Expo West 2020 Preview

Regenerative Agriculture, Tackling Waste, and Fiber

Natural Products Expo West is the world’s largest gathering around natural, organic, and healthy products. 

The 2020 trade show is less than three weeks away, and producer New Hope Network has shared that themes we can expect to be prevalent include sustainable packaging, regenerative agriculture, and responsible sourcing. We’ll be at Expo West (for the fourth consecutive year), digging into and identifying consumer pain points and Jobs to be Done from these themes (and more); they’re beyond infancy, and we are seeing them come to market in solutions from both startups and BigCos.

Decreasing Food & Materials Waste

As consumers push back against both food and materials waste, brands are innovating with packaging that minimizes and even eliminates waste altogether. In CPG, brands are developing mono-dose solutions for everyday personal care products. Nohbo’s Drops has developed the world’s first single-use, water-soluble packages which are shipping to consumers this month. Since the material encasing each Drop is natural and comprised of mostly food-grade ingredients, we can’t help but be excited about the possibility for similar solutions in Food & Beverage. Our dot-connecting minds are eager to work with brands who may be interested in solving for a similar Job To Be Done in an adjacent or analogous category.  

Regenerative Agriculture Ecosystems

Regenerative Agriculture discussions have been at the forefront at Expo West for a few years; 2017 and 2018 Expo West educational sessions featured nods to the importance of next-gen farming techniques, but the conversation increased in 2019 and we anticipate it to trend upward in 2020. Regenerative Agriculture practices represent doing good for the soil and farmer, instead of short-sighted practices that favor short-term yields above all else. According to Phil Taylor of Mad Agriculture, the farming industry is in crisis, with more farmers committing suicide and facing their lowest profits since 1983. Brands are partnering with farmers to make changes all the way through the supply chain. and its mission is to encourage thoughtful and intentional farming practices resulting in an earth that is thriving. BigCo’s are exploring farming practices that support regenerative agriculture ecosystems such as the pilot program recently launched by General Mills

Responsible Sourcing

Responsible sourcing aims to ensure that food supplies have staying power and that today’s food production is not depleting the food supplies of future generations. And that mindset is one of the contributors to the plant-based trend in Food & Bev and CPG. Seaweed is one example of a plant that consumes few natural resources and grows rapidly, making it a hero ingredient for responsible sourcing. 

Other topics and trends we expect to see at  Expo West:

CBD, CBD, and more CBD

For the third year in a row, CBD will be front and center at Natural Products Expo West next month as its use continues to trend in food & beverage, supplements, and beauty. Read more >>>>

Nostalgia made better for you 

Retro offerings are trending and winning with consumers of all ages as Boomers wax nostalgic and Millennials value authenticity (did you see Dunkaroos made a comeback recently?) At the same time, consumers continue to seek better nutritional profiles and functional benefits in the foods and beverages they consume and that contribute to their holistic health. We’ve already seen startups solving for this tension, and we anticipate seeing more. Read more >>>>  

Fiber in the spotlight

Consumers wanted more protein in their diets, and brands responded over the past few years with offerings – animal- and plant-based – in many forms of food and beverages. It is easy for shoppers to get the protein they need these days; fiber is another story, and consumers are recognizing a need for it. New Hope Network has just published an infographic which touts the role of protein paired with fiber in helping consumers feel satiated, energized, and well physically and emotionally.

Traditional Chinese Medicine

An extension of the plant-based trend, herbal remedies literally rooted in ancient Chinese practices and remedies are becoming available in easy to ingest forms. IN:TOTALWELLNESS offers specific supplements to ease stress, promote restful sleep, and ease pain. The brand’s natural formulas contain adaptogens and antioxidants. Chica delivers hormonal balance and relief from menstrual pain to women with its chocolate bars containing a blend of Chinese herbs that improve circulation and mood.

We’ll be at Expo West, digging into the themes above and more; reach out to connect during the conference in Anaheim. We will be sharing multiple reports in March and April with insights into themes, trends, notable launches, consumer needs, and ingredients from the show.

Headed out to Expo and want to connect? Drop us a line!  

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