Last week our team had the honor of exhibiting at Expo West in Anaheim, California. Natural Products Expo West is the largest natural products convention in the country. Every March, brands and companies alike gather to showcase natural and organic foods, supplements and lifestyle products. (Expo West is basically the Superbowl of all things health and wellness). Although we were busy posted up at our booth introducing passerby’s to all that The NutraMilk, has to offer, we were able to spot some exciting trends. Here are the top eleven trends we spotted at Expo West this year.
#1 Bite Sized Foods (Convenience)
Between crazy calendars and packed planners, companies know consumers lead busy lives, which was apparent by the popularity of bite-sized foods this year. Whether you are interested in a breakfast bar, snacks or cookies, bite sized bites were a major trend at Expo West this year.
#2 CBD, Hemp and Endocannabinoid System
Although there are 11 trends on this list, CBD was by far the most popular trend at Expo West this year. From CBD candies to cocktails containing liquid CBD, CBD was the hottest trend this year.
#3 Modern Classics
Companies are taking classic pantry staples that consumers grew up with (think brownies, chips, cookies and crackers) and are elevating them with more modern ingredients that provide a healthier alternative to the beloved classics we all know and love.
#4 Healthy Fats and Keto-Friendly Foods
Fat-free is out and healthy fats are in. Monounsaturated fats and saturated fats found in foods like avocado oil, butter, coconut oil and ghee have finally made a comeback, which is why many of these healthy fat sources were found in the foods we sampled at Expo West. From baked goods to protein bars, healthy fats are here to stay.
#5 Healthy Microbiome
We now know a happy gut is a healthy gut and with a large portion of the immune system residing in the gut, it’s no surprise that foods and products that support a healthy microbiome were quite popular this year. To probiotic packed protein bars, bubbly beverages and cleaning products (yes household cleaning products), companies are beginning to pay attention to gut health.
#6 Oat Milk
If you love dairy milk alternatives like almond milk, cashew milk and coconut milk, but are looking for a new dairy-free favorite try oat milk. Oat milk is creamy and steams well, which gives your favorite coffee or tea beverages a frothy added bonus.
#7 Pili Nuts
Pili nuts were the “it” nut at this year’s Expo West. Many people have never heard of a Pili nut, but think of it as an almond mixed with a Macadamia nut. They are small in size like an almond, but offer a smooth, rich, creamy and buttery taste, similar to that of a Macadamia nut. Looks like we have some new recipe development to explore!
#8 Plant-Based/Meat Alternatives/Protein Packed Everything
With the ever-growing popularity of plant-based diets, brands and companies are offering consumers more plant-based food options, which is subsequently giving rise to meat alternatives and protein packed snack in the form of pea protein, lentils, legumes and chickpeas.
#9 Responsible Sourcing
As more consumers are actively researching companies, their mission and their practices, more brands are turning to responsible sourcing methods and are being fully transparent with their ingredients, packaging and trade relationships.
#10 Responsible Packaging
Speaking of packaging, more companies are abandoning single-use plastic packaging and are opting for greener options such as compostable and reusable packaging, both of which are greener options for our planet.
Here are some tips for leading and living a more sustainable life.
Since fat’s good reputation has finally been restored and sugar has now become enemy number one, many of the foods featured at this year’s Expo West were sweetened with natural sugars like agave, coconut sugar, dates and date syrup, maple syrup, monk fruit and stevia.
We want to thank each and every one of you who stopped by our booth to learn more about The NutraMilk. Expo West 2019 was a blast and we cannot wait until next year’s event. See you all again next year at Expo West 2020!