The 34th annual Natural Products Expo took place this past weekend in Anahiem, Ca and it was bigger and better than ever. There were over 70,000 out of town attendees (thats as big as Burning Man!) and a million square feet of show floor. Its massive to say the least, and is the Comic-Con of the health food sector. Basically- its awesome.
This expo reminds me of what it was like to be a kid at christmas- everyone brought you a gift, or in this case- as many free samples as you can carry. This event is not open to the public but I had the priveledge of attending as “press,” or as a blogger, freelance writer and social media influener – pick your title. I wasn’t alone either- some of my favorite healthy food bloggers and instagramers were in attendance and I can confidently say that this industry is finally aware of the power of the blogger. We were treated very kindly and many companies were eager to collaborate or send us free samples so we would write about them.
It is easy to see that the world is shifting and people are becoming more and more aware of what they are putting in their and their childrens bodies. Consumers, myself included, are wanting to see cleaner, simpler ingredients in packaged food items and the industry is responding. As importance as the shift is I find it lame that even Herseys annouced last month that they are re-formulating their products to be “cleaner.” No offense to Hersey’s but I doubt I will reach for their product because it is a “healthier option.” Nice try. That is as silly as Crisco releasing 100% organic coconut oil. Not kidding – I am NOT buying it. I would like to believe that these companies are actually interested in no longer posining their customers with cheap, toxic ingredients for higher profit and actually interested in providing higher quality ingredients for the health of people and the planent but I believe they are only trying not to lose their market share. For that reason I am very apprehensive of their efforts to change “for the better.”
As the vail is lifted off of the dirty deeds of big agricultural and food companies, Grass-Fed everything was all around. Hello, trend. Meat, obviously, to yogurt, ice cream, and butter will be entering your super market in strides very soon. This trend is good news for cows and anyone who eats meat as it is healther and better for the enviornment. I was also surprised to see so many vegan seafoods including tuna fish, shrimp, and fish fillet. Aside from one made with mashed chickpeas-I did not like any of them even a little bit so for the time being I will stick to tofu. Speaking of tofu- that is one of the many items being added to the category of “sprouted” and people are starting to turn their ears up to the buzz word. Are you listening too? Get ready for a surge in the number of sprouted items available.
Overall the show was fantastic and I am really excited to put together my best of show, and favorite new products blog posts. Please stay tuned for those!