When I first stepped foot on the trade show floor at the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE) in Nashville earlier this month, I was confused by the huge booths hosted by PepsiCo, Chick-Fil-A, Kellogg’s, Hormel and other major food brands that have traditionally not been known for nutritional value. Tim Garry of Hormel Foods explained that these classic American brands are acquiring new brands and trying deliver to consumers what they want…healthier nutrition.
The expo seemed to have endless gluten-free exhibits. Schar’s was a standout from the pack—the only gluten-free company with a laboratory, Schar’s has been the go-to for celiacs for decades, globally. Recently, Schar’s launched a range of Artisan baker loafs, baked with ancient grains and embarked on a “Food Truck Takeover,” with celebrity chef, Jilly Lagasse, who personally prepares sandwiches using Schar’s new bread, catering to those stricken with gluten allergies and intolerances.
On the other end of the spectrum, the The National Peanut Board was talking about tests that demonstrate that overprotective parents are giving kids peanut allergies.
There were a few major themes through the show:
1. Green foods are better for you. Campbell’s new V8 veggie-blend juices made with spinach, yellow carrots, apple and pineapple are meeting changing tastes and lifestyles in terms of higher health and wellness goals. Following suit, Hormel, is adding a line of healthy products such as Hormel Healthy Shot, a protein beverage supplement.
2. Cereal bars are the new salad bars. In the spirit of the salad bar, Kellogg’s Cereal Bars were set up with several different Kellogg’s cereals, milks (including regular, skim, almond and soy) and yogurt as an alternative. Toppings ranged from peanut and almond butters to fruits and even avocado. A great idea for morning breakfast bars.
For those with intolerances, Freedom Foods can ensure a stress-free cereal bar experience, free of all known allergens, not just gluten and nuts, but also wheat, dairy, eggs, soy and sesame.
3. Sweet ‘n Low 5.0. It might take some flavor to get people guzzling, and Stur liquid water enhancers provide eight different tastes. Add it to your glass and watch as you’re reaching for more! Swerve sweetener is a zero-calorie solution to sugar, measuring at a ratio of cup-to-cup. Less intensity than other sugar alternatives, Swerve is much easier to bake and cook with—it caramelizes like a dream!
4. Use of ice cream as a vehicle for nutrition. Thrive uses its ice cream as a vehicle for nutrition. Having found a delicious way to help people get 20% of their daily needs of protein, fiber, probiotics and 24 vitamins and minerals in just 270 calories, Thrive speaks to the masses, sneaking clinical nutrition into delectable desserts.
Yonanas fruit soft-serve machine churns 100% frozen fruits into a healthy dessert without additional fat, sugar or preservatives, for a natural and nutritious treat for the sweet tooth.
Brio also offers a new way to look at ice cream, with only 160-170 calories per serving, half the fat, 65% less saturated fat, and being high in calcium and antioxidants.
Wink Frozen Desserts goes even lower, with 100 calories per pint! Crafted with the best clean ingredients, Wink is made from Pea Protein and contains no sugar, dairy, egg, gluten, fat, peanut, tree nuts or artificial ingredients.
For another protein-based version, just as tasty, opt for the whey-protein based Arctic Zero. Arctic Zero is a functional, yet indulgent, dessert with premium ingredients, so you don’t have choose between a healthy lifestyle and complete indulgence.
5. More measuring going on. VacuMed Ergometer analyzes your physical performance and training using your own bike. It now connects with Go Oxygen to make any bike a comprehensive measuring tool. With over 100 studies on the equipment, the impact of seeing it in motion is quite impressive.
It’s also important to note that the basics of healthy living starts with what we put in. xRMD makes nutrition easy with food sensitivity tests, Genetic Enzymatic Methylation Systems Tests, and results in the form of nutritional advice. Rather than prescribing once you’re already unwell, xR focuses on creating and monitoring, modifying and maintaining your natural prescription as your body responds over time: preventing from the beginning. This epigenetic venture helps aid migraines, hormonal health and general body health.
6. Dairy is the new green juice. With 100% grass fed as the new mantra, Kura Protein Powder, Maple Hill Creamery Yogurt and Jeni’s Splendid Ice Creams use protein from cows able to wander the greener pastures. Lower in fats, higher in omega-3s and omega-6s, and higher in antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, grass-fed dairy provides many more health benefits than it’s grain-fed counterpart.
7. Forget ‘what’ for a moment, what about ‘how much’? Wading through the confusion of GMOs, organics and nutrition labels is difficult as it is, but also monitoring the amount is flat out, tiring. Livliga has portion control covered with portion sized plates, wine glasses and even a kid’s range, Kidliga, so nutritious habits can begin early.
8. Plump up your brain. Plump, dried cherries were the perfect addition to a great day. Stoneridge Orchards All Natural Montmorency Cherries were my favorite giveaway: high in antioxidants, anti-aging and great for the brain!
Offering a “let food be thy medicine” approach to wellness, Dietitians in Integrative and Functional Medicine are the future of health. With Registered Dietician Nutritionists, Registered Dietetic Technicians, and dietetic students and interns who focus on an integrated and personalized approach to nutrition, health and healing, the organization really centers on reshaping healthcare.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also visit www.trentandcompany.com.
Published on WholeFoods Magazine Online, 10/29/15