New Hope Network's team of experts looks at the big picture for 2023 and examines how natural & organic product trends will evolve in the year ahead
Informa Markets' Natural Products Expo West, part of the New Hope Network family of brands, has announced five trends to watch in 2023,
These trends will be on display throughout the expo halls during the natural and organic industry's largest annual event. Expo West, which starts Tuesday and ends Saturday at the Anaheim Convention Center, expects to host more than 3,000 exhibiting companies and more than 67,000 registered attendees. Exhibitors will display tens of thousands of new products that will be coming to store shelves soon.
The majority of the trends are focused on sustainability, which is proving to be the primary motivator for many new and emerging entrepreneurs, a key factor in corporate commitments and an important "why" behind radical transparency and impact assessments. Additional trends to look out for at Expo West and beyond include new models for earning consumer trust and a whole-body, multiple-systems approach to wellness.
"It's always tempting to zero in on the year's hottest innovations or the latest go-to ingredients, but it's important to recognize that these trends are reflections and manifestations of the much broader cultural forces that are truly driving today's natural products industry," said Jessica Rubino, vice president, content at New Hope Network. "These big-picture trends exist on a continuum, and Natural Products Expo West offers a front-row seat to observe their evolution."
A team of a team of New Hope Network content experts and trend forecasters identified these five emerging trends in natural and organic are expected to grow in reach and importance in the coming year:
- Trend One: The intersection of health systems—We've come to recognize how the gut influences all health systems in the body. Driving this is the vast human microbiome, colonies of microorganisms that outnumber human cells by 10 to 1. Consumers are learning this, but the learnings aren't often actionable. Companies approaching this trend are looking at how foods and supplements can support a healthy microbiome and educating on how a healthy microbiome means better brain health, better heart health and even improved mood and mental health.
- Trend Two: Delivering on climate commitments—In the diverse space of sustainability, many mission-conscious brands are bringing climate solutions to market. Carbon accounting and carbon-neutral or -negative commitments are making the rounds among emerging and established brands. Such commitments and initiatives can not only earn consumer trust and have a positive environmental impact, but also, as is the case with transitioning to renewable energy, could help cushion a brand's production costs from volatile oil prices. One potential outcome? Helping to keep consumer prices down when fossil fuel prices are high.
- Trend Three: There's no transparency like radical transparency—Considering food tech, climate change, inequity issues and continued use of vague terms such clean or sustainable, consumers want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how of the products they are buying—and they depend on brands and retailers to help them navigate it all. Certifications, audits and dietary guidelines can help; companies can also achieve transparency by disclosing company goals (and the progress toward them), ingredient lists and new initiatives. The key to success is to be clear, authentic and truthful, which also means being vulnerable.
- Trend Four: Born of sustainability—As more consumers wake up to food's relationship to environmental health, founders are serving up food and other CPG products with environmental solutions at the forefront. These companies become enterprises on a mission to use food and agriculture to address issues such as climate change, biodiversity loss and social justice. The environmental mission is so woven into their value proposition that it is a key driver of consumer decision making. Storytelling—including on packaging—plays an important role in delivering these mission-driven concepts to market, so more entrepreneurs are likely to share their solution-driven journeys.
- Trend Five: The "subscriptionalization" of everything—Meal kits have people cooking at home and eating healthier. Personalized nutrition subscriptions offer pre-sorted supplements tailored to the consumer's needs and goals and a model that encourages sticking to that regimen. Both of those could fit into a retail universe, as smart retailers are giving their customers a reason to shop brick- and-mortar regularly and helping customers achieve their wellness goals while they are in-store.
Find more insights on how trends identified last year at Natural Products Expo East 2022 will continue to evolve in the marketplace in the year ahead. These include product trends such as CPG Nurtures Biodiversity, Quantifiable Impact, Joyfulness Abounds, Diversifying Investments, and Wellness Transcends the Label. For examples of the best new CPG products that will lead the industry forward, view the complete list of Expo West 2023 NEXTY Award Winners.
Natural Products Expo West attendees can get a deep dive into product trends and retail insights from a panel of experts at the information-packed keynote The State of Natural & Organic on Wednesday. Participants will discover what's next in product innovation and join the conversations driving positive change within the natural and organic products industry.
Follow @NatProdExpo on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. Visit @Natural Products Expo on LinkedIn to join ongoing conversations. Natural Products Expo is a business-to-business trade show and is not open to the public.
Find the Expo West agenda, floor plans and more at ExpoWest.com. To see registration options, including those for virtual access, click here.