This year, I attended Natural Products Expo East 2017. This was my first time to attend, and I had an incredible time sampling the latest natural products. From beauty products to food, this trade show featured the latest items that are eco-friendly, sustainable, organic, and healthy. Today featured on Theresa’s Reviews are the top 10 trends you could find at Expo East.
Top 10 Trends From Natural Products Expo East 2017
1. Children’s snacks they’ll actually enjoy
With school back in session, parents are on the lookout for snacks that are healthy, but finding natural products that children enjoy can be difficult. With the latest trend, healthy snacks also taste good to children.
Check out my live video on Facebook to see my children trying out their favorite picks! They enjoyed the Nakd bars, which are gluten, wheat, and dairy free, and are made with dates and cocoa. Another favorite was the Paqui chips in the Wild Wild West flavor because they were very flavorful and are non-GMO, gluten free, and have no artificial ingredients. Our two favorite sweets were the Coombs Family Farms Pure Maple Candy (which is 100% pure and comes from a farm that never uses pesticides) and the Chocmeister Chocolatey Spread from Peanut Butter & Co.
One Potato Two Potato
Expo East had many fun snacks children would like. One eye-catching exhibit was One Potato Two Potato. With adorable potato characters on each bag, the packaging is appealing to children. You can find many delicious flavors that include Hawaiian BBQ, Vermont Salted Maple Sweet Potato, Savannah Sweet Onion, and more. Not only are the chips packed with flavor, but they are also kosher certified, kettle cooked, nut free, have no MSG, no artificial flavors and no preservatives. In the Mid-Atlantic area, you can find them in Weis, Whole Foods, and other locations.
Pure Growth Organic
Another snack perfect for children was Pure Growth Organic. With Mickey Mouse, Lion Guard, PJ Masks, and more, these snacks are ideal for children who love to see their favorite characters on their snack. Plus, each box has the pouches individually packaged so you can easily toss them in a lunch box to go. Since these snacks are USDA Organic Certified, Kosher, and baked and popped in the USA, these convenient to-go packs are ideal for snacking responsibly.
Organic Smart Kids
From Smart Kids, you can get a variety of snack foods that include microwave popcorn, juice boxes, nutribars, as well as crispy rice treats and ice pops that are coming soon. All of the products have no high fructose corn syrup, no artificial flavors, and are all natural. My children don’t always like healthy juices, but they loved the 100% juice lemonade.
Turbana Plaintain Chips
If you are looking for a healthy alternative to potato chips, check out Turbana Plaintain Chips. These come in 6 natural flavors that include salted, sweet, lime, chili lime, and garlic. Since plantains are naturally sweet, this snack appeals to children. You can either snack of the chips themselves, or use them to dip in salsas and other sauces.
Children will also enjoy Bear Nibbles Real Fruit Yo Yo’s. If you grew up with fruit rolls, you’ll love this concept! Each snack is made with natural ingredients, with whole fruit and veggies that are fresh and in season. Unlike other brands, the snacks have no concentrated fruit juice. My children loved opening up the snack to find an adventure card inside it! Each snack has a card with information about a different country, so children can learn while snacking.
2. Tasty snacks adults can enjoy too
Gorilly Goods was a brand I haven’t seen before, but I was excited to try because they are part of the Nature’s Path family of healthy foods that you can find in most stores (think EnviroKidz, Cocoa Bunnies, and Love Crunch). With Gorilly Goods, you get kid-friendly snacks (great for adults too) that are certified organic, vegan, and paleo. Also, they only work Fair Trade partners and local growers. Since the ingredients are raw, nature made, and have no artificial sweeteners, the snacks are very healthy. Plus, 2% of all proceeds go towards the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund.
Snikiddy Baked Fries and Puffs
Another delicious snack that both children and adults can enjoy are the baked fries and puffs from Snikiddy. These flavorful snacks are USDA organic, certified gluten free, vegetarian, and have no trans fat. You can buy the baked fries in flavors that include Cheddar Baked Fries, Buffalo Baked Fries, and Hot & Spicy Baked Fries. The baked puffs come in Grilled Cheese and Mac N’ Cheese.
3. Pure water from unique sources
One large section of Expo East was dedicated to specialty waters. With all the other water companies out there today, it’s very hard to find something unique in the water market, but some brands have done so.
From Asarasi, you can buy sparkling pure tree water. Not only is this beverage refreshing, but it is also very smooth for a carbonated beverage. Asarasi prevents unnecessary waste by extracting water from living maple trees. This process allows farmers to still collect the maple syrup, without discarding the water as they usually would. With a unique source of water and recyclable materials, this water brand will surely grab the attention of people who value high quality water.
Another interesting water brand is Waiakea Springs, who makes Hawaiian volcanic water. Coming from the Mauna Loa volcano, Waiakea water began as arctic moisture that turned into snow or rain as it hit the slopes of the volcano. Then, the water is filtered naturally through 14,000 feet of porous volcanic lava rock before reaching the Kea’au aquifer. Not only is the water from a unique source, but it also has a soft, slightly sweet, and appealing taste.
4. Delicious natural beverages
If you prefer beverage with some flavor, Expo East also featured many delicious natural beverages.
OKF Aloe Organic
If you like coconut water, you should try OKF Aloe Organic water. This is the first and only USDA certified organic aloe vera drink in the world. It has a smooth refreshing taste. Although it does have about 50 calories per serving, it is lighter than a juice and gives you a nutritious boost.
Oatly Oat Milk
If you like alternatives to dairy milk, check out Oatly. The taste is not much different than almond milk, but it does have a slight oat flavor. This milk actually comes from oats that are soaked in water and have the bran removed and is then turned into a liquid, while still preserving the soluble fibers that make the oats nutritious for you and good for your heart. I thought this unique milk was delicious! If you need a milk that is free of soy, milk protein and lactose, this product is well worth trying.
Bruce Cost Ginger Ale
This past summer, I covered Bruce Cost Ginger Ale during my Fox 45 segment on National Ice Cream Month, and it’s not only delicious, but also very natural! You can actually see the ginger at the bottom of each bottle. You can find flavors that include Original, Jasmine Tea, Pomegranate Hibiscus, Passion Fruit with Tumeric, 66, and Blood Orange.
If you’re looking for a classic juice flavor, check out the organic juice from Smart Juice. The juice comes from USDA NOP certified pesticide-free farms, and it contains premium fruit that has plenty of antioxidants and vitamins. I like the Antioxidant Force flavor the most, but you can also find it in several other flavors.
5. Mainstream brands going natural or organic
Several well-known brands attended Expo East to make a point that they serve natural or organic food, or to show their new natural products.
Rao’s Specialty Foods
One of my all time favorite pasta brands is Rao’s, so I couldn’t believe my luck running into them at Expo East. I love that their top ingredient is real tomatoes. Short of making my own pasta sauce from scratch, Rao’s is one of the most natural ways to enjoy pasta. Other brands put tons of sugar in the sauce, which ruins the flavor, but Rao’s knows that tomatoes have a natural sweetness that you don’t want to alter.
Another well-known brand that attended was Jack Links. With so many other natural beef jerky brands on the market right now, it can be easy to forget that Jack Links is a natural brand too. Also, they were there to promote their new Extra Tender steak strips, which are softer than some of their other varieties.
Another favorite I always buy in the Italian aisle is Cento, who was there to promote their new organic line of products. In the past, Cento’s products weren’t organic because they didn’t realize organic mattered so much. Now you can get your favorite Italian ingredients, including the delicious San Marzano Italian tomatoes, in a healthier variety.
6. Fall flavors
If you’re looking for fall flavors in your favorite foods, Expo East had some delicious finds!
Glory Bee Honey
One of my favorite fall flavors to taste was the Pumpkin Spice honey from Glory Bee. This would be perfect on top of cereal, overnight oats, or granola, or in coffee. With a robust flavor and the mild taste of honey, it’s soothing enough to make you feel better when you get a cold this fall too!
Bob’s Red Mill
From Bob’s Red Mill, you can get Chai Protein Powder. With the delicious fall flavor of chai, you also get a nutritional boost with chia and probiotics. Add it to a smoothie or milk shake for probiotics, plant-based protein, and omega-3. Plus, the product is free of artificial colors and flavors, and it’s gluten free.
The Maple Guild
Add some pumpkin spice to your pancakes, French toast and waffles with The Maple Guild Pumpkin Spice Maple Syrup! The syrup is made from pure premium maple. With a mixture of maple and pumpkin spice, you really can’t go wrong.
7. Simple meal ideas for busy families who want to eat healthy
Another trend is healthy meals for families on the go who want a nutritious meal. With the fall season here, schedules get busy, but your health doesn’t have to stop being your priority.
Maker Overnight Oats
One product with eye-catching packaging was Maker Oats, who makes pre-packaged overnight oats. Each product comes in an individual package, which means that clean up and preparation are both simple to do.
Although it was the packaging that caught my attention, trying out the overnight oats was the real test. I loved it! There were several ingredients I wouldn’t usually keep in the house, which made the product more worth buying. I appreciated the simplicity of knowing my breakfast was made, and knowing that I didn’t have to clean up after eating it at all. The re-usable jar will come in handy too.
By the time I got to the Sonoma Flatbreads booth, the sight of a warm meal made my stomach grumble, even though I had been snacking all day! This pizza is fantastic. With gooey cheese, a good sized crust, and delicious pepperoni, this pizza is a family-friendly meal when you’re on the go. Plus, the pizza has simple ingredients and has no artificial colors, flavors, or preservatives.
8. Better protein powders
The newest powders have more recognizable, natural ingredients.
Crazy Richard’s Peanut Powder
From Crazy Richards, the pure, pressed peanut powder is gluten free and has 0 trans fat. You can add it to a beverage or cook with it for some added flavor and extra protein. I made a milkshake with the peanut powder in it, and I was pleased with the result! The drink had a slight peanut flavor that wasn’t too overpowering.
9. New protein products
Look out for Organic Valley’s newest organic good to go hard boiled eggs, which are coming to grocery stores soon! These pre-cooked eggs come in a perfect-sized pouch that’s ideal for a snack on the go. With a shelf life of 30 days, you can keep plenty of these in your refrigerator for a last minute bite to eat.
A new product from Tofurky is the Roast Ham, which goes perfectly with pineapple. I’m not a vegan, but I thought this was pretty tasty! Now you can serve Tofurky at all your holiday occasions, from Easter to Thanksgiving.
One new trend for baby food is protein-filled snack packs to go from Serenity Kids. With unique combinations, such as uncured bacon with organic kale and butternut squash, children can get all the nutrients they need. I wasn’t brave enough to try this out, but the brand rep assured me that babies love it because of it’s higher fat content.
10. Natural beauty products
Several companies showed their latest natural beauty products. This trend has been around for a while, but it’s worth reminding yourself to remember how natural a beauty product is before buying it.
From Woo Bamboo, you can get eco-friendly oral care products. I liked the look of my toothbrush with a bamboo handle, which felt sturdy. I also tried out the Eco-Awesome Floss, which was very effective.
Grandpa Soap Company
Although you have seen Grandpa Soap Company’s classic soap products in stores before, they are now debuting their new shampoo and conditioner line. You can buy their hair care in Pine Tar, Rosemary, Rose Clay, Witch Hazel, and Buttermilk. These products all have cruelty-free formulas, recyclable containers, and natural ingredients.
Inika Beauty is a vegan and cruelty-free makeup line. Over 50% of all of their products are certified organic, while the others are water or mineral-based, which means they aren’t certifiable. The woman who showed me the makeup line was wearing it, and it looked very smooth on her skin. Plus, all of their brushes are vegan.
Takeaways From Visiting Natural Products Expo East 2017
Some takeaways I had from visiting Natural Products Expo East 2017 was that natural products matter! I enjoyed seeing that brands are taking to heart the concerns of people buying their products.
The brands featured in this article are only a small portion of the samples I tried and took home from the expo! Make sure to follow Theresa’s Reviews on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, and Youtube to see more about these fantastic products.