Each year we are lucky enough to attend the Natural Products EXPO, the largest natural and organic products convention in the world. Over 3,500 brands exhibit to over 85,000 attendees, making it quite an extravaganza of goodness. It is fun to see what the veterans in the business are doing, but our favorite part of the show is the New Product Pavilion, where it is not uncommon to find the founder/maker of the product in their booth happily serving you a sample.
We know you care deeply about healthy natural food, so on with our report of what is new and trendy.
1. GRAIN FREE
Yes, you know about gluten free, but now we have grain-free. Books like The Plant Paradox, and Grain Brain have educated us that grains are not great for many of us, so finding products and entire companies that avoid grains is wonderful. Some of our favorites now use cassava flour, or even cauli-flour to make tasty snacks without traditional wheat or grains. We loved discovering Kitchun Grain Free Food Company, OHi Superfood Bar, Coco Thins, and TOSI Super Bites.
2. PLANT POWER
Plants are in! It was amazing the see the number of companies touting plant based ingredients, including plant protein, flour made from plants, and of course plant based drinks. The gluten free, cauli-flour pizza from Caulipower was delicious, as was the pizza, and every single other item from Daiya foods, including the new coconut ice cream bars, and coconut yogurt. Dr. Praeger’s, a family owned business, was showcasing some of their new plant based foods, that were chock full of nutrients, and very delicious. Note to moms of kids who don’t like vegetables: get your hands on their Kale Puffs. In the drink department, we are huge fans of superherb company Rebbl, and all of the amazing drinks they produce. Our favorites are Matcha Latte and Maca Mocha, but really they are all incredible tasting and good for you. A new product that knocked our socks off was the Vive Organic line of wellness shots. Super concentrated and potent, these shots will power you up for an active day.
3. CAUSE MARKETING
Though we didn’t see enough brands doing cause marketing, a few brands stood out. Stonyfield Organic is encouraging you to vote, with founder Gary Hirshberg stepping back in to oversee this important mission. Then there are a few companies that are building cause into their business model, such as This Bar Saves Lives. They donate a food packet to Action Against Hunger for each bar purchased in the U.S., a total of 3.5 million packets so far. We know cause is important to all consumers, but especially millennials, so we’d love to see more brands support causes, especially parks!
4. WHERE’S THE MEAT?
Along with plant power, we are starting to see a lot of plant-based meat substitutes. Beyond Meat offered an incredible tasting meatless sausage at the show, and the crowd was going crazy.
Lots and lots of other great products, but these are the ones that stood out to us. Try something new on your next park adventure!