BALTIMORE — Ancient grains, protein-rich seeds and nutrient-dense vegetables appear in many new packaged foods featured at Natural Products Expo East. Convenient nutrition was identified as a top trend in innovation at the event, held Sept. 16-19 in Baltimore.
“Snacks are everywhere at the show, and we think this is symptomatic of an always on-the-go culture and a never-ending need to have more fuel, but the simple potato chip isn’t exactly the kind of snacks people are looking for nowadays,” said Jenna Blumenfeld, senior food editor at New Hope Natural Media, during a presentation at Expo East. “They’re looking for snacks that have a little more nutrition and are a little cleaner.”
Examples on display at Expo East included a pair of savory snack bars from Mediterra Nutrition, New York. The company unveiled a kale and pumpkin seed bar and a bell pepper and green olive bar, each made with whole-food ingredients, including extra-virgin olive oil and cashews.
Quinoa remains a crowd favorite in the natural and organic marketplace, starring in new gluten-free crackers from RW Garcia, San Jose, Calif., and a new variety of tortilla chips from Way Better Snacks, Minneapolis.
The trend is “tapping into that desire for consumers to get back to basics with the products they put in their bodies,” said Jessica Rubino, content marketing director at New Hope Natural Media, during the presentation. “It focuses on nutrient-dense ingredients, ingredients that have been around for thousands of years that are closer to nature but maybe new in our society today, and it’s really more of this basic approach to processing.”
More than 25,000 attendees gathered at Expo East for a peek at recent and forthcoming launches from 1,363 exhibiting companies.