This past weekend, I was one of 85,000 natural and organic enthusiasts attending Natural Products Expo West (Expo West), the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event.
After walking many miles on the trade show floor to check out the latest and greatest better-for-you foods and beverages, the following six trends stood out:
1. Championing Chips. The trend for crunchy snacks is clearly here to stay. For the second year in a row, chips seemed to be everywhere at Expo West. But, these aren’t your run-of-the-mill chips. They all purport to deliver some type of extra benefit. From plant-based ingredients to added nutrients to unique flavor profiles (wasabi and ranch anyone?), these snacks are anything but ordinary.
2. Granola Grows. Granola is a long-standing, better-for-you favorite and a term that often describes health-conscious consumers. So it’s no surprise that granola was a hot trend at this year’s show. Whether you’re looking for a low-sugar option, a granola full of flax seeds or new granola bar flavors, there was truly a granola product for every person and every diet at Expo West this year.
3. Dairy Renaissance. Plant-based milks are still a booming business, but dairy seems to be making a comeback. I saw more new dairy-based products exhibited at this year’s show than in the past couple of years. And, when it comes to these products, grass-fed dairy is the name of the game.
4. Turmeric Tidal Wave. Turmeric was certainly an ingredient darling at Expo West this year. You could find it in anything from beverages to breakfast cereal.
5. Raising the Bar(s). If it’s difficult for you to believe that there’s still room for innovation when it comes to bars, you might need to expand your imagination. The abundance of new bars at Expo West goes to show that consumer demand for on-the-go nutrition remains strong.
6. Jerky Juggernaut. It’s only fitting that this list should be bookended with continuing trends from the 2017 show. Jerky was big last year, and it’s even bigger this year. And, it isn’t just limited to meat. “Fruit jerky” and jerky that combines meat and other ingredients were also on full display.
It’s my hope that the continued growth of the natural and organic community speaks to increasing consumer demand for products that are better for people and the planet. At Linhart PR, we’re proud of our long tradition of supporting better-for-you brands and enthusiastic about what the future holds for this burgeoning industry. If Expo West is any indication, the future is very bright.