We are in Anaheim California for Expo West, a natural food trade show that seems to be growing in popularity from year to year. Besides various educational sessions, the big draw is the expo hall where hundreds of food companies show off their latest products. Since we’re talking about food, this means a lot of tasting…Yes, it’s a hard job, but someone has to do it!
Walking around the expo floor for a few hours, several trends quickly became quite clear:
Non-GMO – many companies had signage that their products are Non-GMO certified or in the process of getting certified. It seems like the Non-GMO Project has achieved escape velocity.
Gluten-free – besides the fact that an entire pavilion is dedicated to gluten-free foods, many manufacturers are using GF as a talking point in their signage and product packaging. While this may be good for people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity, one can’t help but wonder if all these new products are really necessary. Some of them seem extremely highly processed.
More yogurts – The yogurt category is growing, and more companies are trying to get in with twists and innovations. We sampled savory yogurt creations from Blue Hill, Icelandic yogurt from Smari, and yogurt from grass fed cows made by Dreaming Cow.
Vegan – we are seeing more and more companies offering at least some products in their lineup as vegan. There is virtually no product or flavor today that cannot be emulated and formed from plants.
Coconut products – in the natural food circles, coconut products have been a hit for years, but it seems like coconut oil has become a more mainstream product in recent years. Now prepare for a slew of new products to hit the market.