Highlights from Expo East 2019
It’s that time of year again – time for Natural Products Expo East convention aka Expo East! We always look forward to seeing the new trends in the organic and natural food industry. This year did not disappoint. Some exciting new products are coming to the market. If you were not able to attend (or did attend and just want the recap). Here are the top 5 new and/or popular trends from Expo East:
New Food Trends:
The overall food trend at Expo East seems to be more about plants and less about meat. Mushrooms have a “meaty” texture that lends well to meat substitute products. The big new food at the show was Mushroom Jerky! This Jerky was sold by two attendees at the show – The NY Mushroom Company and Pan’s Mushroom Jerky. Mushroom jerky comes in a variety of flavors including Zesty Thai (Pan’s Jerky) and Sweet & Tangy Barbecue (The NY Mushroom Company).
The other noteworthy mushroom product is in the diet and nutrition category. Many teas are focusing on various health issues including immune support, mental clarity and dietary supplement courtesy of Host Defense Mushrooms. Immune support was the most popular mushroom-based supplement. Something to note, the different companies each had their own “special” mushroom to keep away illness.
Minimal Ingredient (less than 5 ingredients) products
Have you ever looked on the back of a can of soup and not been able to pronounce half of the ingredients? There has been a growing trend away from so much processing in our food choices. Minimal ingredients in a product is the evolution of that trend. From soup to jerky to fruit spreads, this trend is exploding in the food industry. Some standouts we saw at the show including Zoup and Moon Cheese. Zoup is a soup that focuses on being a high-quality product with few ingredients. Zoup started out as a restaurant but are entering the food market as a solution for high-quality soup without having to go to a restaurant. Moon Cheese is a cheese crisp with an extremely low ingredient product. None of their varieties have more 5 ingredients and most are 1 or 2. They not only have minimal ingredients but are also Keto and gluten-free friendly.
Exciting/Popular Food Trends:
CBD oil products
As more and more states legalize CBD oil, people can make and sell their wares. CBD purports to have many uses including pain relief, reduction of acne and lessening of cancer symptoms. With such positive benefits, it is no wonder people want the oil in products. Most of the CBD goods at Expo East were features in dietary supplements, oils/creams, and oil drops. This is a category to keep a close eye on. It looks like this is the beginning of its ascent in the marketplace.
The number of food products entering the plant-based food category has been on the rise since 2012. Plant-based suggests healthfulness but spares those of us who are omnivorous from the “stigma” of vegan food. The selection of plant-based food is increasing exponentially. Gone are the days of a single choice in a few food categories. Today, you have gourmet options including cheese, seafood, and full plant-based meals. A couple of memorable lines include Miyoko’s Cheese and butter products. Miyoko’s brings an artisan approach to plant-based cheese. They have everything from Truffle Semi-soft cheese to Un-Lox Your Dreams Cream Cheese. Sophie’s Kitchen is breaking ground with plant-based seafood. They are focused on healthy meals that vegans, health-conscious people and those allergic to seafood can all enjoy. Some standouts in their product line are Lobster Mac and Cheese, Crab Cakes and Coconut Shrimp. Plant-based products will continue to grow as more people become health conscious.
“What is Keto” was the most searched phrase in Google last year. Is it any surprise that there are a lot of Keto products at Expo East? This diet focuses on low-carb, high-fat foods. That combination of factors can be difficult for our “grab and go” culture. We saw a couple of standouts that are specifically keto products at the show. Keto and Co have taken the approach of making baked good mixes low carb. In their product catalog, you CAN have your brownie and eat it too! They sell everything from brownie mix to flatbread mix. Keto Krisp is part of the ever-growing protein bar category. Keto Krisp focuses on the taste of the bar. Their slogan is: LIFE’S TOO SHORT TO EAT SHI#TY TASTING BARS! With that kind of slogan, you know it’s got to be good.
Overall, the new products at Expo East relieved consumers are looking for healthier, minimally processed food choices. From mushroom jerky to immune support to faux shellfish, it looks to be an exciting year in innovative products coming to the market near you.
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