Monitoring developments at Expo West 2023


Heywell co-founder Ashley Selman chats with Audarshia Townsend, Meals & Beverage Insider content material director, at Expo West.


The Pure Merchandise Expo West present wrapped up in early spring, but its affect will stick round for seasons to come back. For the Meals & Beverage Insider staff, the weeklong expertise will assist form how we cowl among the largest developments within the trade.

Right here, you’ll discover our observations, from attractive, international flavors to revolutionary dairy-free choices and, after all, the upcycling craze.

World choices take middle stage (Audarshia Townsend)

One of the crucial important, but under-the-radar moments on the present was when Jake Deleon, founding father of award-winning Filipino model Fila Manila, launched Founders Heritage. It serves as a collective voice for unbiased CPG model house owners who promote indigenous meals and substances from their homelands.

“I discovered that when assembly numerous founders in [food and beverage] areas just like the Pure Product Expo East and West reveals, normally within the international flavors delicacies class, all of us had the identical story,” Deleon stated on the present. “Recognizing that authenticity in immediately’s market, customers are craving that. They need to know the tales behind the model. They need to know the way deep a model goes, and that it’s not simply one other company car. That was the inspiration behind the founding of Founders Heritage.”

Deleon has already assembled virtually 20 members, a lot of whom exhibited on the present. There’s Niramaya, a plant-based, female-owned Indian model. Wild Orchard Regenerative Teas originated in South Korea. Saucy Lips is Mexican targeted. And GoTeff donates a portion of its proceeds to empower ladies and kids from the founder’s homeland in Ethiopia.

Along with these founders’ nice heritage-focused tales, all of them boast tales of sustainability. Whether or not they’re practising regenerative agriculture or empowering underserved communities or resolving provide chain points, their merchandise are primed to do good for all.

Drinks that quench each thirst (A.T.)

Of the greater than 3,000 exhibitors at Expo West, a grand portion of them have been devoted to beverage innovation. There was one thing for each doable style, stated Webb Girard, senior director of analysis & growth, Culinex.

“We’re seeing numerous development from when glowing water first kicked off 5, six years in the past,” Girard noticed. “We’re entering into distinctive branding like Liquid Demise, which does a loopy job of catching somebody’s consideration and being a little bit leading edge [with its products]. Additionally, probiotic and intestine well being developments are nonetheless in play, plus sugar-free and low-sugar choices. We’re getting extra into the ‘refined’ LaCroix beverage age.”

Certainly, there have been distinct beverage developments in each class, and as anticipated, flavored glowing water and nonalcoholic drinks led the pack. Most attention-grabbing was the battle between booze-free RTD drinks performing as analogues—or mimicking conventional cocktails—and people spirit-free drinks intentionally not desirous to style like alcoholic drinks. For instance, manufacturers like Mingle and heywell boast wellness substances like hibiscus, blackberries or ashwagandha with very low sugar. In the meantime, Mixoloshe affords low-sugar merchandise, but options flavors like Orange Outdated Usual and Tropical Smoky Margarita.

Pink-hot rising CPG manufacturers (Heather Carter)

There have been lots of of rising CPG manufacturers making waves with new F&B introductions on the occasion. For instance, You Want This—which has taken the plant-based snacking house by storm—affords churro puffs, veggie straws and grain-free tortilla chips. Made with a plant-based flour mix (cassava, carrot, cauliflower, butternut squash) all three merchandise are non-GMO and gluten free.

Additionally, with a variety of plant-based meals, from pizza to ice cream (with lupin bean protein), Depraved Kitchen was based by two cooks on a mission to supply sustainable choices for meat eaters and vegans alike. The corporate’s new plant-based fish, offered in a fried format with tartar sauce, mirrored actual fish in style, texture and flakiness.

The Froot Thief’s actual fruit “whips”—a play on conventional fruit snacks—are packaged as one 9-foot-long strip rolled up like a lasso. Appropriate for infants and adults, the all-natural fruit strips have 1 cup of contemporary fruit per serving and “no added nasties” (e.g., sugar). Additionally, Hooray Meals’ plant-based bacon, which is free from soy and gluten, was created to imitate conventional bacon—marbling and all. It crisps up like its animal-derived counterparts, with a portion of the energy and salt, and no ldl cholesterol.

Lastly, founder Blake Sorensen has a severe nut allergy, which led to the creation of Blake’s Seed Primarily based. With a mission to make allergy-friendly snacks from seeds, fruit and chocolate, the corporate’s birthday cake crispy deal with (made with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, flax seeds and vegan marshmallows) hits it out of the park.

A dairy-free takeover within the plant-based sector (H.C.)

Whereas plant-based merchandise have been prevalent all through every of the exhibit halls on the Anaheim Conference Heart, the dairy-free cubicles have been particularly crowded, signaling robust curiosity within the sector. Listed here are just a few manufacturers that caught my eye with their palate-pleasing merchandise:

  • Elmhurst 1925, which launched a dairy-free bitter cream made to emulate the Daisy model, in line with firm representatives. A brand new introduction that joins its established line of plant-based milks, the bitter cream various was wealthy and creamy like conventional dairy, with a thick consistency you’d count on from bitter cream.
  • Avafina Organics showcased Queen Cheese and Chiaviar on toast, and created a vegan rendition of the favored cream cheese and caviar appetizer seen all over the world. With a tangy chew from the plant-based cream cheese and crunchy-yet-soft complement from the chia-based caviar, the amuse-bouche was the proper noon snack.
  • Planet Primarily based Meals added a brand new providing to its lineup of plant-based meat merchandise. Naturally excessive in fiber, the brand new hemp-based vegan ice cream is out there in eight flavors, together with acai, coconut key lime and matcha.

These sweets are “practical” (Tedi Delashmet)

Chocolate boasting higher well being advantages and accountable sourcing is turning into more and more fashionable. They have been in abundance at Expo West.

A number of ingredient corporations and types highlighted natural substances of their merchandise, together with ADM, who launched a chocolate sq. with hazelnut, particularly formulated to handle ladies’s well being wants throughout perimenopause and menopause.

Heavenly Organics additionally featured chocolate honey patties made with contemporary honey from wild bees in distant elements of India that haven’t been uncovered to pesticides, pollution and antibiotics. Corporations are crafting merchandise that mix high-quality and eco-friendly parts, whereas nonetheless sustaining tasty taste profiles, catering to vegan, non-GMO, keto-friendly and naturally sweetened choices.

Upcycling manufacturers are up, up, up in 2023 (T.D.)

There was a gradual progress in client demand for merchandise with sustainability clgoals, and merchandise which are marketed with sustainable claims are rising at a faster fee than these with out. The Upcycled Meals Affiliation showcased the potential of upcycled meals on the Expo, organising a sales space styled like an old school grocery retailer. This included objects from manufacturers like Cajú Love, which produces meat substitute merchandise from upcycled cashew fruit, and Amai, who displayed a round meals system with upcycled grain cups which are vegan, GMO-free and preservative free. With the invested curiosity in sustainability from the time of harvesting, processing, packaging and disposal of merchandise, merchandise made from natural, all-natural, eco-friendly and upcycled supplies have been displayed prominently. 

Audarshia Townsend is the content material director for Meals & Beverage Insider. Heather Carter and Tedi Delashmet are the location’s affiliate editor and content material producer, respectively. 




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