Top Trends at Natural Products Expo West 2019
Plants Gone Wild
More and more people are evolving the Meatless Monday trend into Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and beyond. While true vegans and vegetarians are still a small segment of the population, a growing segment describe themselves as “flexitarians” who are trying to consume less meat for a variety of health, environmental and sustainability reasons.
Meat analogs have gained a lot of attention recently with launches from Beyond Meat, Impossible Burger and Good Catch. Thanks to science, these products deliver plant-based interpretations of meat that replicate the taste, texture, and appearance of traditional meat and even seafood! And for those not ready to leap into vegetarian versions of their favorite burgers and sausages, there’s an emerging category of blended meats that include a combination of traditional meat with vegetables, grains or beans.
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The Beyond Burger continues to be my OG favorite for it’s smoky flavor and juicy patty colored with beet juice. New this year is Beyond Beef, which replicates traditional ground beef, lending versatility to this pea-protein meat analog. On the blended front, Teton Waters Ranch recently launched Burger Blends patties that are made with grass-fed beef and mushrooms. As a mushroom lover, I was immediately sold on the big flavor and didn’t notice a significant textural difference. 'Shrooms alone were another popular ingredient showing up everyone at Expo.
Good Catch Plant-Based Tuna (such a killer replica) — Just Eggs Plant-Based Eggs (texture on point, but flavor needs work) — Oat Milks from Elmhurst — Quaker and Pacific Foods
A Microbiome Feeding Frenzy: Probiotics on Fleek
Whole Foods included probiotics in their list of top trends and it was clear at Expo that probiotics are getting the same fanfare that protein has been receiving the past couple of years. Consumers are increasingly interested in digestive health and seeking probiotics beyond traditional yogurts.
In particular, new strains of probiotics are making shelf-stable application possible in everything from granolas to nut butters to soups. Expect for probiotics to infiltrate other unexpected categories like cleaners and skincare, too.
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The most surprising source of probiotics for me? A line of probiotic cleansing tonics from Counter Culture. In the same way probiotics work to clean your digestive track, they also help to break down dirt and grease. Who knew?
For a more expected (and delicious) source of probiotics, you absolutely MUST try Clio Greek yogurt bars. These bars are like decadent cheesecake. Made with full-fat Greek yogurt (remember fat = friend) dipped in a thin layer of chocolate (sugar = foe) with only 150 calories and 8g of protein.
Gutzy Fruit & Botanical Snacks — Odwalla Smoobucha Smoothie and Kambucha Blend — Culture Repupblik Probiotic Ice Cream — Mother Dirt Probiotic Skincare
What are your thoughts on the show and the future of food? Anything I missed? What new developments are you celebrating (or shunning)?
Let’s keep the dialogue going!
Published March 18, 2019.
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