No event provides a better view, all in one place, to what’s new in natural than Natural Products Expo West. From foods to household cleaners to pet products, Expo West showcases the hottest products heading to natural and mass grocery shelves this year.
360PR and many of our Healthy Living practice clients had a healthy presence at this year’s Expo. We’re excited to share some of the trends we’re leveraging to connect better-for-you brands with media, bloggers and consumers this year.
Ancient Grains is an exciting category that includes such exotic-sounding grains as amaranth, quinoa, sorghum, millet and kamut. Taking more real estate on our plates, these grains are more than simple side dishes. They’re now available in waffles, breads and more foods, giving consumers an array of ways to add nutritional benefits, from omega-3s to a protein boost. Spurred in part by the popularity of gluten-free food, ancient grains are emerging as the new superfood. Bloggers like My Healthy OC and Natural Products Insider are hot on the ancient grain trend.
We’ll Cheers to That
Consumers’ desire for flavor, variety and health benefits is driving innovation and creativity in the beverage category, redefining what we expect in our drinks. From Bai’s Antioxidant Infusions to Good Belly’s new Fermented Probiotic Coconut Water to Tumeric Alive’s New Pure Prana drink featuring an impressive ingredient list, including turmeric (of course), ginger, cardamom, spearmint, coconut nectar, coconut oil, lemon, sea salt, black pepper, cinnamon and more, brands are packing more punch into each can, bottle or pouch.
And with 47% of 18 – 24 year olds saying they like to try new and unique beverages (source: Technomic, September 2012), smart brands have millennials in mind and are using social media to whet their appetites..
GMOs and Labeling
Whole Foods’ widely publicized announcement that it will require GMO labeling on all products by 2018 has the potential to move GMO awareness to a more mass-market audience this year and this is just one indication that reading labels is a priority for consumers.
In fact, research shows more than half of Americans report regular label reading and at 360PR we’re leveraging National Label Reading Day on April 11 for many of our clients.
Consumers today are eating up ingredient and other information available on product labels and media is responding with thoughtful coverage like this Prevention feature on the 100 Cleanest Packaged Foods. For brands, a combination of less + more is winner – less as in shorter, simpler ingredient labels and more as in more frequent and readily accessible information to empower and endear consumers to brands. Label reading is so important to our Sir Kensington’s client that they feature their labels front and center on their web site to help consumer see the difference!
Packaging Spotlight: Pouches Offer Healthy Food on the Go
Originally introduced for babies and toddlers, several brands are betting that easy to grab-and-go foods in pouches will also be a hit with adults looking to refuel on the run. What’s so exciting about pouches? From chia to yogurt, the Expo hall was full of super healthy options that are also portion controlled. Pouches are also thought to be a more sustainable solution for packaging as they’re light to ship and can be easily stacked on palates.
Brands like GoGo squeeZ and Happy Family were recently included in this trend-spotting Wall Street Journal piece and it’s no doubt that these tasty packs will continue to be exciting to media who can easily sample them on media tours and blogger events.
Quick Bites from Expo East
Massive in scale, Expo West features over 2,400 exhibitors, many of them offering delicious samples. 360PR asked editors and bloggers covering the show – and covering healthy living trends all year-long – for their most memorable bite at this year’s Expo.
Maxine Wolf, Publisher of Kiwi Magazine
“Brown Cow Cream-top Greek Yogurt in Maple was so yummy. It’s good enough to be dessert! It’s really creamy and the maple flavor is to die for. It’s a nice full fat treat that’s worth every calorie.”
Lisa Olivo, Associate Editor at Nutraceuticals World
“I’m a big fan of kefir, so I was excited to see many popular brands expanding their lines beyond cultured dairy drinks to new formats that deliver probiotics. For example, Lifeway Kefir, which has been very successful in the marketplace, introduced new Frozen Kefir Bars and freeze dried kefir melts for kids.”
Kasey Potts, Blogger at Kasey’s Kitchen
“One of my favorite things I stumbled upon at Expo West was Kelapo Coconut Oil Spray. I use coconut oil in a ton of my cooking so having it in an easy aerosol spray is so helpful! I also became strangely addicted to all the freeze-dried fruit and vegetables from “Just Tomatoes.” I’ve found myself putting them in everything!”
Image sources: www.mywheatgerm.com and http://www.feedourfamilies.com