Natural Products Expo West opens next week

By Deanna Utroske

- Last updated on GMT

Natural Products Expo West opens next week, greenwashing presentation

Related tags Skin

The annual cross-industry event focused on all things natural, organic, and non-GMO gets underway in Anaheim, California, on Wednesday March 8th. Among the personal care brands set to make news at Expo West is California Baby, an indie skin care brand with 20+ years in the business.

Jessica Iclisoy founded California Baby in 1995 with a single product; and she continues to lead the brand today as CEO. At Expo West Iclisoy will speak about ‘greenwashing,’ how it can be avoided, and how it affects the natural products industry.

Beyond (or perhaps as an extension of) her work leading California Baby, Iclsoy launched a not-for-profit group in 2016 called the Natural Advisory Council. The NAC is an advocacy and education group intent on establishing a legal definition of ‘natural,’ educating the public, and bringing the industry together around a “meaningful standard for natural products,”​ as the group’s press material explains.


On Saturday afternoon at 1:30pm Iclisoy will be part of an Expo West panel presentation called Greenwashing: FDA / FTC Investigation on the Rise – How to Safeguard Your Company. Joining her on the panel will be Angela Diesch, partner at Gilbert, Kelly, Crowley & Jennett, and Scott Faber, senior vice president of government affairs for the Environmental Working Group.

The trio will cover what greenwashing is, why it hurts the industry, warning letters and regulatory actions coming out of the FDA and FTC, the state of class action suits in the natural products sector, and how a company can best protect itself.

Rebrands and launches

Other personal care and beauty news to look for this year at Expo West include the Ohana Organics launch of Awapuhi Scrub Butter, an exfoliating and moistening skin care / bath product formulated with Alaea sea salt and mineral-rich red Alaea volcanic Hawaiian clay. “Customers deserve transparency about what goes on their bodies,”​ believes that company’s founder Tara Cooper. In a press release about the upcoming launch, she adds, “We only use organic and sustainably sourced ingredients that benefit the skin,” ​referring to not only the brand’s signature salt and clay ingredients but also to the Shea butter, olive oil, and other natural ingredients that Ohana Organics sources internationally.

The British men’s skin care line Bulldog will be on hand to celebrate that company’s expanding US retail distribution and showcasing new items in beard care, deodorant, and shaving.

And Nova Scotia Fisherman, a Canadian company formulating ‘extreme’ skin care with locally harvested sea kelp, will also be exhibiting at the event.

Show basics

This year’s Expo West events and educational programming runs from March 8 – 12. The tradeshow portions of the event will be held March 9 – 11 at the Anaheim Hilton & Marriott and March 10 – 12 at the Anaheim Convention Center.

The Marriott location is a new addition to the show. New Hope Network, the group that organizes the event, saw fit to expand the tradeshow space for 2017 to accommodate the over 3,000 companies exhibiting at Expo West next month. The event site notes that for some 600 of those companies, this will be their first time exhibiting at the event.

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