While I was in Baltimore not too long ago, I had the opportunity to attend the Natural Products Expo (#ExpoEast) before FitBloggin. Brittany and I both had press passes so after we stopped by the media area, we did some snacking on some Udi’s goodies from the Blogger Lounge, and hit the expo floor. The Expo was absolutely massive and a bit overwhelming but a ton of fun. Brittany actually did a great post and video about it - I highly recommend checking it out!
We tried SO many different brands and samples – both of new products and some old favorites. I’ve got tons of goodies to go through and will be posting some reviews of my favorite products soon. In the meantime, here are some of the highlights:
- brand new flavors from Chobani that were delicious (the fig with orange and banana were my favorite). - Delicious nut and coconut butters from Artisana (my favorite was the Blue Algae – it reminded me of Fruity Pebbles). Their coconut butter was also unbelievably good. - The Razzle Dazzle from PB Crave – unbelievably rich!
- Everything from Wild Squirrel - the vanilla espresso almond butter is DANGEROUS. Seriously. - Everything from Coconut Bliss – I could have eaten my bodyweight in this (and may do that sometime soon). They have always been one of my favorite ice cream companies and their flavors are so good! - Tons of different brands of kale chips – all of them delicious!
We both noticed a lot of trends in the types of products that were being released and Brittany did a great job covering these in her post. Some other things I noticed were:
- There were TONS of gluten-free products. I've never seen so many gluten-free brands in one location - there were tons of companies I've never even heard of! - There is a focus on attractive packaging that is bright, clean, and modern. None of the products had the typical "health food" vibe or packaging - it was all about modern visual appeal.
- There was a big focus on unexpected/nontraditional flavor combinations which was refreshing. - I saw so many new, small companies that were churning out great products. I love supporting small and local companies so it was great to see that so many successful new businesses.
We pretty much ate our way through the Expo and each came back with bags that were overflowing with samples – our shoulders were actually sore from carrying it around that day! Suffice it to say, I will not have a shortage of snacks for a while. Overall, #ExpoEast was a ton of fun and I really enjoyed seeing and learning about all of the new products. It's great to see a big focus on gluten-free foods in the mainstream market - especially by smaller companies who are putting out genuinely good, natural products. I honestly could have spent the entire weekend there and not hit every single booth - I guess that's just an excuse to attend in the future ;-)
See you later this week for a paleo & vegan ice cream recipe!