I’ve been going to the Natural Products Expo West for almost as long as I’ve had my marketing communications firm, over 25 years. While many of the same brands that started the category back then remain icons today, there are so many new movers and shakers and exciting developments. My only hope is that we can continue to preserve the integrity of the industry as it grows and goes mainstream.
There are some really exciting developments that I discovered at the show March 6 to 9 at the Anaheim Convention Center. Here are the highlights.
Move over Brooklyn. Humboldt County is the new Portland and the fastest growing source of artisan natural products in California. There is Humboldt hot sauce, perfume, cheese, coffee and even a trade association.
Designer teas. The new flock of natural teas don’t just taste good,. They look good. Pukka’s herbs are as vibrant as its boxes, making these teas fun to indulge in and to gift.
Hemp is going to be huge. With marijuana being legalized in a growing number of states, more hemp can be grown in the United States. Now, we can use our own homegrown hemp to make everything from paper, food and clothes to you name it.
Infused water. While flavored water is hardly new, there are more unique varieties and options. Vertical Water makes a great-tasting pure Maple Water. VitaJuwel infuses water with rock crystals. It is a beautiful high-end appliance that makes custom water-blends and is a great gift item. Alka H2O has a 9.5 pH, which gets credit, too.
Naturally lasts longer. It’s hard to keep up with a preservative-free lifestyle. The fresher the food, the faster it fizzles out. BerryBreeze introduced an innovative battery-operated oxygen generator that helps keep produce in a “living” stage two to three times longer while maintaining freshness and its nutritional value. There’s an economical bonus, too, because the machine helps avoid spoilage of food.
Frozen is still even fresher than fresh. Less than 10% of vegetables are eaten from a farm or even a farmer’s market. Companies like Sno Pac Foods and Wild Veggie flash freeze farm grown produce so it’s fresh for your table when you want it.
Do It Yourself. Most wheatgrass fanatics depend on an outside source for getting this nutrient-dense superfood in their diet. Wheatgrass juicers are getting a makeover from ARC Innovative and people are gulping it with a smile. The new generation wheatgrass juicers are perfect for DIY, and DIY is perfect for wheatgrass. You can grow it, juice it, drink and go.
Seeds compete. While chia is showing up in more products, there is a new crop of seeds competing for chia’s space. Mamma Chia and other chia seeds drinks have made us fans of unusual textured products like Yoatz. I’d keep an eye out for Baobob. And a special shout-out to Navitas Naturals for constantly amazing me with new very effective superfoods.
Americans start snacking on olives. A staple of the Mediterranean diet, I’m excited to see that olives are taking over the gourmet and snack aisles. Tassos brings truly gorgeous, top-quality olives from Greece and Oloves is packaging them so you can snack on the go.
Foods that pop. From popsicles to popcorn, our favorite snack foods are getting better for us. GoodPops are all-natural, organic, dairy-free dessert pops using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. At the other end of the country, a certified health and nutrition coach has helped countless individuals adjust their eating habits and attain both their short- and long-term health goals through her Clean, Lean & Sexy lifestyle programs and gluten-free popcorn and bars with a simple ingredient list.
Squeezable nutrients. More companies like SmashPack are taking a cue from the popularity of squeezeable applesauce crossed with DIY smoothies and packaged foods that you can smash on-the-go.
Something for the pain. The bad news is Americans have a lot of pain…back, neck, shoulder, hip, foot…you name it. Some attribute it to too much sitting. The good news is there are more natural products to help alleviate it. Zeta and Aculief were two brands introducing new products at the show that help.
Naturally personal. It was good to see more natural personal care options. Revitin is shaking up oral care with NuPath Bioactives intended to create a healthy oral environment through a biologically effective (bioeffective) formula. No doubt Dr. Gerry Curatola has more up his sleeve. Aluminum-free deodorants like Lavilin and Primal Pit Paste are changing the way we protect ourselves from body odors. And probiotics are being added to just about everything for stronger digestive health, but Bio-K+ is my brand of choice!
I’m looking forward to living more naturally in 2014! WF
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Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm. Trent & Company grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at email@example.com. You may also visit www.trentandcompany.com.
Posted March 26, 2014