Confession: I’m a natural products junkie.
Whenever I hear about a new better-for-you snack or a safer beauty product, I’m clamoring to get a hold of a sample to try. Luckily my job takes me to places like the Natural Products Expo, where thousands of the newest natural products are conveniently displayed for my sampling pleasure!
One of my favorite things to do at the show is to try to get a pulse on the trends. Many of the trends I saw at Expo West last spring – raw food, paleo products, gluten free, sprouted grains, added protein and probiotics are still going strong. Power ingredients like chia, quinoa, hemp, kale and acai are still showing up in products of all shapes and sizes, from meals to snacks, beverages to desserts.
At the latest Expo East in Baltimore, a few trends stood out to me as being unique. I’ll be curious to see how far they go!
Some things we expect to be savory, like chips or crackers and some things we assume are sweet. I noticed an interesting trend where typically sweet treats like flavored yogurt, snack bars or granola are giving your taste buds a savory surprise. Do you think you can handle this radical change?
Blue Hill Yogurt – At first blush, savory yogurt sounds kind of well, strange. But surprise, surprise, the mildly savory flavors of Blue Hill Yogurt (pictured above) ended up being my favorite product at the show. Made with 100% grass fed milk from small, family owned farms, Blue Hill Yogurt comes in 6 flavors: Beet, Parsnip, Sweet Potato, Carrot, Butternut Squash and Tomato. Available in some Target stores.
Mediterra Bars – When I need a filling, grab & go snack, the typical sweet cereal bar is not always what I’m in the mood for. That’s why I’m jazzed about this new line of nutrition bars based on the Mediterranean diet that includes two savory flavors – Black Olive & Walnut and Sundried Tomato & Basil. Made with pea based protein, nuts and other healthy ingredients, they hit the spot and fill me up!
Laughing Giraffe Snakarola – Granola takes a savory twist with this Curry Cashew Snakarola from Laughing Giraffe. It’s made with a short list of real food ingredients including cashews, unsweetened coconut, currants, a hint of agave and of course a nice shot of curry and a pinch of cayenne. Gluten free and certified organic too.
Edible Body Care
If it’s good enough to eat, then it’s good enough to slather on your skin too. That’s the thinking behind this new trend in skin care, aptly called farm to face. High quality food ingredients combined with other safe and nourishing ingredients for your skin make for some pretty tasty treatments!
Dairy Face – Skin care in the dairy case? Yep, when it’s made with fresh milk, that’s where it belongs. Dairy Face is a food based skin care line using live dairy cultures and other beneficial ingredients to moisturize and nourish skin. The proprietary fermentation process ensures live cultures with high counts of pre and pro-biotics, as well as Omega 3’s, made especially for skin care. Company founder Oksana (pictured above) gave me a sample of the Lavender Lovely Facial Refresher to bring back to my hotel room. After a long day at the show, it was a heavenly treat!
Buff Her Exfoliating Food Powder – Rice is the base ingredient for this line of exfoliating scrubs from Buff Her. Additional food ingredients such as beans, oats, fruits or veggies make each blend unique. Mix with water or your favorite facial oil or cleanser. My experience with the Milk & Honey for dry skin was divine!
Greenplicity – It’s a given that baby’s hands will eventually go in their mouths. So shouldn’t the products we use on babies be edible? A mom in Virginia made sure that the products for her baby were safe to eat by inventing Greenplicity – a line of cleansers, lotions and body butters made with food safe ingredients like cocoa butter and almond oil.
Chocolate as Fuel
It’s nothing new to coat an energy bar with chocolate to make it seem more like a treat but the latest trend is chocolate as superfood, not dessert – and I’m all for that!
Primal Chocolate – The mantra of the Primal Dark Chocolate Company is Chocolate: It’s Food, Not Candy. Why? Because when chocolate is made with organic, fair trade cocoa, sweetened with only organic maple sugar and mixed with only a few other quality ingredients and no nasty fillers, you’re getting a healthy food that you can feel good about eating any time of day. And just FYI – the Mint Cream Coconut Butter Cup is to die for!
Perfect Fuel Chocolate – Mix pure American ginseng and raw, organic chocolate and you’ve got a recipe for athletic endurance. After years of relying on both of those super foods before a big race, company founder Nicholas finally had the aha moment to mix them together, and Perfect Fuel Chocolate was born!
Healthy Gourmet Popsicles
Basic fruit juice popsicles are old news. But wow – are there some fun ways to jazz them up. Tea, herbs, hot peppers – you’ll be surprised what you can find in popsicles these days!
The Hyppo – Watermelon Hibiscus, Mango Habanero, Pineapple Cilantro, Avocado Coconut, Strawberry Basil…these are just a few of the many gourmet ice pop flavors from The Hyppo. I’m hoping this Florida based company expands quickly because I need to get my hands on some more of these flavors!
TeaPops – Brewed tea + pureed fruit, frozen into an easy to eat Popsicle form. Why didn’t I think of this? Deebee’s TeaPops are lightly sweetened, certified organic and come in intriguing flavors like toasted coconut, tropical mango and classic southern iced tea.
Chloe’s – Originally known for her real fruit based soft serve, Chloe’s is now available on a stick in yummy fruit flavors like blood orange, blueberry and tangerine (plus a dark chocolate too!)
Check out my Instagram feed for more pics from Expo East and other awesome natural products that have crossed my path.
Which natural products trend is your favorite?