The Natural Products Expo West, held this past March 9 through 13 at the Anaheim Convention Center, offered attendees to check out the latest trends in the natural products industry.
This massive show featured 350,000 square feet of show floor and close to 75,000 attendees. While all segments of natural products were featured, the show revolved predominantly around food and beverage.
Natural and organic food and beverage products have been a hot trend for more than a decade, and they show no sign of slowing anytime soon. This year’s show announced six “macro forces and related trends” the industry is seeing, and the products that are speaking to these trends. They include:
- Ancient wisdom, or, reducing the amount of processing products experience.
- Transparency of ingredients and where they’re sourced and how they’re processed.
- Snackification that speaks to the “always-on” culture of today that demands convenient, healthy, and tasty snacks.
- The role of food and nutrition science as it embraces natural products yet also speaks to societal concerns.
- Feeding a global population of 10 billion and how natural products can rise to the challenge.
- Value shoppers who aren’t just looking at a product’s price, but also its mission.
On Trend Today, Tomorrow
Walking the show floor, and surrounded by amazing products that stretched from one end of the hall to the other, attendees got a taste—literally!—of the flavor trends hitting store shelves. Beets were a hot ingredient, as well as new takes on old classics such as artisan chips, cheese puffs, and coffee. Jerky continues to be popular with consumers, low in carbs and high in protein, and natural energy drinks had people up and running to try them. For those trying to get in an extra dose of veggies, multiple companies featured vegetable powders you could incorporate into flavorful foods like bars or chips—better to fool those picky eaters at your table.
Categories once dominated by sweet flavors, such as bars, yogurts, and even beverages, saw an emergence of savory flavors. Grass fed ice creams, milk, and other products were big hits with attendees, speaking to the transparency and sourcing macro trends the Expo called attention to.
“This annual event maintains its status as the single most important opportunity for launching new products, spotting leading trends from all over the world, and as a gathering place for the entire industry” said Adam Andersen, managing director, New Hope Natural Media, in a press release for the Expo.
And as the natural products industry continues to grow, expect that next year’s show will be even bigger.