Trends and Highlights at the Natural Products Expo West 2015

Posted on May 05, 2015 by

This year I was lucky enough to attend Expo West in sunny Southern California.

While it was ludicrously expensive to attend, it was great to meet up with customers and catch up in person, tell folks about our new inventory management software and see what the latest trends and food products are. We've been a little slow with the blogging recently, but better late than never.

We tried to stick to the areas of the show with newer products and smaller companies to catch the trends and talk to more like-minded companies, so this will be a little skewed in that direction.

The Overdone

We'll start with the overdone products. Not that they are bad (at all), but from a consumer perspective the market seems saturated and I'm just not interested in seeing yet another version of these.

  • Quinoa products - chips, snacks, flours, crisps.
  • Cold-pressed juices.
  • Kale chips, kale everything.
  • Energy drinks.
  • Chia everything.

Again, these are all things I personally like, and clearly other consumers do too if there's so much room in the market for more. I simply didn't see anything interesting enough from the newcomers to stand out, but hopefully they all do great!

The Good Stuff

We saw many old friends at the show and some really interesting new products that stood out and I could see becoming much bigger trends going forward.

  • Maple water. Could it be the next coconut water? I may be biased as someone that can drink maple syrup!
  • Cricket flour products. Not entirely new, but there were a few different applications and an energy around these companies.
  • Baobab products. The next superfood?
  • Palm syrup. This struck me as particularly interesting for some reason - could be my sweet tooth talking.
  • Turmeric. Turmeric drinks, turmeric snacks. This superfood seems to on the rise big time.

I'm not making any promises or giving investment advice, but these were some of the more interesting products and trends that I could see taking off in the next few years and you'll surely see more of in your groceries and store shelves.

I'll have to revisit this in a couple of years and see how it all plays out!

Other Trends?

We weren't the only ones at the show, so what else did you notice? What trends did we miss? Send us a note or leave a comment below.

About Lev Berlin

Lev Berlin ReciPal SlantShack Author Bio

Lev Berlin is the founder & CEO of ReciPal. Having previously been a founder of SlantShack Jerky, he needed nutrition labels and simple tools to start and run the business. He's read the FDA food labeling code countless times in the process of creating ReciPal and helping small food businesses with their labels. He's reviewed and created thousands of food labels, and been a mentor and guest speaker at food incubators, food business courses, and regulatory conferences, like Brooklyn Foodworks and ICE.

After graduating from Princeton with an engineering degree, Lev was a management consultant, then founder or early employee at half a dozen startups. He loves nothing more than helping other small businesses get off the ground and achieve their goals.

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