Last weekend, we attended the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, California. The world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event brought more than 80,000 people. Attendees included industry pioneers, innovators, 3,100 exhibitors, and us! Our first year attending, we strived to see, sample and learn as much as we could about what’s on the horizon in one of the most important industries for label and sustainable-minded consumers, like us.
After three days of seeing, testing and tasting a ton of products, we identified the top six natural product trends we predict to be the hottest for 2017.
The new dairy and non-dairy
Non-dairy was dominated by newly released nut milks and cheeses from companies like Silk, Califia, Daiya and two of our new favorites Kite Hill and Miyoko’s Kitchen. The standout product: Kite Hill’s truffle, dill & chive soft fresh almond milk cheese. Confession: we went back every day to sample it at the show – so delicious! On the dairy front, we saw a movement towards milk that claims to be easier to digest like a2 Milk, farm-fresh milk from a multi-generational dairy that emphasizes flavor, and the popular siggi’s Icelandic style yogurt that is free from artificial preservatives, thickeners, flavors, colors and sweeteners – finally less sugar!
We’re fans of chickpeas. Seeing the expansion of their use in products like Banza’s pasta (delicious), Biena’s chickpea snacks, Hippeas chickpea puffs, and Love & Hummus’ chickpea crackers and organic hummus was super exciting. Banza already made it on our grocery list. Watch this space for the family verdict and recipes!
Popcorn in so many sizes and flavors
Popcorn was HOT at Expo West as well as other food shows we’ve attended this year. One of our newest discoveries was Pipcorn. The pieces are smaller than other brands, but so flavorful – particularly the salt and vinegar. SkinnyPop’s new microwaveable popcorn in a chemical-free container made us want to host a movie night stat. And a household favorite, BOOMCHICKAPOP has so many new flavors – next up is sweet and spicy.
Flavored waters get a sugar re-boot
Flavored waters become a little more sophisticated and edgy with subtle new profiles and interesting ingredients. Spindrift was a favorite find – sparkling water flavored with only real squeezed fruit. The cucumber is incredibly refreshing! H2rOse (rose water infused was saffron!) and Blume Honey Water (lightly sweetened by, you guessed it – all-natural honey) were other yummy sips.
Natural skincare gets serious
Many of us have been using natural skincare and makeup for years, so it’s exciting to see our favorite brands like evanhealy, Pacifica, Acure and Burt’s Bees grow and innovate. At the show, each highlighted new products with serious ingredients. evanhealy’s Blue Cactus Beauty Elixir was quietly released last year and highly buzzed about at the show. Pacifica had a slew of new items. We’re excited to try the Hot Vegan probiotic mask with black pepper – spicy! And Acure’s must-try new product was the CGF oil-free serum, which is infused with chlorella.
Vegetables in everything
Pizza crust, pizza sauce, chips, jerky and bread, yes, bread. Hybread is made from half vegetables with each loaf including bunches of whole dark green veggies and red beets. We wonder, will this be the way carbs make a comeback?
Days after returning from the show, we’ve already added several of these new finds into our daily routines. Are there any you’re curious to try or learn more about? Let us know in the comments.