Digesting Expo West: 5 Noteworthy Observations

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March 22, 2024
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ANAHEIM, Calif. – “We had fun!” – that was a frequent sentiment among attendees at Natural Products Expo West 2024 recently.

According to Tastewise, the Expo West trade show grew by 100.5% relative to last year in social discussion. Clearly, the 2024 event was a success.

Anecdotally, many attendees mentioned they felt the event was busier than previous years.  Other consistent feedback I heard was that seemingly everything tasted better. In addition to what we typically see with line extensions, Simple Mill’s Lemon Seed & Nut Flour Sweet Thins were delicious. With new innovations like French Squirrels Peanut Butter with Dates, we also saw established brands like Lily’s reformulating their dark chocolate products. These are indeed conscious efforts from brands making the products taste delicious.

Here were five key takeaways I had from Expo West 2024:

1. Regenerative Leading The Way

More brands are elevating their commitment and communication in Regenerative Organic Certification. We will definitely see more brands coming on board as more consumers are educated about soil health, biodiversity and how regenerative agriculture is better for the earth and communities. Some standout brands in this segment:

  • Atlantic Sea Farms regenerative kelp burgers, smoothie kit
  • Big Tree Soy Free Teriyaki sauce with Coco Aminos
  • Better Buckwheat crackers
  • Simpli with a line of Regenerative Organic Certified seeds and beans

2. Dates Everything

There’s a movement of consumers moving away from sugar free and zero sugar and looking for a sweet balance with treats that are sweetened with dates. Dates proliferated at Expo West, with many exciting new innovations.

  • Chocolate Bon Applesweet date sweetened chocolate (sweet but not sugar coated)
  • Joolies Date Pops, a line of date and nut bites
  • French Squirrel Peanut Butter with pieces of California Medjool dates

3. Women’s Health

There was a visible push for women’s health this year across many innovative brands. The visual brand identity on many of these brands was beautifully showcased in Anaheim. Women’s health should not be a stigma, of course, and these brands are telling great stories about why everyone should care.

  • Mixhers Hormone friendly supplements that you sip
  • Winged Women’s Wellness vegan gummies with stress support
  • Tea Botanics with a line of tea for menopause

4. The New Mediterranean Wave

The Mediterranean diet re-emerged as a prominent theme at the show this year. The health benefits of Mediterranean ingredients like olive oil are well chonicled. There were many brands showcasing the deliciousness of chickpeas, hummus and dips with a new twist.

  • Anne’s Toum Mediterranean garlic dips and spreads
  • Ithaca Hummus (lemon garlic and lemon dill)
  • Haluana Mediterranean made easy with chickpea snacks, shakshuka

5. Asian Snacks Ascend

A continued expansion on Asian snacks this year highlighted kimbap, boba, dumplings and chili crisp with delicious innovation in this space. Vietnamese coffee brands are educating consumers about the beans’ sourcing story and how Vietnam is the second largest producer of coffee beans globally after Brazil.

  • Kimbap was the star, with many delicious award-winning innovations from Konscious Kimbap, Gutflex Kimbap Ricebowl, and Unlimeat Bulgogi Kimbap
  • Boba is the new CPG beverage darling, with Lunar Lifts clean protein powder that tastes just like your favourite bubble tea flavours, or DaoHer Boba crème brulee boba
  • Delicious chili flavors like: Bowlcut Spicy Chili Crisps, Hot Jiang Chili Oil Crisp, and Mr Bing Chili Crisp
  • Great Vietnamese coffee, from cold brew to whole beans at Café Saigon, and Nguyen

Congratulations to New Hope on another fantastic Expo West event. Attendees left the show inspired by all the entrepreneurs and brands, due to their boundless creative spirit and energy.

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