This past weekend I attended the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, CA as press and got to cover new products, discover the latest natural trends, meet up with some of my favorite brands and of course catch up with lots of friends in the industry! (The show is for trade only.) 2500 exhibitors and 60,000 enthusiastic attendees made for high energy, packed convention center floors and plentiful samples. (Seriously, I never had to buy meal as the plentiful samples alone kept me full!) Having been in the organic industry my entire life (I toiled & grew up on one of the nations first organic farm) I've seen the organic industry change over the years. I remember a time when people did not know what organic was so it refreshing to see a whole show on organics/natural foods!
I reported live from the trade show floor with Instagram photos and Twitter updates (all the while juggling samples in hands and navigating through the sea of people on the packed show floor). There was much to see, experience, learn and discover that the recap will be two parts. So stay tuned!
2014 Expo West Trends
Yogurts.This trend was common throughout the entire show. From cow's milk to sheep's milk to soy based to savory to grass-fed cream top yogurt, yogurt was definitely a trend. I've been curious about the savory yogurts so was excited to sample them! Blue Hill Yogurts come in 6 flavors (Carrot, Beet, Butternut Squash, Sweet Potato, Tomato, Parsnip) grass-fed cows, and was inspired by their restaurants Blue Hill. Hence the name Blue Hill Yogurts. I tasted the Butternut Squash and Beet flavors and loved both. It's the first ever savory yogurt and I think it's going to be a big hit.
Turmeric. This is one of my favorite super spices and I was so excited to see it in products! Turmeric is one of the best anti inflammatories and I'm so happy to see it making its way into organic food products. Evo Hemp introduced Apple Pecan+Inflammatory Health Bar with this super spice. I had a sample. So good!
Raw snacks.Raw snacks continue to be a hot trend. Which I'm totally thrilled to see! Navitas Naturals came out with a few new ones and Manitoba Harvest jumped into the snack market and will be debuting their ah-mazing Hemp Heart Snax later this fall. And the perks of being press I was given a few samples to bring home with me. I can not WAIT for them to be available on the market! They are so good and Sarah Stanley Approved.
Chia. Chia is still a hot trend and many different companies are using this ingredient in their products. The Chia Company had a a chia pod in front of the convention center so I was greeted with breakfast+chia every morning! I really enjoyed their Bircher Müesli.
Coconut. Coconut water, coconut bacon, coconut-infused granola, coconut energy bars, coconut oil- coconut seems to be a ongoing trend. Another healthy trend I can get on board with!
Packaging. Not a product per say, but I saw quite a few products that were in pouches with a side twist top opening. Is this the new packaging trend? I guess time will tell.
Real food snacks for kids. Another theme I saw was kid specific snacks. Dried veggies (which were totally tasty for this kid-at-heart), real fruit juice boxes and kid friendly bars. It's great to see real food for kids on the market.
Now for a few of my favorite products that I discovered!
Love & Hummus. Out of over 2500 exhibits this product stood out to me for a few reasons. 1) Comes in glass jars. (Plastic is so not good for you.) 2) Love the graphics. (With a graphic+creative background, my eye is trained for good design.) 3) This hummus is the ONLY hummus on the market with absolutely zero preservatives (citric acid, fillers, additives, etc). I can't wait to see this on store shelves! Note: product pictured is display only; you don't have to mash your chickpeas. :)
Whole Me. Another product I fell in love with is the Eat Me cereal by Whole Me. As soon as I took a sample bite I knew it was love at first bite. It was like having an almond croissant. The rich almond flavor was divine. Paleo friendly, real food- get your hands- and mouth- on this wonderful product!
Part two will be up later this week!