Download Pacvue's 2024 Q2 Retail Media Benchmark Report to explore the latest performance data from Amazon, Walmart, and Instacart.

Download Now

Key eCommerce Takeaways from National Products Expo West

From liquid death water to sustainable supply chain logistics, this year’s National Products Expo West was an opportunity for thousands of brands to showcase the best of their talent and innovations, bringing together over 2800 exhibitors, dozens of learning sessions, and more.

To learn more about industry challenges and opportunities for 2022, Pacvue recently hosted an online webinar with Account executive Kyle Costa and Jr. Account Executive Mike Marriot.

This included discussing the challenges and opportunities faced by the natural products industry in this last year, and what to expect for the coming year, along with emerging trends and the latest industry innovations. You can check out the key takeaways from the info-packed session in this blog.

Industry Threats and Challenges

The U.S. market spent roughly $285 billion in advertising in 2021, leading the global market by a huge margin. This means there is a huge opportunity but also tons of competitors in the market. The pandemic undoubtedly left a dent in the supply chain, and its recovery has been taking brands a lot of time and energy even in 2022.

The eCommerce industry overall, including the natural products industry, saw a spike in the costs of raw ingredients needed to deliver their finished products. With the added pressure to remain agile and constantly reinvent their strategy, brands now have to combat cost increments while maintaining their inventory.

Along with this, shipping costs have gone up significantly worldwide. With the rising costs of fuel, manual labor, and physical warehouses, brands have to find more efficient ways to allocate resources. Creating a resilient brand that’s able to navigate these previously unexplored threats has become crucial.

Opportunities in the Natural Products Industry

Despite the challenges, we see more awareness-driven campaigns on marketplaces like Instacart and Walmart today. 25% of all grocery sales in the US can be credited to Walmart, with predictions saying it’s going to continue outselling Amazon in this space.

Winning that digital shelf with advertising, according to Mike Marriot, is the best way for brands to build awareness and gain a first-mover advantage. On comparatively newer marketplaces like GoPuff and Instacart, there is much lesser competition for brands as compared to, say, Amazon.

For 2022, testing new features and optimizing advertising campaigns can be a great strategy to have a well-rounded digital presence and influence potential buyers. A good piece of advice here would be to find a way to correlate your store’s statistics to their root causes, see where to double down and where to cut back.

Brand Awareness Trends for 2022

Pivoting from traditional advertising, brands are now finding more success with newer strategies such as influencer marketing and social media advertising. The increasingly younger demographic responds better to online video marketing tactics with the potential to go viral. The “shock and awe factor” on social media lends millions of eyeballs, eventually translating into more sales.

Experimentation is the name of the game in 2022, with both retailers and buyers always on the lookout for the next new big thing that steals everyone’s attention. The spotlight has been on unique branding this year at the Expo, with more focus on high-quality products and ingredients that set a brand apart from the competition.

A great example of this is all the alternative meat options consumers have to choose from today. From sushi to beef jerky, the industry is witnessing a huge movement in sustainability. The emphasis could be seen on condensing more nutrition into regular foods while being climate smart.

Eye-Catching Industry Innovations

The newly unveiled Instacart Platform just goes to show how powerful tech can be to hand the power back to brands, with deeper insights, newer ad formats, and custom digital storefronts. With consumers becoming increasingly aware of food wastage and processed ingredients, brands that are creating and marketing healthier versions of popular food choices will see a rise in traction.

With rising competition in every niche, it’s vital to find the brand’s unique selling point (USP) before getting into brick-and-mortar stores. Without the right advertising and marketing logistics to back up trendy claims, buyers can feel confused or overwhelmed.

Investing heavily in building a brand image is less about immediate returns and more about long-term relationship creation with the consumers. So, the best bet for brands is to test out different online marketplaces and aim to increase their customer lifetime value.

The National Products Expo West was an opportunity for thousands of brands to get more eyes on their products, make introductions, and distribute samples in hopes of gaining some new customers in the long run.

Our webinar, “Top 10 Learnings from Expo West,” is a great resource for more insights into the natural products industry, and you can check out the recording of the entire session here.


Awards & Recognitions