even got a chance to stop by the pet health section for some healthy treat samples for my beloved Maddux. I walked for hours and loved every minute of it—and I made it through the entire food and beverage part of the show.
I ventured outside for some food truck samples and reggae music, soaked in the sun and smiled at my success. It was a great weekend and I’d gladly do it all over again. I thank everyone for talking to me this weekend, and I can’t wait to delve further into your world of honey.