If there is one thing that’s more fun than attending Expo West & Expo East (the largest natural products trade shows in the country), it’s getting to write recaps of the show for all of you! I’ve been working in the natural products industry for about 6 years now and while my career has shifted focus more than once during that period of time, nothing brings me more joy than helping small, natural brands succeed by promoting and sharing new and innovative products with my friends and family… which includes all of you! This year, it was more evident to me than ever before that the natural products industry is taking the country (and world) by storm. Expo West has become so large that it has officially outgrown the Anaheim Convention Center and is now showcasing new brands in the Hilton next door. For the first time this year, I started to wonder what Expo might look like in 5 years time, assuming it would become so big that it could no longer be as all-encompassing as it is right now. In other words, no one could ever hold a “grocery” conference, because it would simply be too large. I think we’re all pretty confident that the natural products industry is going to continue to grow at record rates and before we know it, “natural foods” might become so large that it’s just too much for one trade show.
In the meantime, I am going to enjoy Expo East & West to the fullest and continue to promote what I believe to be the brands of the future.
Without further ado, here are just some of the MANY amazing products & brands I found at the show. I encourage you all to check out their websites, social media channels and even try some of these if they sound good to you! The only way we are going to take control of the food system in our country is if we vote with our dollars and support small brands using whole, natural ingredients.
First stop was Yoot Tea. I recently cut out coffee & caffeine in an effort to support my hormonal issues and I’ve replaced it with a delicious product called Dandy Blend, which includes dandelion root and other ingredients for a beverage that tastes pretty similar to coffee. As an added bonus, dandelion is great for liver support, which is also key to balancing hormones. Yoot Tea, which you can purchase on Amazon, makes three deliciously refreshing & minimally sweetened teas using roots! My favorite was definitely the dandelion flavor, but the other two were great as well.
Next up, ghee! I didn’t know that Fourth & Heart (previously known as Tava) were going to be at the show, but I was pleasantly surprised as I’d just purchased their ghee from Thrive Market! Fourth & Heart makes exceptionally smooth, grass-fed ghee and some amazing flavored ghees. I brought home a sample of their Madagascar Vanilla Bean and have been using it in my Dandy Blend every morning. So, so good.
I was thrilled to see my friends at Primal Kitchen Foods at the show for the first time. Their avocado-oil based mayos and dressings are basically perfect and their new dark chocolate almond collagen protein bars are pretty amazing as well. Looks like they are going to release a second flavor of the bar, so stay tuned for that!
One trend I saw all over Expo (and that you’ll see all over this post), was different types of nut milks. Many had very few ingredients and/or were made from not-so-common nuts like Macadamia and Pecan. Milkadamia sampled a macadamia milk, which was so unbelievably tasty. The unsweetened version was surprisingly sweet as well. Nut milks can be pretty bland but this one was flavorful and delicious. Plus, I am a huge fan of their packaging.
Bubba’s Fine Foods, for me, stole the show. I swear that just a few days ago I had been thinking about how I wish I could create a paleo-friendly Chex Mix. I haven’t had it in years but it was always one of my absolute favorite snacks. Low and behold, Bubba’s Fine Foods showed up at Expo West and did just that with their Original flavor. I really have yet to find a paleo snack that I love. I know that sounds crazy, but I am pretty unenthused by a lot of snack foods. This one really nailed it and I have been full on inhaling it since getting back from the show. There are a few flavors of the snack mix and they make granola that was also really tasty. You can buy Bubba’s in select retailers nationwide or online, just click here!
Mikey’s Muffins! Mikey’s has been making almond flour English Muffins but they also released a pizza crust at the show. Most gluten-free pizza crusts are made with processed flours and fillers, so it was great to see something so clean. Mikey’s Muffins are available for sale online.
Malk was another brand with clean, minimally processed nut milks which they make with sprouted, Organic nuts. The ingredients were perfect, as you can see, and the milks tasted just like they would if made at home. Thick & flavorful. Check Malk’s store locator to see if they’re available near you!
Every time I look at this picture it forces me to run to the cabinet and get a spoonful of Nikki’s Coconut Butter. I started using coconut butter recently in smoothies, but Nikki’s takes it to an entirely new level. The new flavor, cashew cookie butter was amazing. I can’t wait to try some of this with freshly cut apples, a suggestion from Nikki herself. Visit the Nikki’s Coconut Butter website to find a store near your or purchase online!
Salty Girl Seafood caught my eye with their adorable packaging. I am always on a mission to eat more salmon and Salty Girl’s frozen, easy to cook filets would make such an easy dinner. Plus, you know exactly where the fish you are eating came from, with all of the information on the back of the package. Love it. Head to their website to find out more about buying these!
And because no one can ever have too much nut milk… Pop & Bottle was another fave. Their packaging was maybe the most Instagram-Worthy at the show. Again, very few, minimally processed ingredients and innovative flavors. Apparently these are now sold in San Diego so I can’t wait to stock up!
Rebbl makes some ridiculously good dairy-free beverages (their matcha and turmeric milk are my two favorites) that I buy often at Whole Foods. At the show they released two vegan protein varieties! Now that I’ve eliminated whey protein from my diet, I am always on the hunt for vegan protein sources that aren’t grainy and funky tasting. These were neither. Excited for them to hit the shelves!
By far my favorite potato chip flavor is barbecue. When my favorite flavor and favorite potato chip company, Jackson’s Honest, come together, magic happens. For some crazy reason these aren’t new but I have yet to see them in the stores I shop at. Nothing beats potato chips fried in coconut oil so I will have to look a little harder next time. You can also purchase some varieties of Jackson’s Honest on Thrive Market.
I’ve been a fan of Revive Kombucha for about 5 years now, back when they were only available in Northern California. Their OG flavor was #1 on my list for a long time until they released their Campfire variety. I drink a whole lot of kobucha, but Revive has consistently put out top notch products. These used to be sold in returnable bottles with a pop cap, but Revive is eliminating that everywhere but NorCal and switching to smaller bottles with a CRV. I will certainly miss the other bottles, but if this shift helps Revive reach more people across the country, I am 100% on board.
Epic Provisions had a few stellar product releases. New meat snacks and jerky bites, bone broth and my personal favorite, cooking fats! I can’t wait to get my hands on some of this. Their salmon jerky bites were also great and I may or may not have eaten an entire bag yesterday!
Kettle & Fire. Where to start. First of all, their beef bone broth is really, really tasty. I’ve had mixed experiences with bone broth but this one hits the nail on the head. Not only that, but Kettle & Fire is the very first shelf-stable bone broth company to make grass-fed, pasture-raised bone broth. No more defrosting, no more plastic bags, no more crazy shipping costs. Kettle & Fire makes it so easy for you to get high-quality bone broth really quickly and without so much hassle. They were also sampling some chicken broth that will be hitting the market soon! You can purchase Kettle & Fire on Thrive Market.
Living Intentions debuted gorgeous new packaging along with these new Activated popcorns. Popcorn with superfoods? Yes please.
Another company I’ve been a huge fan of for a long time is Hail Merry. Their gluten-free, paleo-friendly coconut oil tarts are exceptional and they continue to innovate with new products and flavors. This year they sampled a few lower sugar options and the sweet potato was by far my favorite. Also from Hail Merry were 2 flavors of nut hummus. I eat chickpeas occasionally but for the most part, I don’t really eat a ton of hummus because I know it upsets my stomach. These nut-based dips were really good and I could definitely see it becoming a staple. Hoping to see these products hit the shelves soon!
Onion chips? Yep. Dang Foods, the makers of delicious coconut chips just released onion chips made out of sliced onions. Such a tasty, low-carb snack. There wasn’t one flavor I didn’t love.
I’m not sure why, but recently I have been craving Asian soups. The only problem is, these soups are normally so rich in flavor that it takes a long time and a long list of ingredients to create a truly authentic broth. Nona Lim makes this part easy. Simply add your favorite soup ingredients to the already-prepared broth and voila, dinner is served. The Thai Curry & Lime was the standout for me. Purchase Nona Lim online!
I know I am really late to the party, but I only recently discovered Simple Mills. I’ve purchased their almond flour cookie mix twice now. Yes, I make my own cookies too but sometimes you just need something quick and easy. I was really excited to see two brand new almond flour crackers as well. There definitely need to be more paleo-friendly crackers on the market! These get a thumbs up from me. I promise you’d be hard pressed to find baking mixes and crackers with this few ingredients.
New Barn, who’s almond milk I recently tried for the first time, (again, almost homemade with minimal ingredients), were sampling new ice creams! I was sad the Cereal flavor wasn’t gluten-free, but the other flavors were pretty great as well!
This was another instance in which Expo West must have been reading my mind. Right before I left for the show I had ordered a bunch of ingredients from Amazon to create my own charcoal toothpaste, thanks to my friend Monica from The Movement Menu‘s recommendation. Of course before I even have the time to create it, I find My Magic Mud at the show. This product contained basically all of the ingredients I was going to add to my homemade version. I was thankfully able to take a sample home with me, so I promptly returned the ingredients I’d gotten on Amazon! It’s taken a few days to get used to brushing something so dark in color, but I am excited to see what difference it makes in the health and color of my teeth! You can purchase Magic Mud on Amazon.
What if I told you you could find a protein bar that derived all of its protein from sprouted watermelon seeds? I know, it sounds really crazy but that’s what Go Raw has done. Each bar contains 12g of protein and a ton of raw, nutritious ingredients making this product a game changer. They were SO delicious too. Can’t wait for these to officially hit shelves.
I’ve tried a couple versions of coconut milk yogurt and they are, for the most part, not that great. Either way too many ingredients, liquidy or both. Coyo was nothing of the sort. This yogurt was not only made with minimal, simple ingredients but it was thick, creamy and delicious. There was also a chocolate flavor and let’s be honest, who can pass up chocolate yogurt? Not me. I really can’t wait until they expand into more stores because I will be buying these by the truck load.
After meeting the amazing family behind Siete Foods for the first time last year at Paleof(x), I have been obsessed with their products, story and mission. I was beyond excited to try their new cassava & coconut tortillas. Their almond flour tortillas will always be one of my favorites, but this new product is taking the spotlight for me right now. There is no other company out there that is creating cassava-flour based products that are paired with healthy cooking fats like pasture-raised lard and other minimally processed ingredients. The best news I heard from the Siete booth? They were accepted into the Southern Pacific region of Whole Foods, meaning I will be able to buy them whenever I want! So exciting for my friends & their growing company!
Kid Licks was something I ran into just as I was leaving. As we all know, nail polish is full of really dangerous and toxic chemicals. For kids, this can be exceptionally harmful. Kid Licks has released just what it sounds like… nail polish you can lick! This nail polish & 100% edible and comes in a variety of colors. Definitely looking forward to trying this out. I might lick it all off though, just cause I can.
Although I wasn’t able to grab a photo while I was at their booth, I had to snap a pic of this gorgeous glass bottle by Love Bottle. After eliminating plastic containers, bottles, etc. in an effort to balance my hormones, I have been searching for a water bottle just like this. The size is perfect and the bottle is just gorgeous. Check out Love Bottle online!
Wildway was another brand I forgot to snap a photo of on-site, but I was REALLY excited about these oat-free, grain-free hot cereals. Making this at home requires a lot of ingredients, time and cleanup. The fact that I can pour this straight into a bowl with hot water or almond milk and have it ready in seconds… well that’s pretty irresistible. I’ve also been trying to minimize my sugar intake lately and these are thankfully, really low in sugar. The moderate sweetness they do have comes from dates! Take a look at Wildway’s store locator to see if they are near you. I for one am really excited for them to expand to San Diego!
Although I don’t have photos, there are a few other brands and products I want to mention…
Vital Proteins, who I buy all of my collagen and gelatin from, released a marine collagen product! I am really looking forward to trying it out and seeing how it differs from the beef collagen I normally buy.
Cappellos, who makes paleo-friendly cookies, pastas and pizza were showcases a few new cookie varieties! They probably won’t hit the market until later this summer/fall, but I will be first in line when they hit the shelves.
Suja Juice was showcasing their new line of cold-pressed Probiotic Waters. We were just starting to develop these when I stopped working at Suja last summer, so I have been holding my breath for these to finally hit the market. They are really refreshing, made with leftover cold-pressed & Organic juice pulp and are packed with gut-healthy probiotics. You can purchase these online or at Target!
Lastly, after chatting with Acure at the show, they recommended three of their products for treating acne scarring and skin discoloration. I am going to be trying their Radical Resurfacing Treatment and their Cell Stimulating Facial Mask and will let you know what I think when I write more about my skin and hormone journey in a couple months! They also gave me a sample of their new Tightening Eye Contour Gel which I can already tell is making a huge difference in reducing puffiness!
Like I said… this is just a small sampling of the amazing brands and products I found at Expo West. As the show expands and the industry grows, more and more brands are launching and creating products that are less and less processed. It’s such a humbling experience to watch the grocery industry change before my eyes and I can’t wait to see what the future holds!
Are you interested in learning about ways you can work with Anya’s Eats to grow your small, natural products brand? Click here!