Five Noteworthy Brands from Day Two at Expo West 2018

March 10th, 2018

Our day two at Expo West was jam-packed with visiting hot brands like Coconut Cult, and hearing from leaders like John Foraker and Jennifer Garner from Once Upon a Farm, and Seth Kaufman from PepsiCo.

If you’ve been to Expo West before, you probably know that day two Expo feeling…insight overload! We’ll be digging into our findings and developing our official trend update reports, but here are a few themes we’ve put together so far…

Update: Our 2018 Expo West Trends and Insights Report has been officially released. Download the report here.

Nutrition for All

John Foraker and Jennifer Garner of Once Upon a Farm and Seth Kaufman of PepsiCo both shared passionately about their separate visions for providing healthy options for ALL consumers, “not just those in particular zip codes or income brackets,” in Kaufman’s words. Foraker poignantly said, “there were lots of fresh pet food options but none for babies!” Kaufman shared about PepsiCo’s portfolio “renovation” and how they desire to go beyond removal of negatives (like dyes, etc) to the incorporation of healthy, wholesome ingredients, including functional ingredients to drive nutrient density.

Clean Label Caution

We heard three times within 24 hours about the responsibility of food and bev products and manufacturers to not game the system by having “great” claims, but include ingredients that are ultimately harmful to consumers. This is especially important in the era of the “low-fat debacle” where consumer trust has been eroded because fat was replaced with sugar and salt for the sake of a “clean label.” More attention and call to action was emphasized this year than ever before.

Sustainability & Regenerative Options

There is a growing consumer demand for products that support sustainability at any/every point in the supply chain and regenerative agricultural practices. New Hope NEXT study showed that consumer desire outpaces current investor interest. Brands should be aware that this consumer demand will continue to grow.

Here are five notable brands from our second day on the floor:

Coconut Cult: We were really excited to check this product out at Expo (with it’s online “cult” following) this year and it did not disappoint. We tried a flight of three flavors (mango, original coconut, coconut cream) and were really impressed with the flavors and health benefits from this tasty probiotic.

All Good: All Good (natural skincare line) heals skin, is B Corporation certified and customer purchases support environmental restoration and education projects through a partnership with 1% For the Planet.

Vermont Village: Vermont Village, a sipping vinegar company, released a new product that included popular, functional ingredients like charcoal, honey, and raw and organic apple cider vinegar hitting on fermentation benefits that help with gut health and detoxification.

Bonafide: Bonafide, a popular bone broth brand, just released a line of shelf-stable soups that not only deliver on the healing benefits of bone broth, but also taste great. Including their original bone broth recipe, along with organic vegetables and organic dairy from grass-raised cows, we found this to be a really interesting execution for bone broths.

Ona: This traditionally “healthy cookie” brand just launched a new Almond Coconut protein bar that had a really unique texture, unlike other protein bars we’ve tried in the past. Including probiotic ingredients and no added sugar, we think this is a great new protein bar option.

We’ll continue to post more via our social channels and on our blog as we hit the floor for our day three! Thanks for following along! 

Tweet at @thegaragegroup if you are interested in hearing about any particular booths, trends, or products. Consider us your eyes on the floor!

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