Our Trip to Natural Product Expo East!

Hi everyone!  Marketing Account Manager, Natalia here.  Just wanted to post a quick update on one of our favorite events of the year that we recently attended… Baltimore’s Natural Products Expo East, where we learned about the industry’s hottest brands and new products! (Being able to sample all of them wasn’t too shabby either)  It was a great way for us to keep up with the latest food trends… everything from unique granola concoctions, coconut water, chips made of beans, teas with special powers, coconut water, gluten-free this, no sweeteners-that, oh and there was a coconut water brand there too.

We discovered companies with inspiring stories and passionate founding backgrounds, like Runa, who’s tea brand is aligned with the culture and values of the Ecuadorian community, which supplies their main tea ingredients. We saw some incredibly elaborate exhibitor booths, our favorite one being the Pirate’s Booty booth, where I had the honor of ringing the infamously loud pirate’s bell (see picture above).  Okay fine, some guy dressed as a pirate dared me to do it…But my fellow colleague who was sweet enough to document this won’t get off that easy… here she is with the Panda Liquorice:

Anyway, here’s a brief synopsis of the current industry trends from our Expo experience:  minimal ingredients, Eco-friendly packaging, portion control snacks, ethnic influences, “free-from” foods.  New age carbs now have great protein sources… hemp, quinoa, kale, you name it!  Vegetables have suddenly become the most delicious snack… spinach chips, dried peas, crispy beets, yum!  When popular culture pushes Splenda and Equal, the Natural Food Expo answers back with Monk Fruit and Agave sweeteners.  Get ready for 2012- All natural.  All delicious!

Want more info on this expo?  Here’s the rundown: Natural Products Expo East is the largest natural, organic and healthy products trade show on the East Coast, and draws up to 25,000 international industry professionals 1,500 booths showcasing the latest trends and new product launches including: organic products, natural gourmet, health and beauty, pet products, supplements, and natural living.  Hope to see you there next year!