I spent the last few days at Expo West – a HUGE natural products trade show where thousands of companies come here to share what they’re making or launch new products. It’s always fascinating to see what direction food is going. Some of the food trends spotted this year:
- Chia – Chia chips, crackers, cereal, puddings, powders, baby food – this ingredient was everywhere!
- Hemp – Not quite as much as chia, but lots of hemp seeds
- Ancient grains – Along with the already popular quinoa (still a hot trend) is now buckwheat, amaranth, millet, triticale…and other grains not previously seen in many foods
- Simple ingredients – Companies know that people want to see fewer ingredients in their packaged foods, so many new products are simpler with shorter ingredients lists.
- Greek yogurt – Not a new trend, but still growing, and now even included in many baby foods and as an ingredient in other foods.
- Non-GMO – nearly every company here wanted to boast they were non-GMO verified. I love that this is the direction we’re heading!
Here are some of my favorite discoveries of the weekend.
I liked this mostly because it was interesting. Chia “pudding” – kind of like tapioca – made with coconut milk, vanilla bean, and a little coconut sugar. It was barely sweet which was a nice surprise, and would make a great healthy snack.
Organic Valley Grassmilk and Grass-Fed Cheese
The milk isn’t brand new, but it’s starting to be available in more places and gives consumers an option to buy dairy products from 100% grass-fed cows. Cows on conventional dairy farms – and even many organic – eat mostly grains. “Pasture-raised” cows eat mostly grass (they spend at least 120 days per year grazing on pasture) plus some grain. Not many dairy products are from 100% grass-fed cows, so this is a wonderful opportunity to get dairy that’s naturally higher in omega-3 fats while supporting small pasture farms.
Chocolate Hazelnut “Milk”
I’m not normally a milk alternative kind of girl. But this chocolate hazelnut milk – from Oregon-grown hazelnuts (the beverage is made in Oregon) – was remarkably tasty and would be amazing in smoothies and milkshakes! I picked some up at Whole Foods yesterday to experiment with.
Little Duck Organics baby cereal
Most baby cereal (rice cereal) is highly processed and includes all sorts of ingredients and additives that I would not opt to feed my own children. But this new cereal from Little Duck Organics offers a wholesome, tasty alternative for moms who still want to start their babies on cereal but would prefer a whole-foods option they don’t have to make themselves. It’s flavored but not sweetened, made from nutritious ancient grains, and the cup is even compostable!
Nearly all edamame sold in the U.S. is grown in China or Thailand and shipped thousands of miles before it reaches your plate. But Eda-Zen offers American-grown soybeans (non-GMO) that taste so sweet and flavorful, you won’t want to go back to the imported stuff.
This is like granola, only softer and clumpier and more of a snack/indulgence than a cereal. There are chocolate sandwich cookies baked into the “oatsnack” – which kind of blew my mind. It is definitely not for everyday eating, but it was a fun treat and so unique!
Here’s what happened when I put the Woats bag on the counter to take a picture…notice the little hand reaching up to grab the bag. Lucy knows a good food when she sees it!