Natural Expo West 2017

At the Love Grown booth with DogsofService and vegangirl4ever

At the Love Grown booth with DogsofService and vegangirl4ever

Per usual Natural Expo West is the craziest time of year, but of course this year I had to one-up myself and do all three days! So get ready for my favorite NEW products of 2017!
In no particular order and excluding favorite brands that may not have had new items this year, but still have lots of love for! You can also check out past Natural Expo West experiences under the Klean Buzz tab.  

 

Follow Your Heart
REVOLUTIONARY! Squeezable pancake mix and ready to scramble liquid VeganEgg! The biggest pains of both (which aren't even that painful to begin with) have been eliminated! 

 

Beyond Meat
Their products are always the cause for commotion (the good kind) and the Beyond Burger is no different. It has taken meat alternative patties to the next level and well, beyond. 

 

Violife
The 1 out of 2 most talked about cheeses in the US is not even from the US! Violife has kept the buzz going all the way from Greece for years and are sick of waiting on the sidelines, we want the cheese! Violife is game-changing and their new additions like the Halloumi and Mature Cheddar are exceptional. Keep an eye out, I have a feeling they will make their debut soon.

 

Miyoko's Kitchen
I can't talk about Violife and not speak about Miyoko. An exceptional, gourmet cheese company that just released a Smoked Vegan Mozz to go with it's simpler Vegan Mozz counterpart. A traditional mozzarella di bufalo option that brings the smokey, the melt and the richness. 

 

Sheesh Cheese
The 2nd cheese making waves from over yonder is Sheesh. Its been around for a while, since 1988 to be exact, but is still elusive to the States. This year, I was blown away by their newly developed blue cheese. One of the toughest flavors to recreate in my opinion. On top of the blue cheese, they have added a new greek style feta and new cheese slices.  All better than I remember them being.

 

Rishi Organic Tea
Easy green tea powder to-go (perfect for traveling) and a new Turmeric Ginger formula (perfect for inflammation) have me swooning! 

 

Field Roast
<Not Gluten-Free> For those craving some nostalgia done well, welcome to the market a slew of new products by Field Roast. Miniature corn dogs, mac & chao cheese, katsu cutlets, creamy butter, mayo, fruffalo wings and seasonal sausages! That Mac & Chao cheese though. Really fantastic and a true competitor! 

 

Forager Project
A company that knows how to utilize all parts of the process has now come out with a delicious, nutritious Cashewgurt line. One of my favorites from Expo was the Cashewgurt unsweetened probiotic kefir!

 

Foodies
A favorite booth last year with their super clean, super delicious frozen patties has now introduced a line of frozen vegan fritattas! Favorite flavor, the Indian Coconut.

 

Farmhouse Culture
Another line that knows how to utilize everything has gone from creating kraut, to using the juice from the kraut to create gut shots to now utilizing the kraut AND probiotics to create a chip! The chips are primarily cabbage based and you would never ever know. It's no wonder they won an award this year! Innovative and ground-breaking! 

 

Siete Foods 
A booth that was at the top of my list to check out was Siete. I've been on the hunt to try the much talked about gluten-free, almond flour tortillas. As there are not many large tortillas on the market that are gluten-free, I'm happy to report back that this is a nice addition. Great ingredients and flexibility. 

 

Temple Turmeric 
For the past few years Temple has been a go-to company of mine. I love their products. This year they debuted a new raw vinegar line, a probiotic line and a turmeric shots line! I forewarn, the Fire Shot has ghost pepper!

 

Kettle Chips
Not necessarily the healthiest chips on the market (canola oil), but they are most fun! Not sure what's sparked their need to take popular drinks and make them into chips, but I'm a fan. A splurge option for those days when you want it. 

 

Mr. Mak's
Gin Bao caught my eye. A Chinese ginseng & ginger long brew with NO ADDED SUGAR!
From the website: "For centuries, ginger bao (broth) has simmered in kettles across Asia. It's the base for nearly half of Traditional Chinese wellness drinks, yet it's never before been bottled. Our Ginbao brings the jing with healthy ingredients that are high in delicious." SOLD!

 

Little Northern Bakehouse
I've heard from sources that this gluten-free bread is the one to follow and they weren't wrong. My first time trying them and they were fantastic! Spongy, not dry and full of subtle flavors. They have both smooth textures and grainy textures; depending on your preference. 

 

Beanitos 
The first bean chip on the market (love you too Beanfields!) has come out with a less dense, less caloric, baked chip perfect for dipping! I really enjoyed the White Bean Hint of Lime flavor the best!

 

Gaia Herbs
This company knows what it means to source proper, sustainable, organic, non-gmo herbs! They are committed to providing the highest quality. Quick Expo story. I take their Turmeric Supreme with Black Pepper supplement daily. The reason they add black pepper is because it aides in absorption and is common knowledge amongst those in the field. As I walked the show floor, I saw another brand with a Turmeric supplement. I asked the representative if it contained black pepper. She cocked her head to one side, looked at me funny and said no. I asked if any of their Turmeric supplements contain black pepper for absorption and again she gave me a stern no. Long story short, this is not the first time I've come across this. I've noticed the folks behind Gaia Herbs are informed. They know why and what they are sourcing and how different herbs work together to give you the best product for your body. 
Now they have introduced a NEW line of Mushroom Supplements! Not only that, they have added a ready-made Golden Milk! A fantastic anti-inflammatory drink that's not only nutritious, but incredibly soothing and delicious. 

 

Daiya Foods
The dairy-free cheese industry has come along way and I respect Daiya for constantly reformulating their recipes each and every year. This year I was pleasantly surprised by their american and swiss sliced cheeses. They were fairly reminiscent of the simple sandwiches my grandmother used to make when I was a child. Also, who doesn't love little tea like sandwiches.  

 

Hummus Pod
<Not Gluten-Free> A silent sneak attack winner from left field is Hummus Pods. I was hesitant at first, but enjoyed them so much I had to bring friends over to try them. The Lemon Zest was my hands down favorite. An easy appetizer for parties or (as the rep suggested) as a salad topper. 

 

Pipcorn
They have added to their growing line and I'm stoked! The Cheese and Salt & Vinegar were super delicious and savory. Loved them both, but of course the vegan cheese popcorn option takes the cake for me!

 

Imuraya
When I was younger, mochi was one of my favorite desserts. My dad and I did not have the biggest sweet tooth, but something about mochi's hooked us. Since becoming vegan, no brand has imitated well...until Imuraya. The consistency, the flavors and the pure nostalgia of it all is exceptional. The New Yuzu Citrus (not pictured) is a favorite.  

 

Naughty Noah's
I'm a pho gal. Not ramen, pho. I like the simple use of ingredients in Naughty Noah's, as well as, them allowing you to control how much oil you care to add. They have cute names for each flavor profile and easy to use packaging.  

 

Raw Food Central
I find it funny that these days I can't find a kale chip on the market that I swoon over. Most of them are starting to contain sugar and/or taste artificial. The best I seem to have is when I make them in the comfort of my own home. Stumbling upon Raw Food Central and reading their ingredients was a breath of fresh air. As well, their onion rings were fantastic!

 

Yumbutter
The quality and the easy to-go packaging has always made me a fan. Now they have added even cuter, smaller packages with crazy good energy moving ingredients. Even small enough for TSA!

 

Wildbrine 
Along with Farmhouse Cultures, Wildbrine is bringing the optimal "less waste" method. They are using the juice from the kraut plus added probiotics to create Live Shots! The flavors range from mild to spicy and taste delicious. 

 

Barnana 
Banana Brittle Crisps are addicting! Again another company using the "less waste" method! 

 

Way Better Snacks
You may have seen me post about the NEW Sprouted Chipotle Barbecue Purple Potato Chips, but here they are finally being debuted! Can't wait to see them in stores. They are delicious and nutritious in every way. 

 

Tea Drops
A tea company re-imaging teas! I'm loving the innovation and the sustainability. No baggies, no problem. As always, give me all the turmeric. 

 

Jackson's Honest
I'm a gal with a wicked chip addiction so when I see my favorite brands expanding, it makes me smile. Jackson's has redesigned their packaging and have added more flavors to their growing line! And seriously, a booth that has a chip bar has my heart. I love Jackson's Honest for making delicious coconut oil based chips. Sadly, I saw a lot of canola oil based chips at Expo which not only makes me cringe, but makes me question, "Where's the industry leading sometimes?". Using canola is a cheap, highly processed option that is used for mass production, but not an ingredient your body wants.

 

Little Moon Essentials
I'm not solely a food discoverer, but an all-around wellness explorer. Finding Little Moon Essentials amongst the chaos was a nice reprieve. I appreciate that their mists use no parabans, chemicals and are cruelty-free and natural. The "Tired Old Ass" sample was the right option to spray while I walked Expo. 

 

Califia Farms
Hello to variety! Califia has expanded their line ten folds. What am I digging the most? The mini protein Maca Almond Milks!

Vegan Rob's
A healthier alternative to the Pirate's Booty is the new brussels sprouts and cauliflower puffs. As well, new flavors in the chip department sound delicious. Turmeric chips?! I'm in!

 

Numi Teas
A trusted brand, Numi has added a new line of combination teas. Using multiple, beneficial ingredients to target exactly what your body needs. 

 

Theo Chocolates
Bite sized clusters! Three tasty options debuted that used sorghum and quinoa as puffy crisps. 

 

Viana 
I love when I come across gourmet vegan cheese brands that I've never heard of because it shows me the trend is growing. The "Come on Bert" is subtle, smooth and simple. It would fit well in US marketplaces as another alternative option.

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Harbor Creek Farms
<Not Gluten-Free> I found this company at last years expo and I'm happy to see them again this year. Their savory strudels are the best! This year they debuted a New Mac & Cheese and a Spanakopita. Both options were extremely crave able and perfect additions to their already fantastic line. 

 

Bare Republic
As a native Californian sun screen is second nature, but even I learned a little sun science at the Bare Republic booth. Not all sunscreens are created equal and some brands can be do more harm than good. Bare's formulas are broad spectrum UVA/UVB protection, water resistant formulas, no chemical actives, no synthetic fragrances and contain no parabens. They are cruelty-free, use plant extracts and contain antioxidant-rich oils. Lots of winning, lots of protection.

 

in the end

Expo this year was a blast! I enjoyed seeking out new products and vendors while still being able to say hi to favorites. I appreciated running into friends and having the time to gush over what new items we stumbled upon–learning and engaging as we do. Kids in a candy store which is why it makes sense to come to us when you have questions. We enjoy this for a living. We live to learn more. 



the only negative

Imagine being on a small plane and the only bathroom is in the very, very back. All of a sudden everyone, HAS to go. The line begins to form and everyone wants to be first. Patience begins to wane and inevitable groans here and a shoves there develops because bladders are about to explode. 

Yeah, that's kinda like Expo. Its a special kind of chaos that you learn to navigate because everyone there is there for the same reason–to experience and report back.
The bathroom is the booth and for some reason everyone thinks they won't get the chance to engage, have a sample or take some product. 

Each year the number of attendees double, but the aisle sizes stay the same. It's paramount to remember to have consideration for others and the vendors. Its the only way to survive and thrive. 

In short, whether you are a distributor, a sales rep, a broker, a blogger or a current vendor checking out the competition, Expo West is the place to see the current trends for the year to come. 

A couple of partners in crime- Vegangirl4ever & Thisistheveganlife at the violife booth

A couple of partners in crime- Vegangirl4ever & Thisistheveganlife at the violife booth

Now let's keep kreating the shift!