Every year the natural and organic products industry does something unique – they all come together to showcase their products and enlighten us with something new and innovative. Besides what we already know of these natural companies, there are always many more coming out with products that help us live better and healthier lives. This year I had the honor of attending the Natural Products Expo in Anaheim, California and it was as entertaining and educational as the ones before. In the span of 3 days I experienced a melting pot of natural vitamins, frozen foods, and gluten-free energy bars among many other variety of health-promoting foods and trends. It was fascinating to see all the companies that I normally buy and see in stores to come together and show their goods in one giant building.
What seems to be on trend this year is the so called Paleo (Paleolithic) Diet, or otherwise known as “caveman food”. Based on a strict regimen of eating foods found only in nature, the Paleo Diet consists of fish, grass-fed pasture raised meats, eggs, vegetables, fruit, fungi, roots, and nuts. It excludes any type of grains, legumes, dairy products, potatoes, refined salt, refined sugar, and processed oils. Although a fairly new type of food trend, the Paleo Diet is quickly becoming more widespread similar to its predecessors – the Raw Food Diet, Atkins Diet, South Beach Diet, and so forth. But the more prominent food trends are still gluten-free, vegan, chia seeds, quinoa, and a few others that are more or less accepted because of their unique advantages.
It was great to see a lot of new companies sticking their heads out to test their waters on their newest products. We visited booths that included products ranging from freshly pressed juices to honey soaps. NPE even dedicated an entire floor to showcase these new up and coming products – some from fledgling companies, others are more well-known.
As usual when you first walk up the main avenue to get to the Convention Center, you’ll find booths hovered collectively in a circle in the front ready for you to sample their goods. It doesn’t matter whether you are a vendor, an attendee, or just a curious passerby, these companies will inadvertently thrust their samples in your hands giving you a taste of what they offer. When you enter the building however, you are welcomed by rolls and rolls of display cases showcasing all the various hundreds of vendors and the products they sell and distribute. You’ll find companies like Stonyfield Farm, Wholesome Sweeteners, Itoen, Eden Foods, MELT Organics, Vans Natural Foods, and many others on display – the colorful arrays are eye-catching and breathtaking.
We met many companies during the three-day event and I hope to bring you some fun and new products to read about and try for yourselves. Going to the Natural Products Expo West event has always been a joy for me and to see some of the companies interact so favorably with my son is a lot of fun for him as well. We always come home tired but exuberant and full of knowledge!
Stay tuned for new products and new giveaways showcasing some of the companies I visited.