Natural Products Expo West Recap and Trends

Last week, we attended Natural Products Expo West, which is the largest natural, organic and healthy products event in the United States. This year due to the pandemic, the conference was held virtually, but it was still packed with educational sessions about the state of the natural foods industry where attendees were able to learn more about the most prominent trends. 

Here are the top takeaways from the conference: 

  • Natural and Organic Food 

Natural and organic foods continue to be a platinum standard that shows a company's commitment to sourcing wholesome ingredients. Throughout the last year, the natural food industry continued to increase; the New Hope food trends stated "the natural products industry, overall, passed $250 billion in consumer sales in 2020, with a compound annual growth rate of 8% over ten years, according to Nutrition Business Journal… Sales are expected to surpass $300 billion by 2024, according to NBJ forecasts."

  • Eating Clean Matters

New Hope Network said it best: "Consumers want to feel empowered to take control of what they and their families put in and on their bodies." By taking control, more consumers are looking for brands that make products free from artificial flavors, colors, thickeners, preservatives, and other chemicals. It's more important than ever to build trust with your consumers and be honest about what goes into the products they love. 

  • Functional Foods

Throughout the pandemic, we were reminded how a healthy body and immune system are the first line of defense, which has led consumers to seek more functional ingredients to prevent illness and improve overall health. Consumers not only want to enjoy and feel good about the food they eat, but they are looking for options that have more nutritional and health benefits. From immunity boosting, sleep aids, mood boosters and mental health focused ingredients, people want their food to improve their lives. 

  • Plant-Based Foods

According to reporting from SPINS, “the total plant-based marketplace is currently at $5.6 billion (SPINS Natural Enhanced +MultiOutlet) and growing 29% year over year—this is nearly double the 15% growth rate of the food and beverage market.” Consumers are making plant-based products a staple of their shopping lists, and expect these foods to not only taste good but be good for them.

This is why at Fruit For Thought, we are proud of our dried fruit snacks and trail mixes, where you'll find only simple ingredients that hit the sweet spot with just nature's purest ingredients. It's premium quality fruit and nuts brought to you in the simple snacking form!

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