In October of last year, Natural Products Expo East 2021 returned on the heels of the pandemic and during the Delta variant surge, leaving many booths empty. This year’s show, however, was filled with suppliers and buyers. Our team was in the middle of all the action, happy to see many familiar faces, including several of our RangeMe Verified™ suppliers.

Team RangeMe at Natural Products Expo East 2022

Here are some of the natural product trends on display at the show:

Ghee Whiz!

  • 4th & Heart - Ghee
  • 4th & Heart - Ghee

Did you know that in our Retail Roundup: Q2 2022 report, butter was a trending keyword among buyers on RangeMe? Well, what if you could enjoy the buttery taste without the casein and lactose that butter contains? Ghee has now entered the chat and is putting South Asian cooking at the forefront of innovative ingredient substitutions. Ghee is clarified butter commonly used in India for over 4,000 years. 4th & Heart produces ghee that is grass-fed,  pasture-raised, shelf-stable, has a high smoke point, is a natural source of butyric acid, which your body needs to absorb nutrients, and best of all, has the same great buttery taste. 

The next generation of arti-fish-ial

  • Current Foods - Plant-Based Seafood
  • Current Foods - Plant-Based Seafood

Seafood and plant-based products have been on the up and up throughout the past couple of years, pushing several suppliers to get creative and mix the two together to get the best of both worlds. Move over traditional meat replacements, there’s a new school of fish hitting the industry. For years, endless meat and chicken alternatives have been available, but only a few for seafood. Current Foods creates “seafood” made from plants using a medley of ingredients like algae, radish, potato, and bamboo. These ingredients, paired with imaginative science, helped them create products that go toe-to-toe with the traditional stuff. From taste, texture, and nutritional density – it’s all there!

Quali-tea for kids

  • TimTamTummy - Kid's Kombucha
  • TimTamTummy - Kid's Kombucha

For as long as kombucha has been around, there has been controversy among parents regarding the safety of their kids consuming it. One of the main concerns raised is the alcohol content. Aqua ViTea has created TimTamTummy, verified alcohol-extracted kombucha for kids. TimTamTummy is a great alternative to juice and soda, promoting healthy microbiome diversity, healthy immune function, along with GI health and digestion in young children. 

Food with a purpose

  • Just Like Home - Pasta Sauce
  • Just Like Home - Pasta Sauce

The power of food has always brought people together, with 84% of Americans stating that food genuinely has the power to connect people of different cultures and backgrounds. Just Like Home is curating that same experience with their collection of original home-crafted pasta sauce recipes from home chefs across the country. Just Like Home allows people to share their unique recipes through a nationwide recipe contest. The recipe winners’ name, likeness, and signature are displayed on the sauce packaging. Not only are they providing a space for these home recipes to be shared with the world but they are also helping those in need by donating 25 cents from every jar sold to local homeless shelters throughout the U.S.

It’s getting personal: Food cultural appropriation

Now more than ever the conversation of food appropriation is being brought to the forefront. We’ve repeatedly seen ethnic food being sold by new and trendy companies with exploitatory branding in the names, logos, and slogans. Food appropriation has and potentially continues to take space away from ethnic-owned businesses. As RangeMe continues to provide a platform for small businesses, we must also amplify the voices of ethnic owners.  Many brands that are appropriating food and ingredients are not giving back to the community they come from. While appreciating the foods of different cultures is important, profiting off the food in an unauthentic way disrespects the culture it comes from. Cultural appropriation reinforces stereotypes and further contributes to oppression. The industry can take a step forward in the right direction by giving credit and respect to where the food comes from with cultural appreciation rather than appropriating it.

As the 2022 trade show season comes to a close for RangeMe, we are happy to continue being the bridge between buyers and suppliers all year round on our platform and through our meeting opportunities. Connect directly with retail buyers by participating in ECRM Programs year-round. See you all next season!

If you attended Expo East or plan to attend any trade shows in the future, be sure to leverage your RangeMe profile for your follow-ups. Learn more here!

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