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The Natural Products of Expo West 2016

March 14, 2016

New and noteworthy launches at Expo West point to key consumer trends.

Health & Convenience Rule

The Nutraceuticals World team has returned from the annual pilgrimage to Anaheim, CA, for Natural Products Expo West & Engredea. Key consumer trends emerged, as we took in the new and interesting product offerings from seasoned veterans and newcomers to the natural products industry alike. Above all, it became clear that consumers are seeking easy, convenient and tasty ways to incorporate healthy eating habits in their daily routine.

Here’s a sample of some noteworthy product introductions we spotted at the show, along with the key consumer trends they exemplify.

The Year of the Pulse

With the UN General Assembly declaring 2016 the “International Year of Pulses,” these nutritious legumes are climbing the ranks of the health and wellness category.

Explore Cuisine, the first company to bring bean pastas to market, launched Pulse Pastas—the brand's newest product line of pastas made from organic lentils and organic chickpeas.

Made in Italy, Explore Cuisine's Pulse Pastas are vegan, organic, gluten-free, high in protein and a “good source” of fiber. The new Pulse Pasta collection includes: Red Lentil Penne, Green Lentil Penne, Chickpea Fusilli, Red Lentil Spaghetti, Chickpea Spaghetti, and Green Lentil Lasagne Sheets.

Clean Green Protein

Clean label, plant-based protein ingredients continue trending upward. To meet demand, Kashi Company, Solana Beach, CA, premiered a line of new Kashi GOLEAN Plant Powered Shakes. The powdered mix delivers 20-21 grams of multi-sourced, plant-based protein to support active lifestyles and a probiotic that promotes inner balance. This vegan powder recipe is made with GOLEAN Super Foods (greens, beets and sprouted legumes) and is designed to help fuel the body pre- and post-activity. Plus, it does not include soy or whey ingredients.

The GOLEAN Plant Powered Shakes are available in Dark Cocoa Power (featuring Fair Trade USA Certified cocoa), Vanilla Vinyasa, Matcha Tea Mantra and Original Inspiration. They can be paired with milk or water for an on-the-go shake or smoothie.

Each shake mix contains about 1 gram of sugar per serving, and is lightly sweetened with monk fruit.

Functional Waters

With the global market for functional waters climbing 11% to $12 billion in 2015, according to Zenith International, these low-or-no-sugar, fortified H20 offerings were popular on the show floor.

Super Leaf LLC, New York, NY, an aloe-infused water company, presented three new flavors to its line of functional waters, Detox Water.

Detox Water is rich in electrolytes, vitamin C, B complex vitamins, and features QMATRIX ACTIValoe. Each bottle contains 350 mg of ACTIValoe aloe gel flakes with no less than 10% aloe polysaccharides by dry weight.

New flavors of the drink include Original (Lychee & White Grape), Mangaloe (Mango), and Piñamint (Pineapple & Mint).

‘Clean’ Energy

In response to growing concern over the safety of energy drinks, some health conscious consumers are turning toward natural ways to boost their energy. A prime ingredient offering “clean energy” is derived from the leaves of a South American holly tree and brewed as yerba mate.

The company ECOTEAS, Ashland, OR, is best known in the U.S. for popularizing the clean energy powerhouse yerba mate, which is naturally caffeinated and nutritious. While ECOTEAS built its core business as a supplier of bulk loose yerba mate, now the company also brews its signature yerba mate and bottles it for grab-n-go consumers.

ECOTEAS introduced a line of ready-to-drink iced teas at Expo West, featuring organic-certified herbal ingredients with no extracts, sweeteners or concentrates.

Listing yerba mate’s benefits, the company said it could be enjoyed as a fitness tea; weight management aid; study aid; antidote to office fatigue; and a natural source of caffeine, antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Many people find yerba mate's energy boost to be less-jittery and longer-lasting than coffee's, the company added.

Juice 2.0

While sales of fruit juice have slumped in recent years amid concerns of high sugar content, healthy beverages like coconut water and antioxidant rich superfood blends have emerged as nutritious alternatives.

Capitalizing on this trend, Zola Fruits of the World, San Francisco, CA, released two new products: Chocolate Coconut Water and Acai with Mango and Chia.

Discussing its latest Coconut Water flavor, Chris Cuvelier, Zola's founder and CEO said, “The delicious taste is a satisfying treat that delivers the hydrating benefits of Coconut Water with only 11 grams of sugar and just 50 calories per serving.”

Zola has also released a new Acai Juice with Mango and Chia. “We have been watching the growth of the chia category and believe chia blended with acai creates a nutritional powerhouse,” commented Mr. Cuvelier. “The tropical flavor profile of mango and the addition of organic ground chia is a direct response to consumer and retailer demand for more delicious chia products in a rapidly expanding category.”

The Curcumin Craze

A recent survey of dietary supplement users conducted by ConsumerLabs.com reported curcumin/turmeric supplements are among the most popular products on the market. In fact, the global curcumin market is expected to reach $94.3 million by 2022, according to Grand View Research, Inc.

Nordic Naturals, Watsonville, CA, launched Omega Curcumin, a concentrated omega-3 formula with potent antioxidants—optimized curcumin, L-glutathione, and N-acetylcysteine (NAC). The antioxidant blend delivers a potent solution to combat cellular stress, according to the company.

Nordic Naturals also launched two new children’s gummies. Probiotic Gummies KIDS is a comprehensive probiotic formula with 1.5 billion live cultures and prebiotic fiber for ages two years and older in merry berry punch flavor. Vitamin D3 Gummies KIDS provides children four years and older with the vitamin D3 in wild watermelon splash flavor.