In our first story on Natural Products Expo West we talked strictly about yogurts and coconut flakes – yogurts made from everything but cow's milk and claiming nationalities other than Greek, and how coconut flakes were showing up everywhere on the show floor.
There was, of course, many more products than those at the world's largest natural, organic and healthy products event, which filled the Anaheim (Calif.) Convention Center March 4-8. Following is a smattering of other new products that caught our eye.
Runa LLC drew a crowd to its booth, but moreso to see hunky actor Channing Tatum than to taste its namesake beverage made with guayusa, an Amazonian "super leaf." The actor took such a liking to the energy drink and to Runa's social mission (to improve the livelihoods of indigenous farmers in the Amazon) that he befriended the founders, traveled with them to the rainforest last year and invested in the company. And showed up at the show for photo ops with many swooning women.
This was the first NPEW for Hampton Creek, which garnered much media attention in the past year for its vegan Just Mayo (they don't call it mayonnaise, even though Unilever did drop its standard-of-identity lawsuit over that). In addition to original, the company rolled out more recently chipotle, garlic and sriracha flavors have. Just in time for the show, vegan Just Cookies were created.
Peas of Mind was created to find ways to get vegetables into small children, and has been succeeding with pizzas and "French fries" made from veggies. New this year are Pull-A-Parts, dunkable vegetable snacks, and Milkshake Smoothie Kits – "the nutrition of a smoothie, tastes like a milkshake."
Campbell Soup (which gave top billing at the show to its natural brands Plum Organics and Bolthouse Farms) showed its month-old organic soup line. Its 2012 acquisition debuted a new line, Bolthouse Farms Kids: smoothies, fruit tubes and vegetables snacks in flavors that should appeal to children.
"Friends don't let friends eat white flour" was the motto of Among Friends, which makes "hand-crafted baking mixes" with an emphasis on gluten-free formulations.
Litehouse Foods, launched a new line of salad dressings, Green Garden. All five are crafted with organic extra-virgin olive oil and plant-based ingredients, and all five have short, simple ingredient statements.
Korea's CJ Foods, which in 2009 bought America's Annie Chun's brand, is raising its own profile in the states with the launch of their new Seaweed Crisps, as well as importing its Bibigo line of Korean dishes based on the company's successful restaurant concept that has locations in Korea, Europe and Southern California. Bibigo will be launching their new Gochujang sauce this summer, a spicy and sweet sauce that can be used as a marinade or a dip.
One of our R&D Teams of the Year last year, Angie's Boomchickapop, branched out beyond popcorn to Boomchickapuffs – little clusters of ancient grain (quinoa, sorghum and non-GMO corn) in white cheddar, sweet & salty and sweet barbeque.
On the ingredient side, Cargill Inc.'s Specialty Seeds & Oils business launched IngreVita HO Sun (short for IngreVita High Oleic Sunflower oil), an oil blend made with high-oleic sunflower oil produced from identify-preserved, conventionally bred (non-GMO) high-oleic sunflower seeds, fish oil and proprietary antioxidants. The oil is high in EPA and DHA omega-3 fatty acids, which play an important role in heart health and brain development.