Trends in the Natural Products Industry

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What’s hot in “natural” foods?

Take a look at what Claudia D. O’Donnell, Chief Editor of Prepared Foods, spotted recently at the Natural Products Expo West — the world’s largest natural and organics products trade show.


These types of trade shows are one of the best ways to identify trends.

Here are some of the trends Claudia found among the offerings of over 1,800 exhibitors.

  • Beverages
  • Gluten-free baked goods
  • Açai
  • Probiotics (many products quantified microbial levels)
  • Nutrition bars
  • Yogurts (many were Greek-type)
  • Kefir-based products
  • Ready-to-drink dietary supplements for brain health (often mentioning relaxation)
  • Products for immunity
  • Virgin coconut oil (anything coconut, such as beverages, coconut milk-based ice cream and fat-replacer pastes)
  • Natural sweeteners, such as agave nectars/syrups
  • Omegas and dietary fiber
  • Lavender flavoring, which showed up in salad dressing and ice cream

Some products combined trends:

  • Turtle Mountain’s certified gluten-free, Coconut Milk Kefir with 10 Coconut_Kefir_StrawberryActive & Live Cultures, which also noted it was rich in MCFAs (medium-chain fatty acids).

Other interesting products:

Marathon of Miracles’ Baked Cashews in Added Calcium and Added Fiber varieties

Stone-Buhr’s Find the Farmer bakery mixes, which allow one to locate the farms from where grains for the flours were obtained (go to www.findthefarmer.com);

Jans’ 100% juices, in varieties such as lychee and soursop

SunOpta’s frozen Garden Green Garbanzos, with the label claims of “heart healthy,” “boosts immunity,” “provides energy” and “supports weight loss.”

Perky Jerky, a guarana-flavored, caffeinated beef jerky

perky-jerky-caffeinated-beef-jerky-2

Claudia concluded with this interesting side note of the meeting:

An undercurrent of the shifting regulatory landscape was also felt. An effigy of John McCain, who promoted and then withdrew his support of bill S. 3002 (which would impact dietary supplement regulations), was seen hanging over a toilet in one booth. Rumor also had it the FDA was “out in force” at the show, gathering information on products. As always, the show continues to both entertain and educate.

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