Natural Products Expo West held at the Anaheim Convention Center outdid itself in 2012, setting an attendance record with over 60,000 people and over 2,000 exhibitors. Those in attendance were able to see some of the newest and best products on the market. Amazing food, organic skin care products, natural dog food, there was a little bit of everything and Expo West showed that there is not an area that is not covered by an organic and natural product line.
This year Expo West had event after event to keep everyone in attendance on their toes. Chef Tyler Florence kicked things off at a media discussion with an amazing look at the organic food industry, there was a retail store tour that took those participating to some of the best natural product and specialty stores in Southern California. There were speakers and demonstrations everyday of the expo and there was also plenty of entertainment. Ziggy Marley performed at the Anaheim Marriott and this show was so popular they reached their capacity. Finally the amazing Clif Bar put on a party to celebrate its 20th anniversary. That was just a few of the events and that along with everything inside of the Expo made this for one can't miss event.
Each year there seems to be one hot item, ingredient or innovation that really takes Expo West by storm and this year that happened to be kale. Kale certainly was not highly thought of in the past and was probably best known as being a garnish. Come to find out Rhythm™ Superfoods Kale Chip have made that little old green garnish a little more appetizing. Rhythm™ dehydrates the kale overnight, never heating it over 117 degrees and what you get is a healthy, raw and powerfully crunchy snack. The kale chips are raw, vegan and gluten-free and by using the low heat, the kale retains all of its nutritional value. This could be as close to a perfect snack as you can find. The Kale Chips come in five flavors, Bombay curry, kool ranch, mango habanero, Texas BBQ and my personal favorite zesty nacho. Rhythm™ has also added a Sweet Potato Chip line that is created along the same line as the kale chips.
For more information on Rhythm™ Superfoods, visit: www.rhythmsuperfoods.com
Another great trend at Expo West was the number of companies that were working towards creating a healthier pizza and no one created a better version than Naked Pizza. To begin with Naked Pizza uses no preservatives, there is no sugar in their sauce and the crust has ten grains and seeds in it. The crust is the most amazing part, it tastes just like a normal pizza crust and it has a crunch and if you love thin crust, this pizza was made for you. Naked Pizza has one other giant benefit, they have incorporated a probiotic into the crust. Amazingly the probiotic will withstand freezing and baking.
For more information on Naked Pizza, visit: www.nakedpizza.biz
Bhakti Chai is made with an antioxidant rich black tea, fresh ginger, milled spices and a touch of soymilk, providing you with a ready-to-drink spicy fresh chai. If you are looking for a nice alternative to all of the iced coffees that are on the market, the Iced Bhakti Chai Coffee Blend is a great choice. This drink is rich and gives you and abundance of flavor as opposed to the typical iced coffees that just kill the coffee with sweetener and all you are left with is a sugary taste. The best part about this drink is the spice that hits you as soon as you take a swig and the flavor sensation follows the drink all the way down. Bhakti Chai utilizes organic and Fair Trade certified ingredients. As dedicated as founder Brook Eddy is to making a great tasting Chai, she is equally committed to giving back, as Bhakti Chai donates a portion of proceeds to local and international non-profits that serve women and girls.
For more information on Bhakti Chai, visit: www.BhaktiChai.com
34 Degrees debuted their ultra thin and crispy sweet cracker line that includes the following flavors; Caramel, Chocolate, Cinnamon and Graham. This version of an Australian "Crispbread" is full of so much flavor, you will be waiting for some caramel to begin flowing out after you take one bite. A great change of pace from the normal cracker, 34 Degrees Crispbreads are low in calories and fat and come in some tasty flavors, Natural, Sesame, Cracked Pepper, Rosemary, and Whole Grain. These crackers while thin and light, are crispy and durable, which makes them the perfect compliment for fine cheese to pair with wine or anything else that you might feel makes a nice flavor combination. 34 Degrees also put together a number of recipes that make for a great party treat, such as taking the Cracked Pepper Crispbread and topping it with goat cheese, toasted walnuts and honey. There are some great recipes on the 34 Degrees website, or get creative and make your own.
For more information on 34 Degrees Crackers, visit: www.34-degrees.com
One of the not only best snacks for you to eat, but one that you won’t be able to put down are Somersaults. These baked snacks are made with sunflower seeds and toasted grains and give you a robust crunchy nugget that will satisfy your snacking needs and yet leaving you actually feeling good after eating them, avoiding that greasy, what did I just eat feeling when you eat potato chips. Somersaults have as much protein but just half the fat of a serving of almonds with fewer calories, they are a good source of fiber and Vitamin E and they have 1/3 the carbs and 95% less sugar than an energy bar. Hard to argue with having these in your cupboard. Somersaults also comes in some great flavors, Pacific Sea Salt, Salty Pepper, Santa Fe Salsa and two more that will satisfy your sweet tooth, Dutch Cocoa and Cinnamon Crunch. Somersaults really put as much time into making sure that their snacks tasted great as they did making sure that they were healthy.
For more information on the Somersault Snack Company, visit: www.somersaultsnackco.com
The point that Chef Tyler Florence made about how important it is that children as soon as they start eating should be introduced to high quality and healthy food leads us to an amazing addition to the baby food line of foods, NurturMe. NurturMe is the first and only certified-organic, all-natural, gluten-free baby food made from nutrient-rich, quick-dried fruits and vegetables. Very handy to use, NurturMe comes in single serving packets and you just mix the dried ingredients with water and you have fresh, organic baby food. NurturMe uses a quick-drying method for its ingredients as opposed to cooking, this preserves the vital nutrients and phytochemicals found in fruits and vegetables, making it one of the most natural and nutritious baby foods around. Once you open one packet, just by looking at the powder you can see how pure it looks and I will say as an adult it tastes really good so I’m sure your baby will love it.
For more information on NurturMe, visit: www.nurturme.com
Hyland’s is from a new product line, they have been around since 1903, but they continue to try and advance homeopathic medicine to the general public. Hyland's is a safe, effective homeopathic medicine, that is a great alternative for all ages. Instead of running for the normal over-the-counter medicine, Hyland's offers many natural relief products that are safe for you. For infants six months and older with Hyland’s has a new Baby Cough Syrup and Tiny Cold Tablets and their always popular Teething Tablets. For the rest of us, Hyland’s has their award-winning DEFEND Cold & Cough, plus DEFEND Cold & Cough Night and DEFEND Sinus, which offer multi-symptom relief in natural formulas that are non-drowsy and free from dyes, alcohol and sugar. Hyland's also has the number one homeopathic sleep aid in America, Calms Forte, for those sleepless nights this product is perfect. While you still need a doctor, before you pick up at that phone and make an appointment take a look at the wide ranging products that are offered by Hyland's, you just might find a natural cure. For more information on Hyland's Homeopathy, visit: http://www.hylands.com/
Since drinking bottled water seems to be part of everyday life, QURE water gives you the purified water you are looking for with a fantastic extra benefit. QURE water has natural ionic alkaline minerals that give the purified water a high and stable pH of 9.5. Why does this matter? Unfortunately most typical diets are filled with foods and soda, which all have a very low pH. Products such as soda and alcohol are in the 3-4 range. To help our bodies maintain a healthy pH level adding QURE water to your everyday diet will do the trick.
For more information on QURE Water, visit: www.qurewater.com
Finally, there was a birthday to celebrate at Expo West this year as Kettle Brand celebrated its 30th birthday. To celebrated their 30th year, Kettle Brand brought back to life four historic flavors that were sadly taken off the shelves in previous years, Red Chili, Jalapeño Jack, Salsa with Mesquite and Cheddar Beer. These are limited edition so watch for them to hit your stores, but I will also add that you should let Kettle Brand know that Cheddar Beer is such an amazing flavor that is should definitely be in the permanent lineup. Kettle Brand continually produces the best tasting chips on the market while sticking with their same original recipe of all natural ingredients, no trans fats, no artificial colors or flavors and no preservatives. I’m not sure why you would buy any other chip. For more information on Kettle Brand Chips, visit: www.kettlebrand.com
Who better to come up with a drink for hydration and one for energy other than soccer players. That is exactly who came up with Golazo after seeing kids combine Gatorade and Red Bull before matches, an odd combination that did not taste good so they thought they had to come up with something better. Only ten ingredients and all natural, Golazo has a Sports Hydration drink and a Sports Energy drink that has 50% less sugar than leading energy drinks. For more information on Golazo, visit: http://vivagolazo.com/
While Whole Foods, Trader Joes and Sprouts are well known and popular places to find your organic and natural foods, you also have many more options these days. A number of the above products can be purchased at www.amazon.com, you can visit local farmer's markets and now more than ever your local grocery store is expanding their organic section. Wherever you choose to pick up your organic and natural foods, make sure you put that extra effort in to find those high quality products that will make a difference in your life.
For more information on Natural Products Expo West, visit: http://www.expowest.com/ew12/public/enter.aspx