Last month’s Natural Products Expo West trade show provided an opportunity for Beverage Industry to share on-the-floor updates via Twitter. As the show hosts many launches and new brands, it was easy to find 140 characters worth of content to share with our followers.

At one of the show’s education events, Jeff Dunn, chief executive officer of Bolthouse Farms, said that the health and wellness trend has many companies moving from a focus on capturing market share to pursuing mind share. Within the concept of mind share, brands can inspire conversations rather than push messages to consumers, he said.

The Bolthouse executive also mentioned that when it comes to marketing, constancy helps to make the program run. Hardly a more constant network exists than Twitter. After discovering Zico’s new Chocolate Coconut Water at Expo West, I sent a Tweet about the product. Within five minutes, I received a reply requesting the booth information from an attendee.

Twitter also has emerged as a new way to approach advertising. Los Angeles-based agency specializes in connecting celebrities with brands for paid product endorsement Tweets. The agency works to ensure the celebrity and product are a match and the Tweet is written by’s staff in the star’s voice.

For some brands, social networking remains a way to interact with consumers. During Expo West, I met with Robert Ehrlich, founder of Rob’s Really Good, and he mentioned consumer comments on social networking sites have an affect on his outlook.

“Just one Facebook fan posting that they love our Chocolate Tea — that propels me,” Ehrlich says. “I live for those compliments.”

To follow the magazine’s updates, add @BeverageInd on Twitter.

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