Trends, Winners from Expo East 2017
The recent Natural Products Expo East, held in Baltimore, included more than 1,500 large and small brands showcasing their newest products. The show also presented The Best of the East Award to The Maple Guild’s Grade A Original Maple Syrup, one of 50 products showcased for press, influencers and bloggers who choose the award.
“Our Original Grade A syrup is the backbone of everything we’re doing at The Maple Guild, and what enables us to be so creative with our other maple-based products,” said John Campbell, VP of sales and marketing for The Maple Guild. “This award is the culmination of years of hard work for our team, from tapping trees to creating award-winning products like our Maple Cream and Maple Vinegar.”
Expo East also honored NEXTY Award winners in 21 categories and five Editors’ Choice winners. Some of the winners include Hartzler Family Dairy Non-GMO Project Verified String Cheese, GloryBee Artisan Fermented Honey, The Great GORP Project Protein Bar Ready Mix, K’UL Golden Spice Dark Chocolate Bar with Turmeric, Yai’s Thai Thai Almond Sauce and Yumami Food Company Go-Dip Snack Packs.
This year, Expo East debuted its NEXTY Gold Award to recognize two companies that are innovative and inspiring. The inaugural winners were REBBL and Lotus Foods.
As the Best of the East award showed, maple is a burgeoning flavor trend in the country. It was on full display at the show. Drink Maple is a maple water that is tapped straight from maple trees in Vermont and contains half the sugar of coconut water along with 46 nutrients. Another flavor trend was honey, and Blume showcased its Honey Water available in three flavors as a natural alternative to sweetened, artificial beverages.
Snacking continued to be a big trend, with a variety of options on offer, including several chips based on non-traditional ingredients. The Real Coconut showcased Coconut Flour Tortilla Chips made with organic coconut flour and organic coconut oil. Beanfields’ Bean & Rice Chips offer the versatility of tortilla chips but are made without corn or any of the top eight food allergens and the newest flavors include White Bean, Black Bean and Jalapeno Nacho. Schuman, generally known as a cheese company, also displayed its Cello Wisps, a product that eats like a cracker but tastes like cheese.
For the sweet lovers, Fronana showcased its banana-based ice cream, an alternative to the traditional dairy-based treat. The five different flavors made from fruits and spices are naturally sweet and contain four servings of fruit in every pint.