The 2023 Natural Products Expo West is an annual event that brings natural and organic products industry leaders and enthusiasts together worldwide. The event, which took place in Anaheim from March 7-12, was the perfect place for showcasing the latest trends, innovations, and breakthroughs in the industry. More than 100,000 attendees and 3,500 exhibitors gathered to discover new products or showcase their own, network with industry professionals, and attend informative sessions and workshops.
As our RangeMe team strolled through the different exhibition halls, we were thrilled to witness many of our suppliers proudly displaying their products. Natural products continue to gain popularity, and we’ve compiled a list of the most promising trends from the show that we expect to pick up even more steam this year.
This year’s showcase was all about shaking things up with global flavors and funky takes on classic favorites. Condiments like Japanese miso barbecue sauce or Fila Manila®’s Filipino banana ketchup had mouths watering, and some brands got creative with their own versions of chili crisp and Asian-inspired bites like mochi, dumplings, and ramen. And don’t even get us started on the flavor explosion of matcha, ube, red bean, and black sesame in everything from oatmeal to ice cream – yum!
There was also a real buzz around Vietnamese coffee. Brands like Little Green Cyclo and Nguyen Coffee Supply displayed their ground, pour-over, and ready-to-drink versions of this bold and delicious coffee style. Native fruits like pomelo, noni (my personal favorite for obvious reasons), and lychee from Southeast Asia made a juicy appearance in brands such as Sanzo, an Asian inspired sparkling water brand.
Going coco for coconuts
Coconut products are definitely “coco-nuts” in the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry, as they have been trending for several years now. Coconut has become a popular ingredient in many products, including food, beverages, personal care items, and cleaning products. One of the main reasons for this trend is the perceived health benefits of coconut, which is known to be a rich source of medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), and provide several health benefits such as weight loss and improved cognitive function. (I know my colleague on the content team, Joe Tarnowski, is a big fan and starts each morning with a tablespoon of C8 MCT oil!)
Additionally, coconut is a versatile ingredient that can be used to replace less healthy options, such as dairy or processed sugars, in many different products. In the food industry, coconut is being used to create new products, such as coconut milk, coconut water, and coconut-based snack bars, while in the personal care industry, coconut oil is being used in everything from shampoos to body lotions.
This coconut craze was reflected in several products, from Harmless Harvest’s yogurts, Kokada’s specialty coconut spreads, and even Just The Fun Part’s Waffle Cones.
Taking a trip to Flavortown
Have you noticed the recent explosion of unique flavor profiles? We sure did! It seems like everywhere you turn, there’s a new taste sensation to try! From the tangy kick of hibiscus to the earthy richness of truffle, and the sweet and tart combo of Strawberry Rhubarb, to the burn from ginger, there was no shortage of bold and exciting flavors to try at the show. So, what’s driving this trend? Well, it’s all about spicing things up and trying something new. People are looking for culinary adventures and want to explore the exciting world of exotic ingredients.
Ruby, a line of organic, unsweetened, zero calorie, spectral water showcased its red hibiscus water at show while Maazah displayed their powerful and unique Mild Cilantro & Ginger Chutney. (Maazah was one of the five winners of Kroger’s 2nd Annual Go Fresh & Local Supplier Accelerator, in which RangeMe and ECRM helped with the submission process. Stay tuned for our interview with CEO and Co-Founder Yasameen Sajady!)
Friends with benefits
The craze for caffeine is trending in the industry, and some brands are taking it a step further by mixing it with healthy ingredients such as vitamins, prebiotics, probiotics, or postbiotics. Talk about a power-packed punch! With caffeine-vitamin combos, you can get that energy boost you crave while giving your body some much-needed nutrients. And for those looking to keep their gut in check, probiotic-infused caffeinated products offer the best of both worlds. Coffee lovers can now sip on a delicious cup of joe while keeping their digestive system in tip-top shape. So whether you’re after a quick pick-me-up or a gut-friendly buzz, these trendy caffeinated concoctions have got you covered.
CENTR proudly showed off their new Enhanced+ 0 calorie caffeinated sparkling nootropic water with adaptogens. Nuun Hydration also showcased its dissolving tablets consisting of a healthful blend of caffeine, vitamins, minerals, and electrolytes.
Sugar, we’re going down
Zero-sugar food and drink products are all the rage these days, and for good reason. People are getting wise to the fact that too much sugar is a no-no for their health. They’re now looking for alternatives that won’t pack on the pounds or lead to future health problems. Plus, with diets like keto and low-carb gaining popularity, consumers are on the lookout for delicious options that won’t mess with their macros. Luckily, food and drink companies are getting in on the action by churning out more low-sugar and no-sugar options than ever before. And with the advent of amazing sugar substitutes and natural sweeteners, it’s easier than ever to enjoy that sweet taste without the sugar crash.
Many beverage brands such as La Croix, Reed’s, and Zevia had their zero-sugar drinks on display, while snack suppliers like Catlina Crunch, Sweet Logic, and ChocZero showed off their zero-sugar treats.
These trends are just a taste of the amazing brands showcased at the 2023 Natural Products Expo West show. From taking cultural inspiration to going coco-nuts, there was something for everyone at this year’s event. If you didn’t make it to the Expo this year, make sure to mark your calendars for next year’s event because trust us, you won’t want to miss out on all the natural and organic magic. Until then, keep exploring and trying new things, and who knows, maybe you’ll be the one to start the next big trend!