According to The Food Channel, “real, back-to-the-Earth foods are making a comeback” as seen at (“the biggest health food trade show in the world”) the annual Natural Products Expo, held in Anaheim, Calif., last month.
Top trends spotted at the Natural Products Expo
- Healthier snacks. More exotic flavored waters and chips. Mint flavored water by Metromint and Blackwater (pitch black, with a “black water” taste, says Roan). Also sweet potato chips, kale chips, bean chips, banana chips.
- Fruit and vegetable drinks in all flavors, shapes and sizes. A yoga drink called Bikram Balance is a blend of fruits and veggies which is said to restore electrolytes after a workout. Fruitasia, a fruit and veggie energy shot, claims to provide three servings of vegetables and two servings of fruit in a three-ounce shot.
- Natural baby foods. Plum Organics presented grab & go fruit and vegetable squeeze packs of puréed food (such as a blend of blueberry, pear and purple carrot) that babies can drink or be spoon-fed from. Some of the ingredients include Greek yogurt and ancient grains such as quinoa. The idea here, according to the product’s maker: introduce babies to flavors so they grow up to be foodies.
- Nutty for coconut. Coconut flavor has made a comeback. Products featured included Coco’Mon, a coconut cooking oil from Jamaican musician Ziggy Marley’s collection of Ziggy Marley Organics. Also seen: coconut palm sugar, coconut water, and dehydrated coconut (for making your own coconut water at home).
- Chia seeds. Not to make a chia pet, but as an ingredient in a variety of food products. Chia seeds contain high levels of omega-3 fats. Observed at the show were FruitChia bars, Mamma Chia beverages, Coconut Chia granola, and Crunchy Flax with Chia cereal.
- Organic is in again. Lots of organic products on display, plus representatives from the Just Label It campaign (www.justlabelit.org) which aims to force products made with genetically modified corn or soy to put that information on the label.
- Ancient grains. Plenty of food products made with amaranth, quinoa, kamut, millet, hemp and buckwheat.