The Natural Products Expo West trade show, held March 7-10, 2013 in Anaheim, California, was a mega showcase of natural, organic and healthy living products. With thousands of new product launches, it’s a trend-spotting event with a pulse on what’s happening within the natural products industry and LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability) marketplace. Here are a few themes that caught my attention on the busy exhibitor show floor.
Natural product consumers often want to vote with their purchasing power by choosing products that support their health, environmental, social justice (including fair trade), and sustainability values. And mission-driven brands perfectly align with conscious consumers’ desire to support products that are committed to making a difference in society. Show examples include Marley Beverage Company’s 1Love and You Da Balm (video).
Sometimes new products hit the shelf before individuals are ready to embrace them. And baobab products fall into this too-soon-for-prime-time category. It is a healthy superfood product that has been growing naturally in South Africa for years, but it hasn’t yet picked up a lot of interest in the US. So, that makes organic, fair-traded, nutritious Baobab Foods ahead of the curve. I hope that the US natural products market will be ready for them soon.
Meanwhile, other products have perfect timing. Their ingredients are well-known and lifestyle trends make these products ready for fast-paced growth. Last year it was chia. This year, it’s green drinks which are convenient, healthy beverages. Several new brands have given them a contemporary look and created a loyal following via neighborhood stores and mail order programs that paved the way for a retail launch. See BluePrint, Forager Project, and Suja, to name a few.
From Green Toys play products made from recycled plastic milk jugs to organic cotton baby products from ecopiggy, there was a mix of beautiful, natural solutions to replace unhealthy toxic products that currently dominate the children’s marketplace. One of my favorite finds was Glob, “botanically crafted” paints made from fruits, vegetables, flowers, and herbs. Say goodbye to the toxic smell of most paints, and hello to the freshest and delightful scents. A whiff of the blue paint was an amazing smell of fresh summertime blueberries. (Sorry, no scratch & sniff on this post!)
All Bottled Up
With anti-plastic initiatives gaining steam across the US including banning plastic water bottles, reusable water bottles in all fashionable shapes and sizes were a popular item at Expo West 2013. From the small to sleek styles and the infusers and double release Square bottles (that open on the top and bottom for easy cleaning), there was no shortage of reusable beverage bottles.
For more new product photos from the Natural Products Expo West show floor, check out the Jute Marketing photostream on flickr.