The Beer, Wine and Spirits Marketplace at Expo West hosted 23 companies showcasing new and interesting products, representing what the natural alcoholic beverage section of the industry has to offer from all over Europe and the United States.

Some packaging trends that were presented in the Marketplace were wine companies opting to use twist-off caps instead of corks and, on the flip side, beers that used corks instead of caps. Cartons and Tetrapaks were very popular, with cocktail mixer companies like Belles Organics adopting the flexible packaging over classic glass bottles.

Organic and all-natural beers, like Bison, Lammsbrau and King Frosh, and low-sulfate and vegan wines, like Frey Vineyards and Vegan Vine, were on display, as well as sustainable beer companies like Sierra Nevada, which discussed what it takes to run a brewery that produces 90% of its own power onsite using solar energy.

Cocktails were well represented at the event, with some companies offering organic, agave-sweetened non-alcoholic mixers, like Head Over Heels Mixers, and others blending the two together, like Om, who not only uses agave but also organic vodka in its mixes, and Tatratea, a flavored tea cocktail. This section also showed the biggest taste trends, with coconut, lemon, blood orange and ginger dominating the blends.

In the midst of the interesting tastes and trends, there was one booth passing out samples of their product, Drinkwel, a new multivitamin formula intended to help curb the effects of hangovers by replenishing the body with nutrients lost while drinking. This was the second year Expo West held the Marketplace.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2013