Elliot Begoun

Mar 4, 2019

4 min read

It’s Expo Week. Get Ready!

You would think that for an introvert Expo West would be hard. But it is not. To me, it feels like a less dysfunctional high school reunion. I spend the week surrounded by friends who are creative, courageous, and generous. I witness the myriad of ways people are changing the food system bringing better, healthier products to consumers. Plus, for someone whose work is mostly done by video conference, I get to exchange hugs, handshakes and fist bumps.

It is easy to lose yourself in the busyness of the week. This applies not only to the brands exhibiting, but the people attending. Make sure to slow down, reach out and connect with the amazing ecosystem that is our industry. There are few places where you’ll find such an aggregation of the collective wisdom and knowledge that exists. Make certain to find ways to plug in, learn, meet, and give. Take advantage of the educational seminars and the social events. Expo West is more a festival than a trade show. It is the celebration of the Natural Products Industry.

I am honored to have been given the opportunity to put a rockstar panel together to discuss raising capital, one of the most challenging issues. Come listen in at 1:30 pm on Tuesday at the business school. I will be joined on stage by Chuck Cotter from Polsinelli, Allison Ryu from Circle Up, and Manuel Gonzalez from Global Riff. In this rapid-fire session, we will be offering actionable tips on what to know, ask and do when raising capital.

I am also thrilled to share that the board members from both Naturally Bay Area and Naturally Boulder will be coming together on Thursday to discuss some exciting news about the growth of the organization and the expansion of its ability to support emerging bands in the Natural Products space.

I would also like to encourage you to visit some of our portfolio brands who will be exhibiting. It is expensive, stressful, chaotic, and hard work to be an exhibitor. If you have a few minutes to stop by and visit these brands and extend a hug, handshake, or fist bump, I am sure it would be appreciated.

  • The Good Crisp Company Booth N1807. Stop by and meet Co-founders Matt Parry and Ron Rodda and say hi to Steve Wangler and Alex Hanifin. Of course, eat some chips.
  • Otto’s Naturals Booth N1927. Co-founders Sadie and John Olsen will be at the booth with an occasional visit by the brand namesake, 5-year-old Otto. Be prepared to eat some warm, delicious grain-free chocolate chip cookies served right out of the oven.
  • Spinato’s Fine Foods Booth N135. I used to eat Spinato’s pizza when we lived in Phoenix. They have a chain of restaurants in that market. Stop by as say hi to Anthony Spinato and Todd. They will offer you a fresh slice of all-natural pizza made with a broccoli crust. I am guessing you’ll love it and the good news is you can find in Sprouts nationally.
  • Know Brainer Booth N1900. Need some energy and mental clarity? Stop by and try some Keto Creamers and visit with Shari and Greg. They are launching some exciting new products and I am sure they’d be thrilled for you to try them and offer some feedback.
  • Kokomio Booth N1543. Alan and his family will be manning the booth. They are introducing Organic, non-GMO whole coconut drinks in three varieties. One that offers a probiotic, another with hemp and a third with cold brew coffee. They use coconuts sourced in Mexico which are naturally lower in sugar. Check it out, it’s pretty cool.
  • Bonchou Booth N1535. Come meet the founder Hala and enjoy a true French Eclair made with simple clean ingredients. What’s so unique about this product is that it is only 70 calories and 5 grams of sugar. Yet, it is a true indulgent.

Well, that’s about it, I am ready for the week. I hope to see you in Anaheim. If you’d like to set up a time to meet, please email Charity (charity@theintertwinegroup.com) and she will do her best to find a time that works for all.

See you all at the show.

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Elliot Begoun is the Founder of The Intertwine Group, a practice focused on helping emerging food and beverage brands grow. He positions CPG brands to raise capital, prove velocity, gain distribution, drive revenue, win share of stomach, and scale. Catch him at FoodBytes in his role as a mentor and find his articles in publications such as the Huffington Post, SmartBrief, and New Hope.