Natural Products Expo East
Natural Products Expo East is the East Coast’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event. The 2015 edition is poised to hit record numbers, with expectations of more than 22,000 attendees and 1,800 exhibitors. Approximately 30 percent are exhibiting for the first time and new to the marketplace.
Expo East draws many attendees from East Coast retailers because, says Adam Andersen, show director for Natural Products Expos, "It’s easy to get on the train and come here for a day or two.” Many West Coast retailers are also coming this year, he adds. Expo East is co-located with Biofach America-All Things Organic, NPA East (Natural Products Association) and the Harvest Festival.
Baltimore is more than ready to host the show once again – this is the 21st time Expo East will be in Baltimore, Andersen says, adding that the city’s recent contretemps should not impact the quality or experience of the show.
Baltimore provides "a true community to our event with its flourishing food, art and culture scenes, a more robust inner harbor and downtown, expanded BWI airport and more new hotels,” he says.
"This year, Natural Products Expo East has the opportunity to make a positive impact to the city’s One Baltimore initiative.” One Baltimore is a comprehensive public-private initiative to support the ongoing efforts to facilitate opportunities for the city’s children, families and neighborhoods.
"Almost everything is within walking distance (of the Convention Center),” he adds. There’s public transportation, the Charm City circulator and shuttle service to and from the show for attendees staying at airport area hotels.
In 2014 Expo East ranked in the top five Baltimore-based conventions for economic impact and brought more than $17.4 million to the city last September. At the close of last year’s show, Expo East donated over 30,000 pounds of food to the Maryland Food Bank, as well as a portion of proceeds to the city’s Real Food Farm.
New This Year
"Last year, we launched music on the lawn,” says Andersen. "This year, we’re adding morning yoga. We have a greater focus on the hours before the show opens.”
Also new this year is the Farm-to-Market Tour where attendees visit some of Baltimore’s nearby farms and the retail stores that source from them.
A SuperPass similar to the one introduced at Expo West will also be an option at Expo East. Among its perks are admission to all content sessions, a VIP lounge with free Wi-Fi, free bag storage, charging stations and a dedicated SuperPass entrance.
The 2015 Expo East conference program is broken into six themes: Natural in the Media, Ingredient Reform, "Future of” Series, Non-GMO Series, Trends & Growth Series, and Conscious Leadership.
The event’s keynote speakers include: Dylan Ratigan, a New York Times best-selling author, sustainability entrepreneur and former MSNBC host; Joel Salatin, a third-generation farmer in Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley; and Michele Simon, a public health lawyer who has been writing about the food industry since 1996.
Trends to Watch
Jenna Blumenfeld, managing editor of Delicious Living magazine and senior food editor of New Hope Natural Media, will be a presenter at the session entitled "Trends & Growth Series: Revealing Future Food & Beverage Growth Opportunities.” Among the trends Blumenfeld has called out as important are:
- Foods and beverages with floral ingredients such as hibiscus, elderflower and chamomile. She says these ingredients provide health benefits and unexpected flavor profiles.
- Coffee fruit, the refreshing and flavorful antioxidant rich and anti-inflammatory fruit that surrounds the coffee bean. In addition to his health benefits, "It also hits the sustainability and social responsibility issues. It helps eliminate food waste and helps producers and growers” enhance their finances.
- Snacks using avocado oil, which has always been GMO-free and is paleo-friendly.
- Coconut continues to grow, especially as an ingredient in dairy-free products.
- Dragonfruit in snacks, smoothies, cold-pressed juices. It’s high in vitamin C.
Produced in the color of its natural form and with an elegant shiny finish, EcoSouLife’s Husk range of products is perfect for everyday use. The Husk tableware range is predominantly made from rice husk fiber which is normally considered agricultural waste. When burnt, rice husk fiber creates high volumes of CO2 that damages the environment. Instead of burning and wasting this bi-product, EcoSouLife transforms it to create reusable, durable and natural products that will biodegrade within two to three years once buried under the ground. FDA approved. Products include Little People Baby Range, Salad Bowl, Personal Bowl, Spork, On The Go, Soul Mug. SRPs: $2.99-$34.99.
Eco Life International, Chadstone, Australia, www.ecosoulife.com, Expo East 8818
|Coconut Oil and Ghee
Add Coconut Oil and Ghee 50/50 blend to coffee for a smooth and rich flavor. Ghee, or clarified butter, is a lactose- and casein-free alternative for those with dairy allergies. No refrigeration needed – simply squeeze packet into a cup of coffee for an energy-igniting beverage or mix in a blender until creamy foam appears. Each 1-tablespoon packet has easy tear and use access. 10-count box. SRP: $1.29 per packet.
Kelapo Coconut Oil, Tampa, Fla., 813-887-3030, www.kelapo.com, Expo East 2000
|Mighty Muffins with Probiotics
FlapJacked Mighty Muffins with Probiotics are a first-to-market line of protein-packed, high-fiber single-serve muffins with probiotics, which, according to the company, support immune health as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle. Simply add water, microwave for 35 seconds for a hot meal or snack on the go. Certified Gluten-Free, Non-GMO. Twenty grams of protein, a significant amount of fiber and 220 calories in each serving. Available in two flavors: Double Chocolate and Cinnamon Apple. Single-serve microwavable cup. SRP: $3.99.
FlapJacked, Westminster, Colo., 720-476-4758, www.flapjacked.com, Expo East 350
Harvest Soul chewable juices are nutrient-dense fruit and veggie combos, blended with bits of nuts, seeds and berries. Chewing is one of the most important stages in the digestive process; it provides satiety and helps to regulate caloric intake. No sugars/honey added. Not from concentrate. USDA Certified Organic. Non GMO Project Verified, vegan, gluten- and dairy-free Available in Green Fusion, Tropical Fusion, Berry Banana Fusion and Veggie Beet Fusion. Six 12-ounce BPA-free bottles. SRP: $6.99.
Harvest Soul Inc., Alpharetta, Ga., 855-404-3734, www.harvestsoul.com, Expo East 8222
Açai is known to have many health benefits, including antioxidants, vitamins and more. Acai Roots is debuting their Açai Roots Acai Juice and Pom Blue Juice with a lesser amount of sugar in comparison to their previous bottles. 10.5-ounce bottle. SRP: $10.
Açai Roots, San Diego, Calif., 866-401-2224, www.acairoots.com, Expo East 108
Tio Gazpacho is drinkable organic gazpacho that comes in three varieties. Gazpacho Clásico is traditional Spanish gazpacho; made with red tomato, green pepper, cucumber and garlic. Gazpacho Verde is spicy and bold; made with spinach, kale, avocado, jalapeño, mint and cumin. Gazpacho de Sol is a sweeter version; made with yellow tomato, carrot and yellow pepper. All are USDA Certifiied Organic, non-GMO, gluten-free and vegan. Available in single-serve 12-ounce bottles. SRP: $7.99.
Tio Gazpacho, Miami, Fla., 305-395-8130, www.tiogazpacho.com, Expo East 8618
|Fijian Kosher Sea Salt
Wakaya Island, Fiji, is a 2,200-acre organically certified private island. Drawn from Wakaya Island’s apple-jade reef, 100 percent Fijian Kosher Sea Salt is available in a 10.2-ounce glass jar that comes with a serving spoon. Two-year shelf life. SRP: $52.
Also available is Organic Fijian Turmeric Powder in a 6.3-ounce glass jar. 100 percent USDA Certified Organic and Accountable Care Organization Certified. Proprietary and rare Fijian Turmeric seed indigenous only to Wakaya Island. SRP: $76.
Wakaya Perfection, West Palm Beach, Fla., 310-628-5232, www.wakayaperfection.com, Expo East 8718
|Gluten Free Muffin Mix
Bob’s Red Mill Gluten Free Muffin Mix is made with simple and wholesome gluten-free ingredients that make enjoying delicious gluten-free muffins quick and easy. Home bakers only have to add a few simple ingredients, mix and bake. Bakers can add their favorite mix-ins, such as fruits, nuts or chocolate. 16-ounce bag. SRP: $4.69.
Bob’s Red Mill has reformulated three of its existing gluten-free baking mixes: Gluten Free Brownie Mix, 21-ounce bag, SRP: $4.39; Gluten Free Chocolate Cake Mix, 16-ounce bag, SRP $4.39; and Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookie Mix, 22-ounce bag, SRP $4.79.
All Bob’s Red Mill’s gluten-free products are produced in a
100 percent dedicated gluten-free facility; enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) tested to verify gluten-free integrity. (ELISA is a test that uses antibodies and color change to identify a substance.) All four of these products are also dairy-free.
Bob’s Red Mill Natural Foods, Milwaukie, Ore., 800-553-2258, www.bobsredmill.com, Expo East 1823
BeanStalks are made from beans, tapping into the four snacking trends of gluten-free, non-GMO, natural ingredients and protein-rich legumes. Available in Sea Salt, Cheddar, and BBQ flavors, these snacks offer four grams of protein, two grams of fiber, with 50 percent less fat than traditional salty snacks, and highlight beans as the first ingredient (white cannellini, red pinto, green pea). In addition to gluten-free and kosher certified, BeanStalks has 0 trans fat. 3.5-ounce pouch bag. SRP: $2.99-$3.49.
Mediterranean Snacks, Boonton, N.J., 973-402-2644, www.mediterraneansnackfoods.com, Expo East 1036
The Maine Pie Co. offers fresh frozen, ready-to-bake gluten-free pies, tarts, cookies and pie shells. All have been ELISA tested. Pie varieties are Blueberry, Strawberry-Rhubarb, Peach-Raspberry, Threeberry, Apple, Apple-Crumb, Pumpkin and Pecan. SRP: $17.99.
Tart varieties: Lemon Curd and Chocolate. SRP: $19.99. Cookie varieties: Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal-Raisin, Chocolate Coconut Oatmeal. 12 cookies per bag. SRP: $6.79. Pie Shells, SRP: $7.29.
The Maine Pie Co, Biddeford, Maine, 207-205-4466, www.themainepieco.com, Expo East 8210
Arctic Zero’s line of Chunky Pints incorporate chunks of treats like cookie dough, chocolate chips, graham crackers and crunchy pecans, into the brand’s creamy, lactose-free base. Each Chunky Pint has 75 calories per serving and 300 calories for the whole pint, making them a zero-guilt treat packed with protein and fiber. The line includes five flavors: A Lil’ Bit Chippy, Buttery Pecan, Cookie Dough Chip, Cool Mint Chip and Key Lime Pie. SRP: $4-$5.
Artic Zero, San Diego, Calif., 888-272-1715, www.arcticzero.com, Expo East 860
and Escarole Pizza
From the beginning, Smart Flour Foods didn’t want to be just another gluten-free company; it wanted to make delicious food the whole family could enjoy. The Sundried Tomato and Escarole pizza features sweet sundried tomatoes paired with mellowed escarole, a hearty green from the endive family that has the slightly bitter and spicy taste of a radicchio. This filling and delicious vegetarian pizza appeals to consumers’ interest in power greens and brings the nutritional punch of endive and the antioxidant benefits of the tomatoes to every bite. SRP: $6.99-$7.99.
Smart Flour Foods, Austin, Texas, 512-706-1775, www.smartflourfoods.com, Expo East 323
|Hemp & Chia
O’Coconut Snack Pack
The perfect anytime treat, Nutiva’s new O’Coconut products are crafted from lightly sweetened USDA Certified Organic, Fair Trade Certified coconut and have 60 calories each. They are made without corn, soy, or cane sugar. 4-ounce bag. SRP: $6.49.
Nutiva, Richmond, Calif., 800-993-4367, www.nutiva.com, Expo East 1034
Peanut Butter Cups
Delivering an exceptionally sweet and velvety taste and texture, Justin’s White Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups are perfect for everyday snacking. The USDA Certified Organic cups, made from Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa, are gluten-free and contain 0 grams trans fat. SRP: $1.99.
Justin’s, Boulder, Colo., 866-595-8917, www.justins.com, Expo East 643
|Organic Fair Trade Coconut Water
Zico Natural Premium Organic Coconut Water has just one ingredient: 100 percent Organic Fair Trade coconut water. Each package purchased helps support the local Philippine farming communities where these coconuts are sourced. 80 calories per 16.9-ounce serving. No artificial flavors or preservatives. Coconut water is naturally free of fat, cholesterol, gluten, dairy and lactose. SRP: $3.49.
Zico Beverages LLC, Torrance, Calif., 866-SAY-ZICO, www.zico.com, Expo East 2305
|Garden in a Can: Grow Organic Basil
Perfect for the urban farmer! Easy-to-grow containers for small-space, windowsill gardening. Grow organic basil in just three simple steps: 1. Open the can & plant seeds in soil. 2. Add water and place can in full sun. 3. Harvest and enjoy. Each can includes organic basil seeds, biochar for moisture control, organic fertilizer and nutrient-rich soil. SRP: $5.99.
Back to the Roots, Oakland, Calif., 510-922-9758, www.backtotheroots.com, Expo East 8005