Anaheim, CA—This year's Natural Products Expo West drew more than 65,000 industry professionals to the Anaheim Convention Center and surrounding hotels for several action-packed days of education, networking, and inspiration. 

This was a special show for WholeFoods Magazine, as we celebrated our 40th anniversary under the ownership of the Wainer Family. WholeFoods Magazine launched in 1977, and in 1984 Howard Wainer became an owner. Today, Heather Wainer, our Publisher and VP of Media, leads the team. It was a pleasure and an honor to take part in two fabulous celebrations marking the milestone at Expo West—get the scoop in Highlights from Natural Products Expo West 2024.

Among the crowds were many natural products industry innovators and icons, and throughout the event industry leaders took the opportunity to honor those who are making a major impact. Get the scoop on the several of the awards in Excellence in the Spotlight at Expo West.

Spotting trends at Natural Products Expo West

More than 3,300 companies worldwide exhibited at the event, including 840 new-to-show brands alongside nearly 700 international brands. Brands spanned 30 categories, with products ranging from natural & specialty food and beverage, supplements, personal care, organic, lifestyle and more, Informa reported.

Metabolic Health & More

Enzymedica was showcasing Fasting Today, a new product designed to support intermittent fasting as well as ketogenic and other diets. Intermittent fasting supports healthy weight management, energy, brain health and healthy aging, and Fasting Today lends a helping hand by supporting hydration, reducing hunger and promoting muscle health, the company shared. It includes three essentials in one pineapple-flavored product: electrolytes, baobab fiber, and the nine essential amino acids.

COMET was discussing metabolic health and how food can offer a cost-effective solution for consumers amid the Ozempic craze. The company's 2024 trend predictions highlight opportunities for microbiome-enhancing foods, beverages, and supplements. The company looked at all aspects of the target biotic consumer, including current health motivators, generational and gender differences, and factors that generate perceived value. Using this data, the COMET team identified four primary macro market trends that are driving what the company sees as the top 10 microbiome product opportunities. A top trend is offering an Ozempic alternative. COMET stressed that product marketers should recognize that while today's consumers are enamored with the dramatic weight loss effects of Ozempic (and similar) drugs available, prebiotic fibers can also plug into the conversation with improved insulin responses and appetite regulation. There are opportunities to capitalize on the buzzworthy Ozempic effect with natural products.

At the Layn Natural Ingredients booth, Jim Roza, Chief Scientific Officer, was discussing the latest research supporting natural botanical ingredients. The company has introduced a new bioavailable ingredient line: Bio+ Resveratrol from Japanese knotweed. Roza noted that resveratrol generally has poor solubility, but this ingredient is 4-5x more soluble than other resveratrol and therefore more bioavailable. Resveratrol has been used extensively in healthy aging, sports nutrition and personal care applications, and we are seeing increasing demand, so Layn focused on enhanced bioavailability of this important healthy aging ingredient. Roza also showcased SophorOx, a polyphenol-rich antioxidant ingredient for reduction of oxidative stress, which is the root cause of many modern maladies. The non-GMO, plant-based ingredient is supported by human research to reduce oxidative stress in overweight and high BMI populations.

TriNutra shared the news that the Health Canada authority has recognized its ThymoQuin black seed oil for several structure-function health claims. As an oral supplement, ThymoQuin can be used to:

  • Help support healthy liver function
  • Help support cardiovascular health
  • Help support healthy glucose levels
  • Help support stress relief
  • Help moderate general feeling of stress
  • Help support healthy gut microbiota

The ingredient also offers benefits of oral health and beauty, which the company says are big areas of interest. In conjunction with HuTri Corporation, Trinutra launched ThymoQuin-OCare, a plant-based option for oral health care. The cold-pressed, full-spectrum black seed oil is standardized to 3% thymoquinone with at least 1.2% p-Cymene and less than 1.25% free fatty acids to improve halitosis and sensitive teeth. HuTri has led the research behind the products oral health capacity and its applications which include mouthwash, toothpaste, and dietary supplements. 

Cardiosmile was educating on plant sterols, including discussing research on plant sterols and synergies and differences between plant sterols and omega-3s for heart health. Cardiosmile is a supplement intended to support daily heart health and cholesterol management. It is available in a sachet and can be added to beverages and food without impacting  flavor. The formula incorporates plant sterols clinically tested to lower cholesterol by reducing its absorption in the bloodstream. Cardiosmile is free of preservatives, GMOs, gluten, sugar, sodium, and lactose. 

OceanBlue Omega had a bright, cheery booth featuring its new Essentials line, including Everyday Omega, Everyday Omega Minis, Brain Fuel, Mood Food, Strong Bones and Mama Knows Best prenatal multi.  As the company notes, 80% of Americans are falling short of their omega-3 intake, missing out on benefits for the brain, heart, eyes, immunity, joints, mood, skin and bones. The brand's new benefit-driven products feature omega-3s plus targeted additions like vitamin D3 and K2 for targeted benefits.

The Mushroom Boom Continues

Sempera Organics was spreading the word about its latest ingredient launch. Nirmal Nair, Founder/CEO of Sempera Organics, and esteemed mycologist Dennis Desjardins, Ph.D., were on hand to discuss SO-DSX1, a proprietary mushroom blend featuring lion's mane that is formulated to reduce stress and improve mood, cognitive function, and overall well being. The ingredient can be used in capsules, gummies, and powdered blend applications. It can also be used to make protein/greens powders, food applications like bars, snacks, and breakfast items and beverages such as coffee, tea, kombucha, carbonated beverages, juices, smoothies, and plant-based milks.  “Brands that want to be a part of the wellness by mushrooms revolution would enjoy distinction with SO-DSX1 as it is shown through a human study to provide two intertwining benefits – stress reduction and improved cognitive acuity that elevate wellness in younger adults,” said  Nair.

Confetti Snacks
offers more than just an average crispy chips. Made from “ugly veggies” to reduce food waste, the nutrient dense snacks are available in Summer Truffle, Teriyaki BBQ, and Tandoori Curry flavored veggie chips, Green Curry and Black Truffle mushroom chips, and no added flavor or Holiday Spice fruit chips. Each crunchy snack is made from non-GMO, real vegetables, and gluten-free ingredients. A portion of the snacks are donated to global humanitarian missions for distribution in the poorest parts of the world.  

Laird Superfood is the brainchild of big wave surfer Laird Hamilton and volleyball legend Gabrielle Reece. The company focuses on creating natural plant-powered products made from functional mushrooms, adaptogens, and minerals for sustainable energy, focus, and balance. At this year’s show, baristas were on tap serving up Laird’s full line of creamers which include mocha, turmeric, vanilla, peppermint mocha, cinnamon, and the one ingredient reduced sugar coconut milk powder. 2024 will see plenty of other strong products from the brand ranging from snacks & food, hydration, and supplements. 

More Goodness, More Flavor

Seasoned beans, bone broth rice, and unique seasoning sauces could be smelled from afar coming out of the Dozen Cousins display. The natural food brand showcased its strong Creole, Caribbean, and Latin American influences with a vibrant colored booth and samples of their Cuban Black Beans, White Bean Chile Verde, and Jamaican Jerk seasoning to name a few. All of the products that were on display offer a wide array of health benefits without sacrificing the flavor that makes them authentic to the cultures that influenced their recipes.

Blueshift Nutrition showcased Superblends featuring the company's proprietary FlavorWeaving technique “elevates the complexity and interest of each drink by incorporating the natural flavor notes of botanicals, fruits, berries, and active ingredients without resorting to added sugar or artificial flavors or sweeteners.” As Paal Gisholt, Founder and CEO, explained, “When we sought to create a line of supplement drinks with off-the-charts effectiveness, we were warned that making these formulas actually taste good would be impossible. But when you think about the beverages adults love most—coffee, red wine, IPA beer—they aren’t loved for being sweet. Their complex, interesting flavor profiles include hints of bitterness, earthiness, acidity, and aromatics that work together to delight the palate. So instead of using artificial flavors or sweeteners to mask the particular notes of plant ingredients, we use those flavors as a source of interest and complexity. In a process that is part art and part science, we’ve identified just the right flavors to complement each active ingredient. The response has been phenomenal.”

Jambar Organic Artisan made its debut at this year’s show and gave attendees a behind-the-scenes look at the company and its featured products. Founder and CEO Jennifer Maxwell was in attendance handing out samples of its latest Tropical Trio bar (a blend of banana, pineapple, and coconut) and sharing the story of the brand's humble KitchenAid mixer beginnings. Both an athlete and music enthusiast, Jennifer’s passions come through with the company’s branding and organic and nutritious flavor pairings. When discussing the product line, Jennifer likened her approach to marrying flavors with finding the perfect musical notes.

Dole rolled out the red carpet for its Better-For-You products at Expo West. Dole Good Crunch, Dole Frozen Treat Cups, Dole Wiggles Fruit Juice Gels, Dole Fruit Bowls Snacks, and Dole Beverages were all center stage at the company’s booth with folks lining up to get their hands on the “Dole-icious” snacks and beverages. The lineup included:

  • Good Crunch, 100% dried fruit bites with no oil or added sugars available in Original Pineapple Bites, Banana Bites, and Pineapple with Chili 
  • Whip Frozen Treat Cups, made with real fruit blended with coconut cream and honey
  • Wiggles Fruit Juice Gels available in Strawberry, Orange, and Cherry flavor
  • Digestive Bliss, a tropical juice blend with plant-based macronutrients to promote gut health and Energy Delight fruit juice with green tea and vitamin B complex to provide steady energy

Think! gave show attendees an exclusive first look at its MINIs protein snack bar line hitting shelves this summer in seven flavors including three Girl Scout Cookie inspirations. The gluten free “grab-and-go” snack size product line featuring 100 calories and 6 grams of protein per bar will be available in Chocolate Chip, Cupcake Batter, Chunky Chocolate Peanut, Chocolate Almond Brownie, Girl Scout Adenturefuls, Girl Scout Chocolate Peanut Butter, and Girl Scout S’mores. Brand director Alan Brooks described the collaboration with Girl Scouts of the USA as going well beyond simply putting two logos together on one box. He explained the extensive development process between the two brands was focused on delivering a tasty product inspired by flavors that consumers have known and loved with the science backed healthy protein formulations expected in their snacks.

KIND treated fans to several new indulgence-worthy snacks this year. Making note of the growing interest in low-sugar options, KIND ZERO bars have 0g of added sugar, are keto friendly, and available in three of the brand's top-selling flavors: Dark Chocolate Nuts & Sea Salt, Caramel Almond Sea Salt, and Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate. For those with more of a sweet tooth, KIND Soft Baked Squares are soft baked, chewy snacks made with 5g of protein and 14 or more finely ground almonds per bar. KIND Healthy Grains Banana Peanut Butter Clusters with Dark Chocolate Chunk are made with 100% whole grain oats, contain 9 grams of fat per serving, 10 g of protein per serving, and will be available nationwide in May. Lastly, for those looking to hit their optimal nutrition goals, KIND Protein MAX bars deliver 20g of protein, 1g of total sugar, and a keto-friendly combination of net carbs. The bars are available in Crispy Chocolate Peanut Butter and Salty Caramel Peanut Crisp.

Bono USA, Sicily’s largest extra virgin olive oil producer, had attendees lining up for a taste of its Italian Pasta Sauces, which are available in seven varieties for an authentic taste of Italy. Bono’s pasta sauces are made using 100% Italian ingredients including tomatoes from the Parma Food Valley, extra virgin olive oil, and aromatic herbs. The sauces are slow-cooked in small batches with fresh ingredients. Bono also offers extra virgin olive oils, table olives, organic fruit marmalades, and more.

GoodSAM had an eye-catching booth this year with a lush green forest backdrop and its full lineup of products including brand new items that are hitting shelves this year on display. While founder and CEO, Heather Terry, exhibited the company’s newly launched Crispy Crunchy Pineapple Slice Chips, a dehydrated single ingredient snack part of its new Crispy Crunchy Dried Fruit Chip Collection, and their new chocolate covered macadamia nuts, she explained how putting farmers first was the ultimate driving force behind the brands continued mission of shaping a new regenerative food business model. The CEO also took the stage at The End of Business as Usual: Transforming the Food System with Regenerative Thinking panel to discuss the impactful change businesses can create through more regenerative approaches to business innovation. 

TiNDLE is continuing its mission to save the planet through delicious and sustainable food made from plants with its two new products for 2024. The first, a stuffed chicken pocket, features a crisp breadcrumb exterior with a Parmigiana or Garlic & Herb flavor option. The second, Barista Oat Milk, was developed with the help of baristas from around the world. The oat milk marks the first plant-based dairy product for the company and is made from whole oats with no added sugars. The drink's smooth creamy finish lends itself to steaming, frothing, and blending for all kinds of morning beverages.

Cargill was handing out Italian butter cookies dipped in a chocolate-flavored coating and hot cocoa samples made from some of the new ingredients added to its portfolio for 2024. In addition to adding PalmAgility 600 series compound coating fats, Gerkens cocoa powders, Gerkens Sweety, and Pink Himalayan salt, the company shared the findings of its latest research study, which found stevia consumption does not negatively impact gut microflora, building on previous research exploring stevia’s impact on appetite, energy intake and blood glucose levels. The study was conducted over four weeks and confirmed the safety and benefits of stevia sweeteners. 

Royal unveiled its brand refresh with new packaging, which showcases the company's authentic Indian ingredients and food that inspires, connects and sustains people and the planet. Royal aspires to be the brand of choice for authentic Indian cuisine allowing consumers to create and share the most delicious and memorable meals with their families. The company is also looking to revolutionize the Basmati Rice category with innovations including its expanded Ready-to-Heat line with two new innovative flavors and new Biryani Kits that can be ready to enjoy in just 30 minutes.

Functional for the Win

With gut health being one of the hot topics amongst consumers, GoodBelly Probiotics showcased its new organic prebiotic sparkling water. A finalist for the NEXTY Award for Best Functional Food or Beverage, the prebiotic drink features 3g of fiber, zero added sugar, and 20 calories or less per serving. The drinks are available in three flavors (Mixed Berry, Lemon Lime, and Mango Pineapple), are made with real fruit juice, and are certified organic, Non-GMO, Vegan, Gluten-Free and Kosher.

Amazing Grass was exhibiting the latest addition to its Greens Blend portfolio, Greens Blend Mood in Passionfruit Citrus flavor. A delicious blend made up of farm fresh green flavors, each scoop of the drink mix contains 1 billion CFU of probiotics to support a healthy gut and L-theanine to encourage stress support and a calm state of mind. Busy lifestyle consumers who are not fans of the traditional looking and tasting green mixers will appreciate the ready-to-drink powder’s flavor versatility. Made to be enjoyed at any time of day, the products naturally sweet monk fruit notes allows consumers to blend the mix into water, smoothies, juices, and create fun unique recipes like the “Morning Mood Mocktail.” All Amazing Grass Greens Blend products are plant-based, gluten-free, and made with non-GMO ingredients.

The Gencor team was sharing news of its newest published study on its PEA ingredient, Levagen+, for improved cognition and memory. Produced naturally in the body in response to injury and stress, PEA is found in lipid extracts of egg yolk, peanuts, and soybeans. “PEA is beneficial for joint health, immune health, exercise recovery, sleep, and mood,” says Gecnor's Maggie McNamara. “People need to supplement with PEA because as we age and during stress, inflammation, or pain, PEA decreases. Exogenous supplementation is necessary to replenish depleted levels in the body.” Gencor's latest Levagen+ study on cognition showed improved memory and recall in college students. In another human clinical trial, Levagen+ was shown to effectively alleviate dry, red, scaling, and itchy skin. The double-blind, randomized, comparator-controlled trial was conducted on 72 participants over the age of 18 with red, dry, scaling and itchy skin on their hands or arms. Researchers assessed the effectiveness of Levagen+ as a topical cream compared to a standard moisturizer to reduce eczema. The ingredient is great for supplements, gummies, liquids and topicals. Additional research is underway, so stay tuned for more from Gencor.

Aker BioMarine showcased FloraMarine, a new algae oil delivering 60% DHA in one dose, which the company says is the highest, natural concentration of algae DHA on the market. FloraMarine is positioned to meet the demand of both Aker customers and the end consumer. It is a natural triglyceride that is minimally processed with zero molecular up-concentration of the DHA needed. The company also touted FloraMarine’s sustainability factor, with a gentle, solvent free process, produced with minimal impact on marine resources from one of the top expert companies in sustainable marine omega-3s. Krill oil remains the flagship ingredient of the company’s business, but Aker also recognized the need for a high-quality plant-based omega-3 source that delivers DHA with specific effects on a wide range of functions including brain, eye, maternal and fetal health. The company pointed to supply chain challenges impacting the marine omega-3 category due to climate and environmental impacts that are limiting the availability of traditional fish oil as a reason for this sustainable addition to its offerings. 

The team from Ingredients by Nature was discussing the company's newly published in-vivo study on Eriomin, a citrus-flavonoid blend for improved aging liver health and function, as well as microbiome benefits. In the research, Eriomin was shown to enhance the activity of hepatic antioxidant enzymes, including glutathione peroxidase (GPx), glutathione reductase (GR), and catalytic glutamate-cysteine ligase. Eriomin treatment also increased the activity of the nuclear transcription factor Nrf2, a key player in cellular defense against oxidative stress and the maintenance of redox homeostasis. These findings highlighted Eriomin’s ability to modulate hepatic redox regulators Nrf2 and Trx1 (thioredoxin 1), alleviate oxidative stress, and reduce persulfidation levels, suggesting a substantial and beneficial antioxidant potential of lemon flavanones in aging livers. And stay tuned for more research on the way from the company.

FrieslandCampina Ingredients, which has more than 23 years of expertise in microencapsulation technology, was showcasing Biotis DHA Flex Powder range for the adult nutrition market. Biotis DHA FlexP 15 and Biotis DHA FlexP 20 are high-load, algae-based, microencapsulated DHA powders that the ingredient supplier says offer superior sensory properties and are suitable for vegan and vegetarian formulations. The ingredients can be combined with other nutrients (including proteins and carbohydrates, pre- and postbiotics, vitamins, and minerals) to support development of multifunctional products that meet consumers’ expectations on efficacy and taste. Both provide 4g per 100g of vitamin C for immune health. Both Biotis DHA Flex Powders to help brands create best-in-class food, drinks and supplements that offer multifunctional health benefits, without compromising on consumers’ experience or dietary preferences.  

Vesta Nutra was discussing its white tomato extract powder, Pearl Tomato, a skin-lightening and skin-brightening ingredient that protects against UV rays. The ingredient is a fit for active-aging products, and is supported by LipoQuest liposomal technology for absorption and efficacy.

Lonza Capsules & Health Ingredients was sharing insights into how supplement brands can attract the new generation of active lifestyle consumers—younger individuals who understand that their mobility, and therefore their joint health, is inextricably linked to their long-term quality of life. Lonza’s UC-II undenatured type-II collagen can support health and mobility so consumers can stay active well into their older years. The experts' advice: Attract them with science, and make it approachable, really speaking to them about how they will be able to keep doing the activities they want to do. Lonza also shared how its range of launch-ready formulas can help brands quickly tap into the most in-demand categories, including sleep and relaxation, men’s health, women’s health and joint health. Ready to manufacture, Lonza’s launch-ready formulas help brands go to market fast, easily fill portfolio gaps, and capitalize on market trends.

GC Rieber VivoMega discussed the extension to its existing portfolio with the launch of VivoMega EPA+DHA Algae 2050 TGP Oils for the North American market. Manufactured with award-winning water, the company says its high-concentration vegan omega-3 from microalgae offers superior quality and purity with environmental and sustainable initiatives at the forefront. Adding an EPA+DHA combination to its algae portfolio provides customers with a non-GMO, solvent-free, sustainable, and alternative source for these essential fatty acids, the company says. The company also noted fish oil supply chain issues and increased costs of fish oil as top of mind issues for suppliers and manufacturers, so algae concentrates offer a great alternative for omega-3s.

ISOPURE displayed its Collagen Peptides line. Made with grass-fed, pasture-raised, collagen peptides to support healthy skin and nails, joints, hair, and immune support, the drink mix is available in lemonade or unflavored options. The no flavor profile allows consumers to add the mix to their routine drinks and food recipes while emboding the brand’s “add less, do more” mantra with just three ingredients, 20 grams of collagen, 30 micrograms of biotin, and 36 milligrams of vitamin C per serving.

Quality, Transparency & Bioavailability

Alkemist Labs highlighted its full suite of testing services for clients. In recent years, Alkemist has added new services such as heavy metals, potency, pesticides, microbiological, residual solvents, THC and THC Analogs, Astaxanthin esters, and psychedelic quantitation, among others. All of the new services but astaxanthin are included in Alkemist’s A2LA ISO 17025 scope of accreditation (3851.01), which has been renewed through February 2026. Previously launched services for psychedelic testing are added to the ISO scope, which Alkemist says makes it the first lab with this many psychoactive compounds from a number of different botanical sources listed on their ISO scope. Also: Alkemist discussed the new protection of certificates of analysis (CofA’s) against counterfeits and unauthorized tampering using HealthLOQ’s document protection blockchain software. After years of cautioning the industry about altered C of A’s and hand checking the ones people send to have confirmed, Alkemist now has a blockchain solution using HealthLOQ’s document protection software.

Natural Path Silver Wings was at Expo showcasing the benefits of pharmaceutical grade colloidal silver manufacturer. The company also is marking a major milestone: It was started in 1994 by Dr. Mark Smith, N.D., Ph.D., and Liz Smith, R.N., with its first 250ppm single silver mineral liquid supplement for immune support. Over the past 30 years, the company's product line has grown to other independently lab tested silver products like a topical skin care line with silver aloe gel, a silver aloe spray with tea tree oil, and a high selling topical herbal ointment containing 11 skin nourishing ingredients.Today, Silver Wings facilities are UL GMP certified and manufacture colloidal silver immune support supplements and silver enriched topical skin care products available in health stores all across the country.

Nutritional supplements must deliver on benefit, and liposomal technology can help ensure that they do. Sebastian Balcombe, Founder and CEO of Specnova, was at Expo West educating on the topic. As he explains, “Three ways liposomes can improve an ingredient’s performance: improve solubility, improve permeability, improve stability of the ingredient in the body." He discussed how to identify a true liposome, and stressed that while all liposomes are not created equal, it is crucial that they all undergo third-party validation. Maintaining transparency will make way for a promising future. To learn more about liposomal technology, don't miss Balcome's educational presentation at the recent Naturally Informed virtual conference Supply Chain and Delivery Systems: Mastering the Market, available to view on demand.

Sustainability and Ethical Sourcing

Ciranda, a global supplier of organic, fair-trade, and non-GMO ingredients, was offering attendees granola bar samples made from some of the ethically sourced ingredients in its portfolio while discussing the growing trends amongst consumers and manufacturers of the natural products industry. One of the company's focuses for 2024 is the tapioca market. With an organic tapioca syrup already a part of its wheelhouse, the ingredients supplier discussed its benefits, its functionality, and its appeal to brands looking to cater to consumers interested in products with suitable sugar alternatives. Also on display were Organic Blue Agave Inulin, Organic Chocolate Chips, Organic Coconut Desiccated, and Organic Tapioca Syrup, and Organic Coconut Oil to showcase the company’s depth of product line.

Gnosis by Lesaffre was was spotlighting its expanded presence in the sports and mood category with the launch of LANDKIND Pure Salidroside, an ingredient that addresses the demand for natural energy solutions. The company explained that Rhodiola (rosea or crenulata), which is known for its impact on energy levels, mood, and mental performance, has been a botanical used in natural products for decades. Gnosis isolates Pure Salidroside through a proprietary fermentation process, the company explained, noting that this is a pure form without the possible trace amounts of heavy metals, pesticides, and residual solvents that may be found in natural plant extracts. The safety of the bioengineered compound is ensured by toxicological studies, and has supporting clinical data. Clinical research has shown that supplementation with Salidroside may enhance oxygen uptake during graded exercise, and it has the potential to mitigate performance decline associated with accumulated fatigue and mitigate mood disturbance, particularly related to fatigue and friendliness. In addition, the company noted, Rhodiola has been added to the CITES (Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora) list of endangered species, but LANDKIND Pure Salidroside’s fermentation process bypasses the need to harvest Rhodiola rosea, offering a sustainable source of this botanical in the form of Pure Salidroside—sustainable and CITES-compliant by design.

Spoonfuls was showcasing its Refill ∞ Reuse system solution with SmartSeal EFEX valve technology as an option for sustainably driven retailers and brands looking to make strides in sustainability! The tech is very cool--and the company shared a video to help people who didn't get to see them at the show see the concept in action.

Lundberg Family Farms has a long history of regenerative farming, which was on full display at this year's show. With a fully immersive “farmland” booth, visitors were given a real sense of the company’s mission, its products, and its commitment to “leave the land better than you found it.” Bryce and Brita Lundberg were in attendance giving guests a full rundown of their farming practices and product line for 2024, like their new Rice Chips which will be available in Barbecue, Sea Salt, Fiery Hot, Sesame Seaweed, and Fiesta Lime. 

Grooming & Personal Care (nothing is taboo)

Canary, an innovative oral health product company, had a must-see booth at the show. Complete with portable sink, the company was treating visitors to live demos of its full product line of hand soaps, toothpaste tablets, and mouthwashes. In between product presentations, founder Luke Wilson greeted guests and explained the intention behind the personal care brand and its mission of purging the world of plastic trash. New for 2024 is their improved toothpaste tablets, now available in a 75% larger version than the original, the tablets provide more foam during use and come in a smaller compostable pouch. 

BADGER was sharing news of the launch of two new adult SPF 30 Mineral Sunscreens for Face and Body. The purpose-driven brand uses food chemistry and food ingredients to make sophisticated skincare, and now offers the first-ever waterless mineral sunscreens made with just four ingredients with a smooth, silky feel that and coverage that is invisible on the skin. Th formulas are based on a new area of chemistry research that looks into techniques that lead to different qualities of texture and viscosity in different kinds of fats. Using that work, the R&D team at BADGER created these innovative waterless mineral sunscreens. Both sheer matte formulas are reef-safe, clean, lightweight, and and moisturizing,. The food-grade product offers 40 minutes of water resistance.

There was also a bigger section of the Personal Care aisles dedicated to men's grooming at this year's show.

Companies Expanding Capabilities

Luker Chocolate took advantage of this year’s event to share updates on its capabilities, which now include dairy-free offerings, protein chocolate, and organic chocolate. The family-owned company customizes its bars, chips, powders, hot chocolates, and other unique ingredients made through automated and manual processes to specific clients' needs. With the announcement of its expanded capabilities, the company hopes to create new partnerships with both existing and new manufacturers and also continue its sustainability efforts through The Chocolate Dream, a program geared towards transforming cocoa-growing areas and the individuals who live and depend on them. During the show, the Colombian business-to-business chocolate manufacturer also shared key findings from its soon-to-be-released sustainability report. Goals for the upcoming year and beyond included:

  • Improving quality of life and increasing income by 20% for 1,500 cocoa farmers and 5,000 families by 2027
  • Reaching a 28% reduction in carbon emissions in the energy and industrial emissions space
  • Encouraging environmentally positive practices with a focus on water conservation, biodiversity enhancement, and forest protection by 2027

Settle, a cash-flow management platform, was sharing news of the launch of Automatic 3-Way Matching for Purchase Orders, designed for the evolving needs of hyper-growth e-commerce and CPG brands. The company said the solution bolsters its commitment to simplifying cash flow management by saving critical time for accounting and operations teams, and focusing on innovating to solve inventory complexity. A few highlights from the company:

  • In the past year, Settle has found that 47% of POs had inconsistencies versus their corresponding bills totaling more than $12 million in discrepancies identified for customers. The new solution enhances operational efficiency and accuracy, giving companies real-time visibility and control.
  • Developed to scale alongside growing purchase order volumes, Settle's new feature enables businesses to accurately and automatically ensure goods received match quantities ordered, meaning valuable hours saved that can be invested towards expansion plans instead. 
  • The new feature automatically links POs to bills with 99% accuracy while allowing for many-to-many bills and POs matching, eliminating manual data entry and the need to maintain large spreadsheets.
  • Settle's new PO 3-Way Matching feature allows businesses to move away from spreadsheets and split screens, and utilizes Settle's AI-driven auto-itemization and discrepancy flagging to quickly pinpoint areas to focus on so teams can prevent overpayments and invoice fraud while accelerating payment cycles. This, the company says, translates to enhanced operational efficiency and reduced risk of human error, thereby resulting in a more seamless and smoother procurement process from start to finish. 
  • Settle's free basic plan offers creation and storage of unlimited purchase orders for any CPG and e-commerce brand.

Natural Products Expo West 2025 will take place March 4-8 at the Anaheim Convention Center.