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Trends from Expo West 2016

Natural Products Expo West is a hugely successful trade show that seems to expand every year. "Doing" the show is exhausting and carrying multiple bags of FREE samples (get out your tiny violins) is hard, but the experience at the Anaheim Convention Center is also a camp reunion of sorts.

Having a chance to catch up with our current and former clients in their booths and chat with entrepreneurs that are launching innovative products offsets any aches and pains. There are three venues with multiple show floors to visit for education sessions, new product showcases, miles of exhibitor booths and the press room.

For like-minded folks like the Amy Levy PR team that eats healthfully and enjoys cooking at home with ingredients that are free of major allergens, GMO's and other synthetic or artificial inputs, there were nutrient rich products as well as personal care and beauty items that moisturize, energize and revitalize.

I so enjoy watching these businesses grow from being a new company in a booth that holds one table to a main show floor booth with sofas and all of the bells and whistles. I am so happy for their success and the continued growth of the natural products industry.

Here are some of the themes I noticed from this year's show:

  • Grain-free products are the new hot item. Apparently, seeds are terrific for health and flavor.

  • Organic and gluten-free products abound, but the growth of certified non-GMO products is very noticeable.

  • Quinoa transformed into a tasty snack food.

  • "Green Detox" kale and spinach drinks turned into popsicles.

  • Tumeric, the bright yellow spice is trending because of its perceived health properties.

  • Berbere, the Ethiopian spice mix of chili peppers, fenugreek seeds, ginger, garlic, cinnamon and paprika are very hip.

  • Artisanal and local products gain a loyal base and then take their wares to Expo West in hopes of scaling up to store shelves nationwide.

  • Look for Romesco dips from Spain with roasted nuts and red peppers at your local markets.

  • Sumac, a staple in my house is rising in popularity for its tart, lemony flavor from Middle Eastern dark, red berries.

  • Padron peppers, also grown in Spain are showing up.

  • Sorrel will be the new kale. It is a green, leafy plant with a lemony taste that is great in a salad.

  • Gluten-Free pretzels, cookies, granola products, noodles, chips made from lentils, beans, etc. are still a growing category.

Overall, the best trend I saw is that consumers really care about what they eat, the supplements they take and the personal care products they use.

The wholesomeness of the ingredients that manufacturers are using is an exciting trend to taste!

For more about trends, please visit our website amylevypr.com