Last week, Elisa, Nancy, and I had the chance to meet some of the natural-product industry's top trendsetters and innovators at Natural Products Expo West. We found tons of exciting (and delicious) new natural products to share with you and dialed into some of the industry's hottest trends. Here are some of my favorites.
Last year it was organic. This year, the word on everyone's lips was sustainability -- a holistic approach that encompasses environmental, fair-trade, nutritious, and economic practices. It's no longer about just meeting organic standards or purchasing carbon credits to offset manufacturing. Everyone is going green from the ground up, and are focusing on initiatives to reduce (or maybe increase) their impact. Try philanthropy (Nature's Gate, Natural Vitality, One With Nature); compostability and recyclability (Eco Products, Ecostation); value versus disposability (Diva Cup); and cleanliness (Earth Friendly Products, Probar).
Whether you credit better diagnostic tools or Hollywood's trend-making power, gluten free has hit the big time -- to put it mildly. Gluten-free-certified supplements (Country Life), fabulous you'd-never-know-they-were-gluten-free breads (French Meadow), and amazing baking mixes (Pamela's) were absolutely everywhere. This is one to watch: Gluten-free and celiac-safe is going to continue to be huge.
Gender-specific supplements and food
Supplements (BlueBonnet, Natural Factors) and foods (French Meadow -- again!) formulated for men and women are on the up and up. It makes perfect sense really: In a "duh" moment for me, Lorna Vanderhaeghe said to me, men and women are totally different physiologically. And watch for products that target specific health concerns, such as memory, detox, and headaches.
Keeping it simple
Keynote speaker Peter Sagal said it best: "Keep it simple, people!" Customers in the natural products store want safety, affordability, and ease -- sound familiar? Of course, we want to be able to trust that the organic product we purchase doesn't include harmful toxins and that it will do what it claims. But we don't want to be confused by a plethora of labels, claims, and standards we don't understand. As I interpret it, that's where Delicious Living comes in -- to help you sift through the foofah and make the best decisions for you and your family. Stay tuned: We have some really terrific (and helpful!) stories coming up that address all of those confusing labels.