During the beginning of October, the Aiya team flew out to the fabulous Las Vegas to exhibit at the annual Supply Side West show. This show was held at Mandalay Bay, and was a rather short trip consisting of only two days instead of our usual three.
We’ve exhibited at the Supply Side West show a couple of times already, so there were a lot of familiar booths and exhibitors as we walked down aisles. Unlike some of the other shows we participate in, Supply Side West is an ingredient based show, which means that there are a lot of products that are unfamiliar to consumers and are not readily available in stores. Though a lot of these products were somewhat unfamiliar, it was still exciting getting to see all of the unique ingredients that were being exhibited. These products ranged from: neutraceuticals, vitamins, minerals and to different types of oils – the most intriguing one being an oil supplement extracted from Krill. This show definitely gives off a slightly different vibe than some of our other product based shows.
At this show, we sampled out an iced Matcha green tea using our Matcha To-Go sticks, our ever-popular Matcha green tea latte using our Zen Café Blend and almond milk, a hot Matcha tea using our ceremonial grade and three different tea-flavored chocolates created by Thomas Haas using our different type of pure teas. There was a Matcha white chocolate, made with our Matcha; a Rooibos Dark Chocolate with rose essence, made with our Rooibos tea; and a Black Tea Chai Milk Chocolate, made with our Black Tea. These chocolates were so delicious and definitely a crowd favorite, it was tempting not to reach for one every second. Since this was an ingredient show, the chocolates served as an example of how our Matcha and our other products could be used.
It was very enjoyable to see what companies were interested in our Matcha and what they wanted to use it for. Some wanted to use our Matcha for delicious desserts and others wanted to include Matcha in a health supplement or a protein shake. Because of all of the amazing health benefits that Matcha offers, it attracted a lot of nutraceutical companies, an industry that I had not been too familiar with before the show. The wonderful thing about Matcha is its incredible versatility and being a bit of a health enthusiast myself, I was happy to see our Matcha piquing the interest of not just drink and dessert companies, but health and nutraceutical companies as well. Overall the show went well and although it was somewhat slower than our last, it was attended by large companies with the potential to really broaden the Matcha market. We were very excited to follow up with many of the companies that visited us and are excited for the potential of Matcha and Aiya’s continued growth.
After the shows, we dined out at a couple of popular local restaurants—both of which I really enjoyed. On the first night, we went to a delicious Tapas restaurant called Firefly on Paradise, and the second night, an exotic Thai restaurant called Lotus of Siam. We even went to a massage parlor afterwards to ease away the day’s activities. Overall, a great experience, and a great way to wrap up our exhibition at 2014 shows—See you next year!