Having worked in the natural products industry for many years, the Natural Products Expo is by far one of the most exciting and important times of the year. Twice a year, thousands of natural products brands attend both Expo East and Expo West to showcase new and existing products. Health professionals, bloggers, retailers, distributors and brokers all flock to Baltimore and Anaheim to see what’s new in the world of natural products.
This year I flew to Baltimore straight from Paris. In spite of my exhaustion and jet-lag, the show did not disappoint! Here are some of my favorite highlights and finds from this year’s show! Want to check out my recaps of past shows? Click here to see my recap of Expo East 2015 and here for Expo West 2016!
After arriving at the show, one of the very first booths I visited were my friends at Eating Evolved. These guys make some killer paleo-friendly dark chocolate along with chocolate spreads and coconut butter cups. This year they debuted a milk chocolate bar made with cashew milk. Not only is the idea extremely innovative, but the bar was absolutely delicious! I am super excited for this product to hit the shelves.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ve probably heard of the Squatty Potty and their hilarious unicorn poop video. This product allows you to raise your legs while sitting on the toilet to enable your body to go to the bathroom in the way our bodies were designed. I am a huge fan of the Squatty Potty and was thrilled to see that they’ve come out with a travel version. No more need to prop my feet up on the hotel trash can when I’m traveling!
Next I stopped at the Jackson’s Honest booth. This company has an incredibly inspirational story and makes both potato and corn chips fried in coconut oil. My favorite product of theirs is the BBQ potato chips, but they also debuted their Rippled Red Heirloom and Maple Cinnamon Sweet Potato Chips. I was a huge fan of both!
I use Primal Kitchen products all the time and for good reason. They are high-quality, free of junk and delicious! This year at Expo East, Primal Kitchen debuted the second of their protein bars, a Coconut Cashew Bar made with grass-fed collagen. The chocolate almond version of this bar is amazing, but this one is giving it a run for its money! Keep your eye out for so many new products from Primal Kitchen hitting shelves and their online store soon!
For those of you that have made almond milk at home, you know it’s nothing like the vast majority of stuff you can find at the store. New Barnis the exception. I am just as happy using New Barn products as I am my own homemade almond milk. Now, not only can you enjoy New Barn at home, but they’ve also worked with professional baristas to create a coffee-bar friendly product that performs just like regular milk. You can now enjoy New Barn’s Barista product at Allegro coffee bars nationwide.
One of my favorite kombucha companies, Revive, was showcasing an incredibly innovative limited edition products called Wild Ginger Brew. This product is tea-free and contains fermented ginger. For those avoiding caffeine, this is an amazing choice and it was incredibly delicious.
Chameleon Cold Brew owns the cold brew game as far as I’m concerned. Recently, I published a delicious paleo-friendly Frappe recipe using their coffee. At Expo I tasted their Texas Pecan flavor which was phenomenal.
Bob’s Red Mill debuted their first paleo-centric product which was pretty exciting. This Paleo Baking Flour mix contains only four ingredients – almond flour, arrowroot starch, organic coconut flour and tapioca flour.
4505 Chicharrones were showcasing some delicious pork rinds which are cooked in lard to minimize waste and the unnecessary use of processed oils. This company is extremely dedicated to sustainability which I love and these pork rinds were amazing!
As someone that doesn’t eat dairy, I was thrilled to see so many new dairy-free products debuted at the show. Kite Hill was showcasing their almond-based dairy-free yogurts. My favorite was the blueberry.
Farmhouse Culture was showcasing not just one but two new lines of product. First was their sauerkraut chips which are made with 50% sauerkraut and covered in seasoning with added probiotics. Not only were the chips super tasty, but I think this is probably the most innovative use of probiotics I’ve ever seen to date. Farmhouse also showcased fermented vegetables which I loved. Can’t wait to get my hands on these!
Another dairy-free yogurt I found at the show was from Forager Project. These yogurts were cashew-based which is great as so many people are sensitive to almonds. So nice to see so many options when it comes to dairy-free products!
I’m always excited to reunite with my old work-buds from Suja. This year they debuted their new apple cider drinking vinegars that also contain four billion vegan probiotics. There wasn’t one flavor I didn’t love, but I think my favorites were the Strawberry Balsamic and Peach Ginger. Cant wait to pick some of these up at Whole Foods!
Another one of my favorite chocolate companies, Madécasse, debuted their new packaging. A little known fact is that while 70% of the world’s cocoa comes from Africa, only 1% is made their. Madécasse sets out to change that by producing their chocolate in Madagascar to support the local economy and communities.
Zevia showcased a few new products, one of which was their line of sparkling waters. If you’re looking for something that’s a step up from sparkling water with natural fruit flavor, Zevia’s product is a bit sweet from the added stevia, but not as sweet as their soda line. The lime was my favorite, but they were all delish.
Wedderspoon’s manuka honey has been a big part of my topical skincare routine to treat hormonal acne so I was really excited to see that they debuted a skincare line! I’m looking forward to trying out some of these products and seeing how my skin reacts. Given that it responds so well to their honey, I can only imagine the results would be positive!
Simple Mills debuted their coconut oil-based frostings and hosted one of the most delicious and adorable happy hours at Expo complete with frosted cupcakes and confetti. If you follow me on Snapchat, you got to see a bit more of their irresistible spread. Frosting that isn’t full of crap is extremely hard to find, so I am thrilled Simple Mills has put something out on the market that I can feel good about eating!
Other than Suja, Live Beverages also showcased a line of Sparkling Apple Cider Vinegar beverages. There wasn’t one flavor I didn’t enjoy and each was refreshing and had just the right amount of carbonation. I am already a huge fan of the Live Soda Kombuchas so I am happy to see them expanding into other lines as well!
After traveling for the better part of a month, I only wish I’d had these Vital Proteins single-serve packets. I made do with their small travel container and a ziplock bag, but these packets would have been a whole lot easier! They are releasing not just their collagen in these packets, but their gelatin as well. This company continues to impress me with their high-quality products and innovation, not to mention the most adorable take-away with a fresh flower. How cute is that? I had to leave the next morning to fly back home but I held onto this flower for hours because it smelled so nice.
Perhaps the most innovative beverage I stumbled upon were these new Daily Greens Green Superfood Ades. Each flavor contained a different superfood and certainly got creative with their ingredients. My favorite was the Jicama – Blue Magik. Props to Daily Greens for having the brilliant idea to juice jicama, it was delicious! This line was a nice, refreshing alternative to regular juice.
Probiotics were unsurprisingly everywhere at Expo East as it is one of the hottest trends in the industry right now. Barney Butter showcased a new product which is their original smooth almond butter with the addition of probiotics. I think Farmhouse Culture might take the cake for most innovative use of probiotics in their chips, but this was a close second. Barney also debuted several different flour mixes as well which was pretty exciting.
Going dairy-free has by no means been easy. Unfortunately, there are very few quality dairy-free cheese options out there. Milks, yogurts and spreads, sure. But I have yet to come across a company that I feel has really mastered the dairy-free cheese game. After finding Miyoko’s Creamery at the show, my dairy-free woes may have finally come to an end. I am pretty unsure why I’d never heard of this brand before, but this vegan mozzarella was one of the first things I bought after returning from the show and I already showcased it on Instagram. I am so excited to have finally found this company and was blown away by literally all of their products.
A little while back, Justin’s debuted a snack pack with pretzels and peanut butter. Sounds delicious, aside from the fact that I’m gluten free. This year I was so happy to see that they released not just a gluten-free but a paleo-friendly option as well. This peanut butter and banana chip snack pack was perfect for breakfast on my flight home the next morning.
Tickle Water showcased some delicious naturally flavored sparkling waters in what might have been my favorite packaging from the entire show. I have never before seen clear cans and as someone who always judges a book by its cover when it comes to packaged goods, Tickle Water scored a lot of points in my book. Their product was delicious and refreshing, my favorite was the Watermelon.
Paleo Frosty anyone? That’s right, with only a few ingredients, Cave Shake has figured out how to make the perfect paleo-friendly frosty. I always opt for the chocolate or coffee option, but their vanilla shake blew me away. Of course, they were all incredibly delicious and only contained a few simple ingredients. As someone that’s never minded the taste of stevia, I was also really happy to see that their shakes didn’t contain any excess sugar. For those that are sensitive to stevia, I think you’d be pleasantly surprised and likely not notice the stevia in these delicious products. Can’t wait to see what this company does next!
To end the show, I hosted an incredibly fun happy hour with the good people of Rebbl. We crafted two delicious beverages, one cocktail an one mocktail using their Golden Milk and Matcha dairy-free elixirs. The drinks were a big hit and I had SO much fun hanging out with the entire Rebbl team. Check out this amazing company and their products, they have such an important story and mission.
A few other highlights that I didn’t get to snap photos of were as follows…
Quinn Snacks debuted their new gluten-free pretzels, which were phenomenal. Although not technically paleo, I’ve been on the hunt for some junk-free gluten-free pretzels and could never find them. Quinn finally stepped up to the plate. I enjoyed a bag of their pretzels on the plane ride home and they were especially delicious dipped in the leftover peanut butter from my Justin’s snack pack.
Amazing Grass debuted their new packaging which I love and provided an opportunity for Expo attendees to vote for their favorite Protein Superfood in the Superfood Election. Amazing Grass is going to be releasing either a Chocolate Coconut or Berry Citrus vegan protein and is letting the public decide. How fun is that? You can vote here for your fave.
Omega Juicers showcased a pretty innovative product in the world of juicers. A big complaint of many home-juicers is that the machine not only takes up so much space, but contains so many pieces that often get lost in our cabinets. Omega set out to solve both of those problems by releasing the Juice Cube. All of the pieces to this masticating juicer fit right into a handy little cube that can sit right on your counter or in the cabinet. No more missing pieces! The Juice Cube is being released next month!