Jon Benninger compiles a list of must-attend events at Natural Products Expo West ranging from AHPA's annual meeting to Vitamin Angels' 30th anniversary celebration.

Jon Benninger

March 7, 2024

3 Min Read

At a Glance

  • Natural Products Expo West is held March 12-16 in Anaheim, Calif.
  • One of the many events at Expo West is the AHPA Herb Walk, a guided tour of the 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum botanical garden.
  • Don't miss the Naturally Network Expo West Kick-Off Party on March 13 to connect with early-stage brands and new products.

Natural Products Expo West, March 12-16 in Anaheim, Calif., is the largest trade show in the natural products industry. Check out these must-attend events to get better connected. 

Southern California IFT Supplier Night 

When: March 12, 3:30 p.m. – 8:30 p.m. PT 

Where: Hyatt Regency Orange County, 11999 Harbor Blvd., Garden Grove, CA 92840 

What: Hundreds of ingredient suppliers exhibit at this annual table-top event offering food, beverage and dietary supplement companies the chance to explore the latest innovations and meet face to face with experts in the field. It is free to attend with pre-registration, available at Suppliers Night Expo – SCIFTS 

AHPA Annual Member Meeting 

When: March 13, 8 a.m. – 12 p.m. PT (breakfast available at 7:30 a.m.) 

Where: Hilton Anaheim, Pacific Ballroom B, 777 W. Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802 

What: This annual meeting of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) brings together members of the global herb industry for breakfast, industry updates, the AHPA Board of Trustees election, presentation of the 2024 AHPA Awards, and networking. AHPA members can attend free, and non-members can attend for $99 per person. Virtual attendance is also available. 

AHPA Herb Walk 

When: March 13, 1 p.m. – 5 p.m. PT 

Related:Expo West preview: 14 forward-looking suppliers on our list

Where: Fullerton Arboretum, 1900 Associated Rd., Fullerton, CA 92831 (round trip bus transportation departing from the Anaheim Hilton is provided) 

What: Participants get a guided tour of the 26-acre Fullerton Arboretum botanical garden located on the California State University, Fullerton campus. Participants will learn about culinary and medicinal herbs and their uses from a faculty of renowned herbalists, including Feather Jones of Sedona Tea Blends, Erin Smith of Banyan Botanicals and Roy Upton of American Herbal Pharmacopoeia. The arboretum features more than 4,000 plant species from around the world. Registration is $75 per person and space is limited. 

Vitamin Angels 30th Anniversary Celebration 

When: March 13, 5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PT 

Where: Anaheim Regional Transportation Intermodal Center, 2626 E. Katella Ave., Anaheim, CA 92806 

What: Vitamin Angels invites you to join hundreds of industry colleagues celebrating the 30th anniversary of this non-profit organization and its effort to eliminate malnutrition globally. Attendance is free but requires pre-registration (register here). The event sponsor, Nordic Naturals, will donate $250 to Vitamin Angels for each person in attendance (up to a maximum donation of $100,000). Each $250 donation provides 1,000 women and children with life-changing vitamins and minerals. 

Naturally Network Expo West Kick-Off Party 

When: March 13, 7 p.m. – 10 p.m. PT 

Where: Hilton Anaheim, 777 W. Convention Way, Anaheim, CA 92802 

What: A networking reception with drinks and light appetizers where participants can connect with early-stage brands and new products not yet exhibiting on the Expo show floor. Attendance is capped at 1,000 people, and the event was sold out in 2023 with more than 400 people on the waiting list. All are welcome to attend, and registration is $75 per person. Naturally Network partners and members receive 50% off. The event is presented by SPINS in partnership with New Hope Network and Moss Adams. 

WIN Gender Equity in Nutraceuticals Networking Event 

When: 4 p.m. – 6 p.m. PT 

Where: Arena Plaza 

What: A networking reception focused on how we can achieve economic and societal equity to transform the global nutraceuticals industry. All are welcome to attend, and there is no registration required. 

LGBTQ+ Allies Networking Reception 

When: 6 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. PT 

Where: Hilton Avalon Ballroom 

What: A networking reception for our LGBTQ+ colleagues and allies highlighting the non-profit Naturally Proud Network and a local non-profit that advocates, supports and uplifts the LGBTQ+ community. All are welcome to attend and there is no registration required. 

About the Author(s)

Jon Benninger


Jon Benninger is vice president and market leader at Informa Markets. He focuses on the strategic direction and growth of the SupplySide portfolio, which includes SupplySide West, SupplySide East, Natural Products Insider and Food & Beverage Insider. He coordinates with leaders of the other Informa health and nutrition events and brands, including Natural Products Expo West, Vitafoods, Food ingredients, Nutrition Capital Network, Nutrition Business Journal and MarketReady Insights.

Benninger joined the company in 1995 as the founding editor of the company’s first trade magazine for the nutrition industry. In his free time, Jon loves to cook for family and friends; if you are ever in Phoenix and want to enjoy a meal, all you must do is choose a country, region, or city, and Jon will cook it for you.

Jon Benninger

VP & Market Leader – SupplySide


  • Helped launch the SupplySide business in 1995.

  • Active in industry associations and initiatives and leads strategic partnerships for SupplySide.

  • Cares deeply about supply chain, quality, and innovation issues that drive industry growth and success.


  • ABC Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award, 2018

  • Vitamin Angels Grateful Acknowledgement for Supporting Global Children’s Health, 2018

  • AHPA Visionary Award, 2014

  • NPA Industry Champion Award, 2014

  • CRN Crystal Apple Award for Industry Leadership, 2010

Current Volunteer Positions

  • Board Chair and Board Trustee, Sonoran University of Health Sciences (formerly Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine)

  • Founder and Board Representative, Nutrition Advisory Council, Sonoran University of Health Sciences

  • Director’s Circle, American Botanical Council (ABC)

  • Communications Committee, American Herbal Products Association (AHPA)

  • Communications & Media Outreach Committee, Council for Responsible Nutrition (CRN)

  • Company Council, International Association of Dietary Supplement Associations (IADSA)

  • Mentor, Women In Nutraceuticals

Past Volunteer Positions

  • President, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, 2006 – 2008

  • Board of Directors, Dietary Supplement Education Alliance, 2001 – 2006

  • Board of Directors, Citizens for Health, 1999 – 2001

Speaker Credentials

  • "Trends in the US Market for Healthy and Functional Foods and Ingredients, Hi-Japan, Tokyo, 2019

  • “Trends Overview for Japanese Delegation to Natural Products Expo West” Anaheim, CA, 2019

  • “China: Impossible to Ignore” UNPA Member Retreat, Charleston SC, 2019

  • “Trends Overview for Japanese Delegation to Natural Products Expo West” Anaheim, CA, 2018

  • “Nutrition Industry Overview” US-China Business Exchange Dinner, Anaheim CA, 2018

  • “Industry Outlook: Market & Key Factors” National Enzyme Annual Meeting, Branson, MO, 2017

  • “State of the Human Dietary Supplement Industry” NASC Annual Conference, Austin, TX, 2016

  • “Consumer Concerns of Safety & Efficacy in Supplements” UNPA Member Retreat, Hawaii, 2016

  • “Nutrition, Health and Wellness Trends” Cactus IFT Meeting, Phoenix AZ, 2013

  • “Key Industry Events & Media in the US Market” World Ayurveda Congress, Bangalore, India, 2010

  • “Trends in the Dietary Supplement Industry” Pacific Technology Exchange, Los Angeles, 2010

  • “Succeeding in the US Market for Healthy Products” 4th Nutraceutical Summit, Mumbai, India, 2008

  • “Selling to the US Health Food Industry” Keynote Address, ANIPRON, Mexico City, 2007

  • 1997 – present: moderator/host at SupplySide events

  • 1997 – present: Frequent host/moderator of industry conference sessions, panel discussions & town halls

Resides in

  • Phoenix, AZ


  • Arizona State University, B.A Journalism, 1991


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