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Matt Valenti

By: Matt Valenti on March 31st, 2017

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A Team Effort: Collecting Product Data at the Largest Natural Products Expo

Company Viewpoint

The Label Insight Team at Expo WestLabel Insight sent seven team members to Anaheim, California for the Natural Product Expo. This years “Expo West” was the largest in the history of Natural Products Expos. There were over 80,000 attendees and 3,100 exhibitors. Our job was to collect images of all the products at expo in order for Label Insight to collect data and provide attributes to our client. Being a very tall order, we hired 55 people from the Southern California area to be what we call “TrendSpotters” to help us with collection. 

How the Collection Process Works

What did collection entail? The 55 TrendSpotters were asked to walk around with a mobile device and use our custom application to take photos of products at each booth. With over 3,100 booths to visit before the end of the show, we all had our work cut out for us. Members of the Label Insight team worked tirelessly to manage the assignment of booths and collection of data as it came in from the TrendSpotters. We were able to provide on-site feedback of image quality and booth coverage. By the end of the weekend we visit 98% of all booths and collected products at nearly 2,700 booths (86%) for a total product count of 16,512.

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Why the Natural Products Expo?

The show is an exciting, fun, and tiring experience all at once. I am very grateful for the opportunity to visit the Natural Products Expo. The brands that exhibit products at this show care about transparency, consumers, and making a good product. To have a chance to sample and see new products is not something I take lightly. In addition, Label Insight is helping power the data that identifies trends in the industry for these brands to digest and make changes to their products. To be in an environment with so many people focused on creativity and innovation is an uplifting experience.  

Product Collection is Truly a Team Effort

Throughout the week at Natural Products Expo you can see the true Label Insight spirit play out. Each member of the staff worked all day and night to make sure the job was complete. The work was never done for the day until every member of the team was done. The team spirit was needed throughout the 14 and 15 hour work days. At the end of the day we can all be very satisfied that we were able to come to the largest Natural Products Expo ever and collect products from so many booths. The trip was not without conflict or issues. As one can expect, the management of 55 trendspotters and 3,100 booths can be difficult. The process of assigning booths and collect images relies heavily on good old fashioned communication. Many times our team would end up assigning a booth twice or forgetting to assign the booth at all. Luckily, everyone was really good about acknowledging errors and correcting them right away.


I am excited to see how these brands use the data to further improve their products and become more transparent with consumers in the future. The industry is ever changing with new products and cleaner labels. This demand comes directly from the consumers. People care about what is in their food and how it’s made. Being able to work with a team of people collecting data that helps people make data driven solutions is rewarding work. We can’t wait for the next Expo!

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