Top trends to watch at Expo West

18 Feb 2022

From the foodification of supplements to mission-driven commerce, trendspotters at Natural Products Expo West have identified the top 10 trends shaping the US healthy food industry.

Natural Products Expo West, one of the biggest events in the natural products industry, will meet for the first time in three years in Orange County, California, March 8th – 12th. The floor is abuzz with sampling, tasting, and learning about the latest innovations. This is where trend patterns emerge.

Top trends to watch at Expo West

Before every Natural Products Expo the trendspotters at New Hope Network review brands registered to exhibit on the expo floor against the 50+ trends shaping the industry. The result is the Natural Products Expo West 2022 NEXT Trend Guidebook. A curated list of exhibitors that standout and innovate within the industry’s hottest trends. This guidebook details the key macro forces with their corresponding trends, and a focused list of companies with their category and link to their website.

Attending Expo or not, the guidebook showcases and illustrates the industry’s trends unfolding in the US marketplace, particularly beneficial for those needing to understand US trends. The trend guide helps industry stakeholders familiarize themselves with the 50 distinct trends nested under 17 macro forces, culminating from three paradigm-shifting cultural forces disrupting the US consumer packaged goods industry.

Here is a sneak peak of the top ten trends unfolding around Natural Products Expo West 2022 in- person and virtual.

Eat More Plants
From omnivores to vegans, the goal is to incorporate more nutrient-dense plants in the diet. Brands are creatively catering to picky children avoiding spinach and broccoli, adventurous adults seeking the latest exotic plant superstar, and consumers seeking meat and dairy alternatives.
Multi Stakeholder
Brands that were not necessarily formed with the mission to solve poverty, hunger, or environmental problems but are rethinking how they conduct business by aiming beyond profits and reducing negative impact on people and planet.
Clean Label
Simplification is a means to rebuilding trust. Brands are stripping out unpopular ingredients, creating simple ingredient lists and addressing all the clean-up efforts behind their products.
Sugar Vilified
The industry is fractured on how to deal with the negative turmoil surrounding sugar and innovation is multipronged with low glycaemic food-based sweeteners, zero calorie alternatives, or redefining the sensation of sweet cravings with new flavours (savoury, bitter) and formats (sparkling).
Nutrition Meets Convenience
Make it simple but make it nutritious. Whether it’s incorporating medicinal benefits through food, foodification of supplements, or using the latest medicinal herb, innovation in convenience-focused brands are trying to bring nutrition back to the category.
Mission-Driven Commerce
Brands in this space are represented by radical change-makers doing the hard work to create a product or brand with a focused goal to improve how commerce is conducted by addressing social or environmental issues.
Diversifying Ownership
The faces behind the majority shareholder in a brand is shifting. Whether it be through types of employee-owned models, or new enterprises with BIPOC, Latinx, or Asian-American founders, entrepreneurs are diversifying what ownership looks like.
Waste Reduction
Brands and businesses are stepping up with clever ideas to reduce and remove waste along various steps and corners in the supply chain. Through by-product turned value add or ingredient optimization ideation, waste otherwise known as a pollutant turns into energy or edible food.
Sourcing Responsibly
Working to mitigate the extractive tendencies of our food system many brands are operating with greater sourcing intention. In order to deliver quality ingredients, transparent and direct trade relationships are formed.
Plant-based Ethics
The ugly side-effects of the livestock industry are drivers for consumers opting for more plants as they either reduce or avoid animal-based foods entirely.

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