Image via WikipediaOn Thursday morning, I boarded a plane at BWI Airport and headed west to Anaheim, CA to attend the 2011 Natural Products Expo West trade show for work. The trade shows that I attend a couple of times per year are a great opportunity to see what is out there in the food industry.
While it may sound fun and glamorous to walk around tasting all of the new food offerings out there, it really is a lot of work. I went to this show with one coworker, and we got to the convention center around 9:30 on Friday morning and walked the show until it ended at 6:00pm. Over 8 hours of walking at the show, then we walked a half mile to dinner then back to the hotel afterwards. Saturday, we walked the floor from 9:30 until about 4:00pm and picked a closer restaurant for dinner.
Needless to say, after two days of heavy walking, my feet, legs, and back are killing me. However, I think we saw a lot of neat products that have some potential. While there was a lot of work, there were a couple of opportunities for a little levity. I arrived in Anaheim on Thursday evening at just about dinner time. I had emailed an old high school classmate that lived near there and we met me at the hotel. We then had dinner together at The Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. While walking the show, I ran into two old coworkers that I had not seen in nearly 20 years. At one booth, I was able to pick up an autographed copy of "The Inflammation Syndrome" by Jack Challem.
As is usually the case with me, I found a few things that struck me as somewhat humorous or ironic. One of the things that I noticed was that there were an awful lot of folks outside of the convention that were smoking. I thought that somewhat odd given that so much of the show is about natural and healthy living. There was one booth that struck me as particularly humorous. They were promoting some sort of supplement called "Six Pack Abs." The gentleman manning the booth was a middle aged man with a rather large stomach. Seriously, is this the person that should be selling that product?