This page comprises New Hope Network’s exhibitor standards for NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO EAST and EXPO WEST and EXPO VIRTUAL online events referred to as “EXPOs” hereafter. This is a working document which is open at all times to industry comment and review. As producers of two major, national trade shows, New Hope Network has the responsibility to require minimum standards to exhibit at our EXPOs. It is our hope that these standards will become part of the overall effort to improve the quality and integrity of the natural products industry. Exhibitors are encouraged to review the entire document. Exhibitors should be aware that a signed contract incorporates their agreement to abide and adhere to the Exhibitor Standards. New Hope Network reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any company or product for inclusion in its trade shows.
Statement of Purpose
With these standards, it is New Hope Network’s goal to enhance public health and safety, support industry self-regulation, improve the quality of natural products, and grow the industry in a responsible way. These standards also represent New Hope Network’s attempt to raise the level of integrity and professionalism of the EXPOs.
Focus of New Hope Network's Exhibitor Standards
These standards cover six areas of focus:
- Product Safety
- Product Ingredients
- Product Claims
- Product Labeling
- Product Literature
- Show Floor Activities
For the purposes of these Standards, NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPOs will distinguish between labels and labeling, and literature. Labels and labeling include all packaging and any promotional materials, brochures, websites or other written, verbal or visual materials used in the sale of the branded product. Literature is educational in nature and includes magazine articles, books and other printed, verbal or visual matter that may not be specific to the exhibitor’s branded product and is not physically attached to the product or product labeling.
Each subsection contains the minimum requirements exhibitors must meet to participate in the EXPOs. In the event an exhibitor standard is in conflict with an applicable government regulation, the government regulation will take precedent.
Working with the Industry
New Hope Network views these standards as part of the larger industry effort designed to improve the health of the American people, to ensure the accuracy of information provided, and the safety and integrity of promoted products. We intend to work with industry manufacturers, distributors, brokers and retailers in addition to trade associations and other organizations in a mutual effort to accomplish these goals.
Comments, Suggestions and Concerns
This is a working document. Exhibitors are encouraged to review the entire document. Reserving a booth at our events represents your agreement to participate in our Exhibitor Standards Program. We want to emphasize that this document is a work in progress, open at all times to industry comment and review.
We encourage comments, suggestions and concerns from industry members and groups because it is our intention to provide standards that are fair, reasonable, concise and understandable. These standards will be updated and refined as necessary and will be appropriately revised to reflect the dynamic regulatory environment. Exhibitors will have ample time to correct any problems and respond to informational requests unless New Hope Network perceives a situation that truly compromises consumer safety or jeopardizes the industry’s or New Hope Network’s integrity. Please submit all questions or comments IN WRITING to New Hope Network, Standards Department, 5541 Central Avenue, Suite 150, Boulder, CO 80301 or email us at [email protected].
These standards are for NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO in-person and online events. Compliance with these standards does not exempt exhibitors from complying with applicable legal or industry standards set forth by governmental or trade organizations such as the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the Consumer Product Safety Commission, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the United Natural Products Alliance, the Council for Responsible Nutrition, or the American Herbal Products Association. In addition, these standards do not constitute an approval system. New Hope Network strives to collect and review all exhibit contents, but makes no guarantees that every potential deviation from these standards will be identified and communicated to exhibitors. Exhibitors are responsible for knowing and complying with all standards. New Hope Network reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any company or product for inclusion in its trade shows.
- Labeling/Literature presented at exhibits may be reviewed. Exhibitors whose materials are deemed out of compliance may be notified before, during or after EXPOs. Lack of notification for noncompliance does not necessarily mean exhibitor materials are in compliance with the Exhibitor Standards.
- Exhibitors are solely responsible for responding within the established deadlines for compliance.
- For Virtual-only exhibit reviews, the NHN team may perform minor revisions to a non-compliant product description and/or remove non-compliant documents (marketing). Virtual-only Exhibitors will be immediately notified of any changes made to their online exhibit.
- In-Person Exhibitors will have ample time to correspond with Standards and correct any non-compliance issues unless except when, in the discretion of New Hope Network, the situation compromises consumer safety or jeopardizes the industry’s or New Hope’s integrity. In such an instance, an exhibitor may be asked to remove non-compliant products or materials from the exhibit immediately.
- New exhibitors are pre-approved and are required to submit labels, literature, and other materials. Any exhibitor may be asked to submit materials intended as exhibit content for pre-approval, solely at the discretion of NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO.
- Acceptance of materials for exhibit at EXPO’s does not mean they meet all applicable federal or state regulatory requirements. Reviews are performed to determine whether exhibitors meet Expo eligibility requirements which incorporate some but not all regulatory requirements.
- New Hope Network reserves the right to change this policy and will keep exhibitors advised of any such changes.We believe that upholding these standards will ultimately benefit our audience, our exhibitors and the industry. If we and our exhibitors work together to create even higher levels of audience trust, we will surely see increased sales of natural products and an increased likelihood of continued self-regulation for our industry.
I. Product Safety
To ensure the safety of products and services.
- Products or services in the exhibit must be safe as labeled for intended use.
- Products that could be unsafe if used improperly must identify directions for safe use and warnings against misuse.
- Products which are sold as over-the-counter drugs must be labeled with appropriate consumer warnings as specified in the appropriate OTC monograph.
- Appropriate warning statements must be noted for products which may be unsafe if consumed by certain subpopulations. Examples: People with hypertension or pregnant women.
- Tamper-evident packaging is encouraged along with a clear description of the tamper-resistant features.
- Drugs or supplements manufactured and packaged to appeal to children must have appropriate cautions or warnings to prevent misuse by children.
- Drugs or supplements packaged to appeal to children must have child-resistant closures.
- All drugs and supplements should have appropriate cautions and warnings to prevent misuse by children.
- Tamper-resistant packaging or child resistant closures as appropriate are encouraged for all drugs and supplements.
- Products that are unsafe or inappropriate for use by children should not be packaged or marketed in a manner that is targeted toward children or recognized as candy by children.
- Products that could be unsafe if consumed without adult supervision must be clearly labeled as such.
- All samples must include the following information: name and address or phone number of manufacturer or distributor; full labeling of ingredients; directions for use; warnings against misuse if appropriate.
- All dietary supplement samples must be packaged in sealed units.
- Labels of product samples should be clearly marked to designate the products not intended for resale.
- Samples should carry a meaningful lot number or other tracking mechanism.
- Exhibitors offering samples for immediate consumption must provide a listing of ingredients and other relevant information required by these standards in a location that is easily visible to EXPO attendees.
- All samples must be processed, prepared and presented in a safe and sanitary manner according to federal, state and local codes.
II. Product Ingredients
- Products claiming a specific amount of a dietary ingredient or a specific potency (with the exception of homeopathic products) must be tested to ensure that statements are accurate.
- Products with a claimed potency (with the exception of homeopathic products) must bear an open coded expiration or “best if used by” date.
- A declared potency must be accurate until the expiration date.
- If a declared potency is dependent on specialized storage conditions, those conditions, the potency declared and an expiration date or “best before” date must be listed.
- Potency terminology must be easily understood by a lay person with one exception: Homeopathic products may declare potency or dilution using methods outlined in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.
- Standardized potency statements must note the chemical compound, compounds or class of compounds used as the marker(s) for standardization, and how much of that compound is present by weight, ratio or content as a percentage.
- Extracts should state the equivalent weight of starting material per volume or weight of extract.
- Laxatives, stimulants and bronchodilators should be clearly identified in labeling and literature.
- Homeopathic products must comply with the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States and should be in accordance with the FDA’s current draft Guidance on Drug Products Labeled as Homeopathic.
- Products formulated using a specific philosophy should state that philosophy and conform to that basis of formulation. Example: “A traditional Chinese formula.”
- Products claiming to be “ancient” formulas should have documentation to support the claim and contain only those ingredients originally included in the “ancient” formula.
- Ancient formulas combined with modern ingredients should disclose these modifications to the original formula.
- If the name of a fruit, spice, essential oil, or other flavor or fragrance is part of a product title, then that product must contain that substance. If it does not, a disclaimer must appear directly under the product title as specified by FDA regulations.
- If the product contains only the essence of a flavor, then the word “flavored” should be an integral part of the product’s description.
- Fruit drinks must state the content percentage of real fruit juice as specified by FDA regulations.
- Labeling of flavor ingredients should be in compliance with applicable FDA regulations.
- Essential oils not extracted from a plant should be described as “artificial” or “synthetic.”
- Descriptors such as “fragrance” or “essence” may not be adequate.
- Products consisting of or containing any ingredients derived from threatened or endangered plant or animal species are not permitted in any EXPO exhibit. Promotional materials and/or literature offering such products is also disallowed.
- Products advertising a specific amount of a dietary ingredient or a specific potency (with the exception of homeopathic products) must be tested to ensure that statements are accurate. Documentation of such testing should be available at the request of a New Hope Network representative.
- Potency terminology must be easily understood by a lay person with one exception: Homeopathic products may declare potency or dilution using methods outlined in the Homeopathic Pharmacopoeia of the United States.
- Substantiation for standardized potency statements must be made available at the request of a New Hope Network representative.
- Laxatives, stimulants and bronchodilators should be clearly identified in advertising.
- Conventional food products and dietary supplements must adequately comply with current FDA regulations for nutrition labeling and nutrient content unless otherwise exempted.
- Natural foods may not contain any artificial sweeteners. See the Ingredients Standards and Guidelines for a list of artificial sweeteners and acceptable natural sweeteners.
- Natural foods may not contain any artificial colors. See the Ingredients Standards and Guidelines for a list of artificial colors and acceptable natural colors.
- Natural foods may not contain any artificial flavorings. See the Ingredients Standards and Guidelines for a list of artificial flavorings and acceptable natural flavorings.
- Natural foods may not contain any artificial preservatives. See the Ingredients Standards and Guidelines for a list of artificial preservatives and acceptable natural preservatives.
III. Products & Product Claims
To ensure the truthfulness and accuracy of product statements.
To ensure substantiation and traceability of product statements.
To promote thorough understanding and knowledge of products and product statements.
To promote equal evaluation and comparison of like products.
To preserve the integrity and meaning of legitimate statements such as: “organically grown & certified organic,” “cruelty free,” “recycled” and “historical formula.”
- Exhibitors must have substantiation of health benefit statements, whether express, implied or contained in product names. Adequate substantiation, including (but not limited to), copies of complete published scientific studies with journal name, date, volume and authors’ names must be provided at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- A bibliography of research will not generally be adequate, unless it is accompanied by the above documentation.
- Exhibitors must provide substantiation of nutrient or ingredient content claims, which may consist of a certificate of analysis or analytical results from a qualified testing laboratory.
- Testing must follow good laboratory practices including method validation, calibration and confirmation by an independent (FDA-registered if possible) laboratory.
- Exhibitors are encouraged to provide and have available substantiation of all health benefit statements or ingredient content statements to any EXPO attendee.
- All testing to validate health benefit statements or ingredient content statements should be performed by an independent, certified laboratory with published Good Laboratory Practices.
- Superlative statements should only be made if they are true and not misleading. Exhibitors should have substantiation of such statements. Examples: Superlative statements include (but not limited to): “best in the world,” “best product in the U.S.,” “only the finest herbs,” “only the purest water,” “the only,” “the most potent” and “the most effective.”
- Individuals presented as doctors must have a full and accurate title such as N.D., M.D., Ph.D., D.Ed., O.M.D. Such individuals must disclose details of their education and training at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- Titles and initials must be stated clearly and, if not commonly known, must be spelled out or explained.
- Statements about facilities, staff, quality control procedures, manufacturing processes or testing must not be overstated. Proof of such practices or test results must be supplied at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- Statements about institutions of higher education must be truthful, not misleading and must disclose the following information:
- The accrediting agency/agencies of the institution program stated.
- Whether the accrediting agency/agencies are recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
- If the degree or credentials offered are recognized by other institutions of higher education.
- Whether the degree or credential qualify the recipient to take state board exams in states where licensing is required.
In accordance with the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994 (DSHEA), and the U.S. Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, dietary supplement, food and cosmetic products and their labeling must not claim to treat, prevent, mitigate, cure or reduce the risk of diseases, unless the product meets the federal requirements for use of an FDA-approved claim AND the complete language of the FDA-approved health claim is used on the labeling. The FDA considers that if a statement about a product or ingredient, claims to diagnose, mitigate, treat, cure, or prevent disease or if it has an effect on a specific disease, class of diseases or on the characteristic signs or symptoms of a disease, the product will be subject to regulation as a drug unless the claim is an authorized health claim for which the product qualifies.
- Product labeling including sales and marketing material must not express or imply claims to diagnose, treat, cure, prevent or mitigate any diseases, including (but not limited to), cancer, heart disease, AIDS, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.
- Substantial scientific data, to be determined at the discretion of a New Hope Network representative, will be required to support benefit statements pertaining to such diseases. The data if published must include journal name, date, volume and authors’ names.
- “Organic” must be used truthfully in all statements.
- Products labeled as organic must have current USDA-accredited, third-party certification for compliance with the USDA’s National Organic Program or other internationally recognized organic certification program.
- Exhibitors claiming “certified” organically grown or processed must have in their records the appropriate certification documents, and such documentation must be available at the request of a New Hope Network representative.
- All products and promotional material bearing registered third-party seals and trademarks for organic, gluten-free, and Non-GMO must have a current registration in their records with the respective certifying agency. A current registration certificate should be available for review at any Natural Products Expo event and made available, upon request, by a New Hope Network representative.
- Exhibitors should provide substantiation of any third party certifications at the request of a New Hope Network representative or any EXPO attendee.
- Statements such as “pesticide free,” “unsprayed” and “herbicide free” must be documented. Information supporting such statements must be available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- “No,” “low,” “lite” and “free” or any characterized nutrient content claim statements should comply with all applicable FDA and FTC regulations.
- Such statements must not be deceptive and must fully disclose relevant facts. Examples: A statement of “no salt added” is deceptive if the product contains a high amount of sodium from hydrolyzed vegetable protein. “No oil” is deceptive when the product is naturally high in fat such as peanuts.
- Products stating to be free of ingredients with a particular activity must disclose the presence of ingredients with similar activity. Example: Products that contain no caffeine but do contain guarana.
- Such statements must be substantiated with documentation available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- If a product is said to be free of a substance that actually remains in residual amounts, the residual amount should be disclosed.
- Products promoted as “cruelty free” and “not tested on animals” should comply with criteria established by such animal protection organizations as PETA and NAVS.
- Documentation of “cruelty free” and “not tested on animals” statements should be available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- “Recycled” “Eco-Friendly”, “Compostable”, “Bio-Degradable”, “Sustainable” “Regenerative” statements must be truthful and comply with applicable parts of FTC and where applicable EPA regulations.
- Recycled materials used in food packaging must meet FDA regulations for food contact materials.
- “Recycled” statements should be accurate and supported by a network of recycling centers in the U.S.
- “Compostable”, “Bio-Degradable”, “Sustainable” and “Regenerative” statements should be substantiated with documentation available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- Charitable contribution statements must be supported by documentation and made available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- Test results referred to in promotional materials must be made available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- Testing statements must be significant and relevant and not confusing or deceptive.
- Statements and conclusions made about test results must be logically derived from and supported by test data.
- Photos and data derived from tests including stylistic or artistic renditions must be accurately and objectively labeled and interpreted.
- Promotional materials should state if the test was conducted by an FDA-registered or certified independent laboratory or by the promoter of the claim.
- Promotional materials should cite the test method and the laboratory conducting the test.
- Exhibitors are encouraged to provide test results to any EXPO attendee on request.
- Exhibitors should disclose the source of funding for any tests cited.
- The following products may not be exhibited at Expo:
- Alternatives to street drugs
- Recreational euphoriants/stimulants
- Sexual stimulants/enhancers (reviewed on a case-by-case basis as described below)
- Remedies for nuclear, biological, or chemical contaminants (reviewed on a case-by-case basis as described below)
- E-cigarettes, nicotine-delivery devices, vape/vaporizer devices and devices that are intended for smoking cessation.
- Natural Products Expo evaluates all promotional materials, literature and/or labeling as a whole, including text, product names and images used. Natural Products Expo allows products that support natural sexual function, and reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any company or product for inclusion in its trade shows, on a case-by-case basis, products that claim to enhance sexual pleasure, endurance or those marketed as aphrodisiacs.
- Natural Products Expo strictly prohibits the exhibiting, advertising and promotion of products that claim to protect against, detect, prevent or treat nuclear, biological or chemical contaminants. Natural Products Expo reserves the right to determine the eligibility of any of these types of products for inclusion in Expo events or advertisements.
IV. Product Label Regulatory Compliance
All labels and labeling must be truthful and not misleading with respect to identification marks, seals and logos, and they must adequately comply with current FDA, USDA and/or EPA regulations to have them be eligible for exhibit at Natural Products Expo events.
New Hope Network reserves the right to request and collect product samples for analytical testing.
V. Labels, Labeling and Literature
To ensure understandability and traceability of product literature*.
To promote equal evaluation and comparison of like products.
To ensure guarantees are fair and honored.
*Promotional materials and literature may not contain prohibited products (ex. vapes, prohibited artificial ingredients, etc.).
- Product labels, promotional materials, and literature must include the full name of the manufacturer or distributor and mailing address. Having only a website address may be inadequate.
- Literature that does not list a trade name must have the exhibitor’s name, city, state and zip code and/or the phone number; or it must have the name and address or phone number of the party responsible for compilation and dissemination of the information. Having only a website address may be inadequate. Published “third-party literature” must bear a full citation.
- Product labels, promotional materials, and literature should include a phone number for the manufacturer or distributor.
- Survey statistics and conclusions must have a reference that includes the following information:
- Methodology of survey
- Who conducted the survey
- The date the survey was conducted
- A written offer explaining how to obtain a copy of the survey.
- It is recommended that Surveys also contain the following information:
- Selection criteria for survey population
- Number of people surveyed
- Margin of error of the survey
- Source of funding for the survey.
- Survey results must not be misrepresented.
- The above information must be made available at the request of a New Hope Network representative or inquiring EXPO attendee.
- Quotes must not be misrepresented by being taken out of context.
- Endorsements by consumers must represent what the typical experience of customers would be, not the experience of just a few customers. Simply stating that “Not all consumers will get these results” or “your results may vary” is not enough.
- Endorsement quotes must cite the speaker, date and source of the quote.
- Exhibitors should not use fine print disclaimers to contradict other statements within product labeling or literature to clear up misimpressions that the labeling/literature information would leave otherwise.
- Photos and illustrations may not be deceptive or misleading.
- Photos used in labeling and literature that depict any aspect of a product’s processing, manufacture or test must be of the manufacturer’s facility or accurately labeled with the name of the Photos and Illustrations/Standards facility pictured and its relationship to the exhibitor’s product.
- Before/after and comparison photos must be used in the following manner:
- Include a caption stating the time of the first photo and the time of the second photo.
- Exposure and print techniques must be identical for each photo.
- Photos and illustrations should not contain additional misleading features or characteristics.
- Artistic or contrived terms used in labeling and literature must be understandable.
- The use of a term must not differ from its commonly accepted meaning.
- A coined term or descriptive phrase should not be used to imply one product’s superiority over another solely by virtue of the use of that coined term or phrase.
- All comparison and negative advertising must comply with FTC regulations. FTC defines comparison advertising as that which “compares alternative brands on objectively measurable attributes or price and identifies the alternative brand by name, illustration or other distinctive information.”
- Comparison and/or Negative statements about companies or products should be thoroughly documented and such documentation made available at the request of a designated New Hope Network representative.
- Data cited should be made available on request to any EXPO attendee.
- Guarantees must be easily understandable and must not be misleading and must include relevant terms and conditions.
- Companies offering guarantees must honor the guarantee.
- The exhibitor is responsible for the accuracy of all information present in the booth that pertains to products or services offered.
- Information that is primarily educational and helps to better understand the product is encouraged.
- Information should state product limitations and encourage an integrated approach to wellness using a variety of techniques.
- Information from an impartial third party is encouraged.
- Information about the cultural context of use or philosophical basis of formulation is encouraged.
- Information which addresses cultivation techniques and ingredient and product processing methods is encouraged.
- Information should explain technical terms and cite references for any statements made.
VI. Trade Show Activities
To ensure EXPO attendees are not placed at risk by unsafe practices by exhibitors and are properly informed.
To ensure compliance with exhibit hall rules and local ordinances.
To encourage ethical behavior.
- All medical testing, diagnosis and treatment conducted within exhibits must be done by a qualified and/or licensed medical practitioner.
- The medical practitioner’s title and qualifications must be prominently displayed.
- Testing must be conducted in a safe manner.
- Test or treatments resulting in medical waste or which may contaminate attendees are strictly prohibited. Example: Drawing blood or other bodily fluids; the use of needles.
- A written report stating the test’s safety, validity and usefulness must be available to attendees.
- Products or samples manufactured or prepared at EXPO must comply with federal, state and local regulations pertaining to food preparation.
- Products or samples that cannot comply with these regulations must not be offered for consumption and may only be used for demonstration purposes.
- Food, beverages and other products intended for immediate consumption must be offered free of charge.
- Exhibitors are requested to adhere to ethical considerations in areas including but not limited to the following:
- Sexually explicit materials
- Animal Cruelty
- Environmental concerns.
- Seminar speakers, including exhibitors and representatives from companies who pay to give an Exhibitor Presented Seminar at Natural Products Expo, must not make defamatory, libelous or slanderous statements about an exhibitor, company or person during a seminar.
- Information given at seminars must be truthful and non-misleading and must comply with FDA regulations for claims if the seminar promotes products or brands.
- Condition for acceptance of an Exhibitor Presented Seminar is that the focus of the seminar be educational in nature.
- A signed Exhibitor Presented Seminar form is a binding agreement to comply with these Exhibitor standards.
- Substantiation for claims and statements made during seminars must be provided to a designated New Hope Network representative on request.