The societal move toward natural, organic and healthy products continues to surge as was evident by the fact that Natural Products Expo West just finished with another record-breaking event at the Anaheim Convention Center. The event grew by five percent, bringing together over 67,000 industry members and a record number of first-time exhibitors.
The creativity and new products always seems to astound guests at Expo West and that did not change in 2014, but as more companies enter the natural products area the focal point this year was convenience and accessibility for the consumer. As health and wellness takes on a greater importance every year, the importance of making nutritious, clean food more accessible and convenient for everyone has become a priority.
In addition to be more accessible, for those who are more concerned with purchasing healthy alternatives, labeling transparency is just as important. Consumers want to better understand what they are buying and what they are eating and a transparent label that allows the consumer to understand nutritional value as well as claims as well as being able to tell if the product for example is organic, non-GMO along with appropriate serving sizes and any other information they might be looking for.
There was much more to Expo West than main floors of the Anaheim Convention Center, there was really something for everyone. There was the opportunity to hear the wisdom of Andrew Weil, M.D. and Raj Patel and then there were the workshops that seemed to cover every topic imaginable. There was workshops that focused on marketing to moms, specialty diets, driving health and wellness, entrepreneur boot camp, a women in naturals networking event and of course the great parties and music once Expo West closed each day. Needless to say if you missed Expo West, you missed a lot.
The official Natural Products Expo West "Best of West: Press Award" was awarded to Luvo: Chicken Chili Verde, Barbara’s Bakery: Multigrain Squares and Dave’s Killer Bread: 21 Whole Grains and Seeds. While those won “Best of West: Press Award,” there were plenty of other fantastic products that are worth mentioning and would also make perfect additions to any household.
Redwood Hill Farm was showcasing their line of dairy products that really set the standard for dairy products in a wide variety of areas. Redwood Hill Farm is home to over 300 goats and in 2005 was the first goat dairy to be Certified Humane. Thanks to all of the goats, Redwood Hill Farm introduced the first goat milk yogurt and if you have not tried it before you won’t be disappointed. Each flavor tastes amazing and you are going to find organic ingredients such as organic strawberries to give that flavor yogurt a fresh and clean flavor. Redwood Hill Farm also has an assortment of cultured goat milk kefir and each is loaded with healthy probiotics. The Redwood Hill Farm lineup doesn’t stop there as they also have some amazing artisan cheeses including a smoked cheddar that would make Wisconsin jealous. Finally as more and more people are having issues with lactose, in 2010 Redwood Hill Farm introduced their lactose free, real cow dairy line. If you are looking for a line of dairy products that you can trust and has amazing flavor and treats their animals the way they were meant to be, Redwood Hill Farm should be on your next shopping list. For more information visit Redwood Hill Farm.
Taking the classic boring peanut butter and turning it into four flavors that will entice anybody to love eating peanut butter sandwiches again while creating a healthy all-natural and amazingly low in sugar version is exactly what PB Crave was able to pull off. The four flavors are; Cookie Nookie, Coco Bananas, Choco Choco and my personal favorite Razzle Dazzle. Not only is Razzle Dazzle the best name of any peanut butter anywhere, it also will wow you with the smooth peanut butter taste while allowing the raspberry to explode into your taste buds. PB Crave gets their amazing flavor simply from fresh-farm peanuts, pure honey and then great premium ingredients to produce flavors that everyone will love and you can feel good about it eating with the low sugar content and the fact that it is cholesterol free, gluten free and it has no trans fat. For more information visit PB Crave.
When it comes to health and wellness there is no better beverage for you than KeVita® Sparkling Probiotic and at Expo West they unveiled three new flavors; blueberry cherry, tangerine and Hibiscus Berry Daily Cleanse™. Probiotics have become more mainstream in the past few years as people are finally starting to realize all of the benefits associated with probiotics such as; supporting immune and digestive health, maximizing the absorption of nutrients and vitamins, why spend all that money on supplements if they are not getting to your body fully. KeVita has always been at the forefront of bringing the benefits of probiotics to the general public by incorporating four strains of probiotics into a tasty beverage that is great anytime of the day. The tangerine flavor is a fantastic light and refreshing drink that would be perfect for a summer afternoon and while it has all of the benefits of probiotics, it has a slightly sweet citrus flavor and comes in at only five calories. The regular drinks are great but you can also opt for the daily cleanse that has become so popular recently. This cleanse is far more gentle than what most cleanses are associated with and the new hibiscus berry also has a light and smooth taste to it, making it probably the most enjoyable cleanse on the market. For more information, visit KeVita.
A major dilemma facing families trying to eat healthy is simply being too busy and not having enough time to cook. Made in Nature has taken that excuse away with their line of ancient grain fusion meals that are ready to eat in 60 seconds. Eating something that you could cook in 60 seconds in the past meant poor taste and even worse when it came to deciphering what was on the product label. Made in Nature has changed that with offerings that include; Mediterranean Feta, Moroccan Bazaar, Southwestern, Thai Coconut and Cuban Mojo. For more information visit Made in Nature.
Rhythm was at the front of the kale chip craze and they have done it better than anyone else, taking kale and creating a great crunch and some tasty flavors that turned this into a snack favorite. The latest creation from Rhythm is a line called “Super Food Chips.” Filled with whole grains, fiber and protein are not only made to taste great, but the power and density of the ingredients not only make for a healthy snack, but they fill you up unlike those greasy chips that litter store shelves. Who can argue with a cheese flavored chip, well the nacho Rhythm Super Food Chip not only tastes great, but it is created using pea protein, quinoa, amaranth and oat bran, making for one powerful chip. Equally healthy flavors from Rhythm are sea salt, barbeque and jalapeno lime. For more information on all Rhythm products, visit Rhythm Superfoods.
While the chia seed has become more popular in recent years you still might not be aware of all of the health benefits or exactly what chia seed you should be using. 15 grams or 1 tablespoon of Salba Chia Seeds is going to give you double the potassium of a banana, triple the fiber of oats, six times the calcium of milk and the most stunning of all is that you will get eight times more omega-3 than you will get from salmon. While chia is a nearly the perfect food, not all chia is created equal and if you are going to use chia, Salba Chia grows it better than anyone else. Compared to generic chia, Salba higher nutrients levels, like amazing 312% more potassium than generic chia. Salba has gone through rigorous testing to not only show what chia can do, but also what Salba Chia can do and if you have any doubts, the best test is the eye test. Buy some Salba Chia and then compare it to any other generic chia and you wills see that Salba has a consistent white color and size while other chia sees have a wide variation of both. For more information, visit Salba Chia.
Expo West was filled with drinks that contained almost anything you could imagine or where made from frankly things you would have never guessed would have created a liquid. While it is great to have a drink that will provide health benefits there is no denying that sometimes flavor trumps all. XINGtea, based in Denver, has created what has to be the most flavorful tea lineup on the market, coming up with a wide assortment of great flavors using the finest green teas, a hint of black tea, all-natural fruit flavors to go along with cane sugar and honey as the sweeteners. For more information on the 14 XINGtea flavors, visit XINGtea.
If you are looking for a healthy alternative to the mass produced and media driven sports drinks that are simply created to sell as opposed to help your workout, ON Powered Refreshment is a great new alternative that popped up at Expo West this year. ON starts off by keeping their drinks at 30 calories per serving and they have no artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives and they produce some unique flavors such as blueberry lemonade and raspberry limeade. You get a refreshing boost from the ornithine, caffeine that comes from teal leaf extract and B vitamins which combine to increase stamina, enhance your focus and boost brainpower. Not only great for a workout, but it also a great alternative if you need a little boost in the afternoon to get you through the day. For more information, visit ON.
Funley’s Delicious® has created a line of snacks that are so tasty that your kids won’t even realize they are eating something healthy and nutritious. Funley’s created the Original Superfood Crackers™ and they have a label that reads like a manual of what you want to pack in a lunch as the SUPER CRACKERS® are 100% natural, have no preservatives, trans fats, high fructose corn syrup and they are a great source of Vitamin D, calcium, iron and are SB-12 School Compliance. What else could you want, how about the fact they have won taste test challenges over leading brands and come in flavors like Cheddar ‘n Stuff, which I would put up against any cheese cracker, along with Pizza ‘n Stuff and Ranch ‘n Stuff. Funley’s also carries Stix in the Mud, a great alternative to candy, and Wholly Granolly Clusters which comes in great flavors such as peanut butter pretzel and double chocolate chip. For more information, visit Funley’s Delicious®