The Vegetarian Resource Group Blog

Natural Products Trends at Natural Products Expo West

Posted on March 14, 2011 by Samantha Gendler, Senior Editor

The Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim was in six (count ‘em, six) Halls this year. Seemed like about 2 1/2 halls devoted to actual food, one hall to nutritional supplements and the remainder to “living.”

Dried seaweed snacks from Korea and Japan were big — lots of booths showing these, as was popcorn — popcorn chips, popcorn cakes (sort of like second generation Rice Krispie treats), and lots of gluten, lactose, nut-free products.

Soy wasn’t so big, but hemp was — hemp milk, hemp cheese, hemp bread and crackers, even a hemp yogurt and frozen dessert.

Didn’t seem to have a lot of emphasis on “vegan” or “veggie” — more towards the “-free” (so, marketing more of a dairy-free, egg- free, whey- and lactose-free “cheese” ravioli, rather than calling it “vegan”- although it is labeled “vegan” and “kosher.”)

Not a lot of synthetic meats — more on the ethnic, veggie side, such as ready-to-eat falafel, vegetable fritters or patties, sweet potato patties, vegan-stuffed pastas or potato dumplings (although billed as the “-free” stuff, rather than vegan).

Water and tea in every conceivable form and packaging was a big deal.

And, as you can imagine, green, green, green!

Hain had an enormous booth. Soy Dreams was pushing almond and coconut frozen desserts a lot.

Jyoti was showing two new products, Mung Dal with spinach, and Channa Dal with zucchini.

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