The Natural Products Expo East trade show was held in Boston from September 24-26, 2009 with over 1,500 exhibitors displaying food, personal care, and household brands promoting healthy, natural living. After tasting lots of samples and talking with exhibitors at the show, a number of trends emerged. Here’s a quick overview of what I observed during the show.

Here Come the Good Gut Bugs – Probiotics

Probiotics have branched out from the supplement aisle to a showcase of new foods and beverages. You can drink them, eat them, or mix them up. In addition to kefir brands, probiotics are now available in pre-mixed powder packets, fruit waters, fruit drinks, and frozen yogurts.


It’s All Greek To Me

FAGE Greek yogurt is no longer the solo Greek goddess. A number of Greek/Mediterranean style yogurts, including a couple from large dairy manufacturers, are hitting store shelves and will likely grow the category.

Watered Down

The decreased popularity of portable plastic water bottles has prompted an increase in the number of ways to stay hydrated. In addition to reusable water bottles and filtered water systems, water is now available in alternative packages  including biodegradable boxes.


Recycled materials are now sporting a contemporary and colorful look. Beautifully designed dinnerware from fallen leaves, stylish bowls made from bamboo, and reusable bags in every imaginable color and design from plastic bottles.


Straight from the Coconut

The health benefits of coconuts are shaking things up in the kitchen and bath. Look for coconut waters, coconut cooking oils, and coconut oils in personal care.


Move over organic sugar cane, there’s an increase in the use of stevia and acouple of other plant-based sweeteners, including yacon syrup which is diabetics-friendly, and maguey syrup, a fairly new ingredient in the United States, as alternative natural sweeteners.

It’s Organic

Look left, look right, and there is the USDA Organic label. More and more natural products, both grocery and body care, are now touting the USDA Organic label.

Kids’ Foods

All things small and mighty for the little ones from mini juice boxes with grain ingredients and frozen veggie fries, to all-natural, brightly colored sugar-free candies that bring out the kid in all of us.