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Natural Products Expo West

Maine Brands Join Forces to Celebrate 200 Years of Innovation at Expo West

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

February 26, 2020

Maine Brands Join Forces to Celebrate 200 Years of Innovation at Expo West

This March, just days before the official 200th anniversary of Maine’s statehood, Maine brands will descend on Anaheim, California to show off one of the state’s greatest strengths: innovation in natural products and the food industry. The brands, which represent everything from Maine’s most traditional fished and farmed products to cutting edge food testing technology, will present a unified front as they dot the floor of Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural products trade show, which takes place March 4-7, 2020 and draws an international crowd of over 90,000 industry attendees.

While Maine brands have attended the show for decades, this year’s contingent is taking a new approach: over the months preceding their trip west, representatives from 11 Maine companies have been collaborating on a joint branding campaign to represent the state.

The Maine cohort includes Bristol Seafood, EnviroLogix, Gelato Fiasco, GrandyOats, Luke’s Lobster, Nibmor, Ocean’s Balance, Simply Served, Scott and Jon’s, Stonewall Kitchen and Wyman’s.

“200 is a pretty monumental birthday for our state,” says Ben Conniff of Luke’s Lobster. “We got to thinking about some of the things that make our state truly stand out, and immediately our minds went to amazing natural resources and the innovative things Mainers do with them.”

The campaign aims to tie together Maine’s past and future, under the banner of the original Maine state flag and the tagline “200 Years of Innovation.” The brands represent that spectrum well: the oldest, Wyman’s, was founded by Jasper Wyman in 1874 and today is one of the largest suppliers of wild blueberries, a heritage product enjoyed since long before statehood. The youngest, Ocean’s Balance, was founded in 2016 farming kelp, a relatively new flavor for the Maine palate but a booming opportunity for Maine’s coastline.

Innovative food collabs are second nature to Maine brands—look at GrandyOats’s collaboration beer with Allagash, which will be featured at a happy hour during the Expo, or the Wild Blue Salad topped with lobster and Wyman’s blueberries, both exported from Maine and served at Luke’s Lobster locations around the country. But 11 diverse companies banding together to cut through the noise of an often-chaotic trade show has never been done before.

The companies are grateful to receive funding and guidance from Maine’s Department of Economic and Community Development and the Maine Center for Entrepreneurs to enhance the impact of these efforts. “The Maine Department of Economic & Community Development is committed to helping Maine companies identify domestic markets and position for domestic trade success,” says Charlotte Mace, the Director of Business Development for DECD. “We are so pleased by the leadership shown by these companies attending Expo West in a collaborative way to jointly leverage and amplify the unique and valuable Maine brand.”

The campaign itself will play out through a targeted digital campaign directing influential buyers to visit Maine booths, a shared Instagram account under @mainefoodcollab to provide a single source to learn about businesses from Maine, original Maine flag tote bags sporting company logos, shared assets from the show and a collaborative media outreach.

While Maine only turns 200 once, all parties involved see this as just the beginning of an effort that will build over the years and have a knock-on effect not just for exhibitors, but for countless other brands already flourishing in the state and the many more expected to launch in the future.

For inquiries, please contact:

Janine Bisaillon-Cary, jbcary@montserratgroup.net

Colleen Craig, ccraig@wymans.com

Ben Conniff, ben@lukeslobster.com

Follow these Maine brands at Expo West at @mainefoodcollab on Instagram.