Trendspotting: Expo West 2018
The Super Bowl may be in February, but for any food and beverage PR agency the Super Bowl of better-for-you food is in March at Natural Products Expo West. The natural products trade show brings thousands of food, beverage, and wellness companies to Anaheim, CA for four jammed pack days of sampling and sipping all of the latest in healthy food, beverages, and more. This year, more than 85,000 people attended the show, including over 3,000 exhibiting brands. Those attending, including yours truly and a powerhouse team of Konnect Agency food and beverage PR pros who were scouring the floor for media contacts, were invited to get a first look at the upcoming products that will soon be on supermarket shelves. Below are some of the emerging and continued trends within the natural space that caught our eye as we walked from booth-to-booth.
- Bone Broth Protein is having it’s moment with breakthrough brands that are delivering the ancient tradition in more convenient forms, including supplements, bars, etc.
- Sparkling and Flavored Teas and Waters are everywhere, with every flavor profile you can imagine, including many floral-inspired flavors, to upgrade your hydration choices.
- Collagen is now mainstream with a variety of incredible options ranging from supplements to bars and more to elevate your beauty routine.
- Puffed Snacks are in. We aren’t talking about Cheetos puffs, but instead puffed snacks ranging from veggie chips to puffed pasta to any kind of crisp that offer a light snack.
- Better-for-you Instant Foods are elevating your microwave and ready-to-make game with healthier spins on items such as ramen noodle cups that are made with organic ingredients to pizza crusts made from cauliflower, and more.
- High Protein Snacks are still king. Ranging from innovative protein bars to jerky to protein-packed water and more, it is clear that a high protein diet is here to stay.
- Nut Milks Expanding Beyond Almond are trending with macadamia and oat milks around every corner that are taking the dairy aisle by storm.
- Plant-Based Everything is now the norm. While vegan products may no longer be a trend, as they are status quo for many within the industry, plant-based protein and alternatives are continuing to expand and evolve with more and more options that deliver great taste and quality ingredients.
- Hemp and CBD Products are on the rise with supplements, oils, and a surge in food & beverage innovation in the space.
The above just touches the surface of the innovation that was spotted at Natural Products Expo West. We are already counting down the days until next year’s show!
What were your favorites spotted on the floor?