To the natural, organic and eco-friendly obsessed, Natural Product Expo East is heaven on earth. Even though the event is about half the size of its sister show “Expo West,” tens of thousands of attendees still pack the venue wall to wall and countless new product samples are handed out in force. The trick, of course, is finding the hot new products and identifying the up-and-coming trends that matter. Lucky for you, Abe’s Market hit the show and found some real gems.
Here are six trends you can expect to see gracing your local markets. Expect to see hot new items from beauty to food and beyond. Think of this as your natural product industry primer.
1. Oh Baby I Like It Raw
Eating “raw” has been popular for years, but recently it has crossed into a whole different stratosphere. Going raw may seem a bit intense to some as it relegates followers to a strict diet of uncooked, unprocessed, plant-based foods. But given the countless benefits of plant-based diets, which include helping prevent chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, obesity and diabetes, it’s a diet worth considering. Luckily, food entrepreneurs have helped the raw industry turn a delicious corner, creating some of the best-tasting health bars we’ve tried in a while. Guess it’s hard to go wrong when you combine dried fruit, nuts, seeds and other wonderful all-natural goodies into one satisfying snack. Yay for food science!
2. Water Fusions
Something gaining fast traction is vitamin-, antioxidant- and electrolyte-infused enhancements for water. Boasting specialized formulas that do everything from relaxing you to sleep to helping you run a marathon, these new all-natural water wellness formulas are popping up everywhere and they are admittedly convenient and delicious. But with so many tasty varieties to choose from, remaining loyal to one brand may prove difficult. It’s a problem we’re willing to work through of course.
3. Gluten Free Everything
So there’s this new diet thingy called gluten free … heard of it? No? Well it’s probably just going to blow over anyways (we kid, we kid). The gluten-free industry has become quite the behemoth the past few years and with good reason … nearly 10 percent of the U.S. population experiences some form of gluten sensitivity, and that number is expected to rise as more and more people get diagnosed. Fortunately, gluten-free entrepreneurs have introduced much more than just food, including bath products, lotions and makeup. In other words, it has never been easier to live gluten free.
4. GMO Has Got to Go
Hate to say it, but sustainable agro company Monsanto has done a fair share of good for the natural product industry. Sure, the company is about as well respected in the industry right now as congress is to the American public, but you have to admit, its array of genetically altered, pesticide-laced seeds are giving people plenty of reason to be more mindful about the products they buy. That said, the industry has evolved quickly into a non-GMO powerhouse, pumping out all-natural, non-GMO verified goodies in every sector of retail like never before. Looking for non-GMO certified soy wax candles? They’re out there. How about non-GMO certified lipstick? No problem. It’s a shift we should all be happy about, because its means we still have some control over what we’re consuming. Wish the same could be said about our decision-making role in government shutdowns. But let’s not go there.
5. Farm to Face
More and more organic and all-natural farm-based ingredients are making their way into beauty products these days And it’s not just cucumber and chamomile. It’s everything from yogurt and milk to fruit extracts and honey. The beauty benefits are endless whether you’re fighting acne, brightening your skin, conditioning your hair or curing your dandruff, and the products are gorgeous. Keep an eye out; you’re sure to see this new “farm to face” trend popping up all over. Just remember who coined the phrase first!
6. Seaweed, Coconuts and Kale, Oh My!
It’s easy to stay fueled up and healthy these days. Dozens of companies have turned what were once unappetizing superfoods like kale and seaweed into delicious mid-afternoon snacks that pack a healthy punch, tons of flavor and work as an alternative to high fat or sugary potato chips, crackers or candy bars. The most popular, however, remains the health and beauty benefitting coconut, which has found its way into everything … water, delicious butters, cooking oils, beauty products, dried edibles and more. Our only question Why did it take so long to catch on? This stuff is awesome!
Article by Matt Faust, from Abe’s Market
Matt joined Abe’s Market to explore his passion for food and e-commerce. He loves discovering new eco-friendly products and introducing them to the Abe’s community. When not at Abe’s, Matt travels, tries new restaurants and works off his winter weight.