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Top 10 emerging trends to see at Natural Products Expo East

From sustainable messaging and waterless personal care to partnerships for good, here are the top trends—and the whys behind them—to be on the lookout for at Natural Products Expo East.

New Hope Network staff

September 22, 2022

4 Min Read
Top 10 emerging trends to see at Expo East
Jason Schneider Illustration

Throughout the year, New Hope Network’s content team and data analysts marry consumer insights with leading-edge marketplace data and scour Natural Products Expo exhibitors to identify the most impactful products and brands that will appear on the tradeshow floor. These top trends—and the "whys" behind them—are using innovation to bring health, joy and justice to all people, while regenerating the planet.  

1. Regenerative agriculture establishes trust through transparency

Regenerative agriculture has become the poster child helping to mitigate climate change. The problem is that without clear definition, the term is at risk of greenwashing or being another ill-defined “natural.” This trend is about how companies are obtaining third-party validation, achieving seed-to-shelf traceability and forging powerful partnerships to amplify their efforts. Read more.

2. Roadmaps for supporting diversity

The natural products industry is stepping up to support diversity and inclusivity both in its makeup and whom it serves, but there is more to do. This “trend” is much a true cultural shift, one that explores the commitments retailers and brands are making to serve diverse communities and elevate diverse-owned brands. Read more.

3. Consumers seek brands focused on sustainability, effecting climate change

Brands are doing much to reduce their environmental footprint and transform their business models. But developing the sustainability plan is only part of the challenge. This trend explores how companies are communicating efforts to effectively educate consumers and increase demand for planet-friendly products. Read more.

4. Partnerships and collaborations are new ways of doing business

Competition is “so yesterday.” The CPG industry’s future is very much rooted in how companies partner to drive innovation, increase brand awareness and amplify positive impact. As a result of collaboration, the industry is making meaningful progress in waste reduction, sustainable packaging and regenerative agriculture. Read more.

5. In personal care, 'less' means less water, less packaging, less waste

From using organic ingredients to sourcing wild-harvested botanicals and reducing packaging footprints, personal care companies are prioritizing sustainability throughout the supply chain. A great example of this is the trend toward waterless personal care products such as shampoo bars, solid deodorants powdered skin care products. Read more.

6. Consumers find joy through empowerment

As people strive to regain control of their lives, happiness and love have become intrinsically linked with empowerment. Supplement and functional food and beverage companies are embracing this message as they deliver positive health results and connect emotionally with their customers. This trend highlights how companies use messaging like “inner love,” “good vibes” and “radiant glow” to communicate the benefits of products such as immunity shots, energy snacks and beauty chocolates. Read more.

7. Plant-based brands support environmental, animal-welfare concerns

As the plant-based market thrives, many plant-based CPG brands are digging in and standing out among a sea of veggie-ful options by illustrating how their plant heroes support big sustainability efforts. This trend proves that it’s no longer enough to just be animal free; the plant-based heroes of today and tomorrow are transparent about nutrient density, sourcing, water use, carbon footprints, supply chains and so much more. Read more.

8. Putting the 'I' back into personalized nutrition

Intuitive eating and individual health markers, plus values-based decisions, make it harder to put consumers in a box and blur the lines of food’s future. Though specific diets haven’t totally disappeared, consumers are increasingly embracing the nuance and individuality of nutrition. This trend manifests in product marketing and positioning less tied to a defined eating regimen and more focused on product benefits and healthful ingredients. Read more.

9. Consumers most concerned about harmonious mood

Given the state of affairs over the past few years, it's no surprise that the leading cognition condition appealing to consumers today is mood. This trend explores the sales boom of products addressing mood, adrenals, stress and sleep, which have all increased 100% since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Read more.

10. Foundational wellness a top concern following onset of pandemic

The pandemic became a kind of litmus test that revealed how unhealthy we really are—and the various modern-day health concerns plaguing so many consumers, such as heightened anxiety, stress and sleep dysfunctions. This trend examines how dietary supplements can help meet the moment and optimize health daily. Read more

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