October 6, 2014

Expo East 2014 Trends and Favorite Products

I was lucky enough to be able to attend Natural Products Expo East 2014 right in Baltimore a few weeks ago. Last year was my first time attending and was super overwhelming. Expo East  is a huge expo where brands and exhibitors come to showcase all of their products including brand new ones to industry professionals, retailers, distributors, and the press. 

This year I knew what to expect and made sure to bring a big bag for all my goodies. I thought it seemed less crowded on the floor even though I had less time to spend at the Expo than last year. I still got to try some amazing products, talk to great brands and companies, and leave with bags of swag. 

I left stuffed from samples each time and made sure to snap some photos of my favorites!  I spent most of my time in the supplement and food sections of the expo.

Natural Products Expo East 2014

Suja Juice sponsored the Press Area so I made sure to stop by each day and grab a juice from the fridge to fuel me up for walking around the Expo. They are expanding their Elements line and also have two holiday flavors I really want to try- Call me Pumpkin and Wassail to You! 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_Suja

Here's my breakdown of Natural Products Expo East 2014:

5 Biggest New Trends

1. Juices
There were lots of pressed juice companies so the trend of juicing and store-sold juices seems to only be becoming more popular.  

2. Protein 
From pea protein to cricket protein (yes, the bugs!) to protein packed snacks, protein was everywhere. 

3.Organic Chocolate
I sampled many bites of different brands of chocolate, all focusing on all-natural and organic cocoa and cacao beans. Definitely did not have to twist my arm to get me to try some chocolate. 

4. Raw Foods
This year there was a big emphasis on raw and fermented foods including kombucha, raw snacks, and even raw food beauty products!

5. Paleo
Paleo is still really trendy and natural products are not an exception. Lots of paleo-friendly snacks and foods including Steve's Paleo Goods which I finally had the chance to try. I loved their PaleoKit mixes which included jerky, nuts, and dried fruit and makes a perfect snack! 

5 Trends Not Going Away

1. Coconut Water
Still lots of booths for coconut water brands including lots of products infused with other fruits and juices such as mango and pineapple. 

2. Chia
Chia is still a big superfood and can be found in pretty much everything these days. Lots of chia drinks, snacks, cereals, bars, and even popcorn! 

3. Gluten-free everything
Most products at the expo are now gluten-free or have a gluten-free version. It's huge in the natural products industry.  I especially saw many gluten-free baking mixes and gluten-free skincare products being showcased.  

4. Popcorn
Last year I was overwhelmed with the healthy popcorn options like Angie's and KettlePop and still saw popcorn's presence at the Expo this year.  

5. Veggie Chips 
Of course I stopped by the massive Brad's Kale booth and sampled some Kale chips but I definitely saw and tasted many different kinds of vegetable chips and snacks. Brands are now branching out to different vegetables besides the more common sweet potato and adding more green veggies like brussels sprouts and snap peas.  

I was really excited to try Michele's Granola, a local company, at the expo since I buy their granola at local stores and farmers markets frequently. Their Apple Quinoa granola won  a Best New Product Showcase prize.  I  bought a bag at my local Whole Foods last week and demolished it within a week. 

Here's a look at some of my favorite products!

Natural Products Expo East 2014

Fuelforfire is a pudding-like fuel pack of simply fruit & protein! 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_dairyfreeicecream

This delicious peanut butter dairy-free ice cream from DF Mavens had a creamy consistency.

Natural Products Expo East 2014_glutenfreeUdis

I was surprised how yummy these new gluten free frozen meals from Udi's were! 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_cookiedough

This all natural, allergy-friendly cookie dough from Hampton Creek was being sampled baked as cookies or simply on spoons ready to eat. I'm all for raw cookie dough I can eat although I think having a whole container could be dangerous!

Natural Products Expo East 2014_EPICbar

These EPIC meat bars may sound a little strange, but they were so tasty-my favorite was the bison bar!

Natural Products Expo East 2014_brusselbytes

These Brussel Bytes were a delicious alternative to kale chips. 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_smartflourpizza

These Smart Flour  pizzas are literally the best-tasting frozen pizzas I've come across. I picked one up at Whole Foods for this weekend and my boyfriend agreed. I don't mess around when it comes to pizza either!

Natural Products Expo East 2014_beverages

These were some of my favorite beverages-the Coco Libre tastes so delicious with the vanilla/coconut combo!

Natural Products Expo East 2014_proteinchipsQuestNutrition

I finally got to try Quest Nutrition's newest product-these taste like baked potato chips but are packed with 21g of protein!

Natural Products Expo East 2014_ProBar

I was pleasantly surprised to find PROBAR came out with snack-sized bite versions of their meal bars and got to try some differnet flavors of their BOLT energy chews. 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_massagerRAD

This Rad Roller's massage tool was like a lacrosse ball on steroids and came in different textures. 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_gonenuts

I was eating handfuls of these Gone Nuts! raw and sprouted nut blends in mixes like Rosemary Garlic Pistachios & Almonds or Thai Curry Cashews, Almonds & Coconut! 

Natural Products Expo East 2014_zevia

Of course I had to grab an ice cold bottled Zevia!

Natural Products Expo East 2014honeystingers

The newest flavor of Honey Stinger waffles is perfect for fall and tastes just like those hard ginger cookies I love around the holidays!

Which one of these products do you want to try the most? What is the biggest natural food trend you see in stores? 


  1. Ahhh I am so jealous! I would LOVE to go to something like this! Interesting to read about the trends, and loving it so far, I am happy with all of those :) Biggest natural trend I see is with Stevia products as the sweetener.

    1. Yes Stevia and other natural sweetners were also a big trend at the Expo!

  2. Omg that sounds so cool! I'd love to go to this and try a bunch of new foods!! My favorite trend is definitely coconut water...so yummy!

    1. I love coconut water-especially the chocolate Zico!

  3. I would love to be able to attend an expo like this! I am seeing juice trends everywhere! It is getting to the point though where so many "natural" juices are still loaded with sugar and not as good for you as they are trying to advertise.

    1. I agree-I love juices but definitely something you can go overboard on!

  4. What an awesome time! Looks like you got to try ALL THE YUMMY THINGS! I like how you broke down the trends, too...cool!

  5. LOOOOOVE Expo East, it's been a few years but I really hope to go again...seriously so much fun stuff for those of us loving all things healthy. Great recap of what's here to stay!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I love attending the Expo and seeing all the new products!

  6. I can't wait for Expo West to come back to Cali, but that's not til March... So I have a long time to wait, however, before I know it, it will be back! I must try this cricket protein asap! ;)

  7. Oh my yum to so many of these!! I love the idea of brussel bites! And Harvest Snaps are the best!

    1. I'm obsessed with Harvest Snaps and the Trader Joe's brand now as a crunchy, salty snack!

  8. What a cool event! I must admit, I've never understood the appeal of coconut water. I love coconut, but the flavor is just weird to me! Maybe I just haven't found the right brand for me.

    I'm loving all the chocolate samples and that dairy-free ice cream would have been a lifesaver when I was on a dairy elimination diet for my daughter! Thanks for sharing!

    1. Coconut water isn't for everyone-I like the kind in plastic bottles better (weird, but idk?). Zico is really yummy especially their favorite flavors. Thanks for stopping by!

  9. Wow It’s really great. This is a good idea to make these yummy juices in a short time every day. Thanks for sharing..