The A2 Milk Company (Food & Beverage)
With a bold charge of “the milk that might change everything,” A2 Milk is rolling into town to educate consumers about its beta-casein protein structure that is believed to reduce digestive discomfort. Popular already in Australia and New Zealand, A2 Milk is hoping to offer relief to the many folks who have trouble digesting milk. Bright, cheery branding on familiar milk cartons make this a family-friendly option and could open the door to a whole new approach to thinking about milk and digestion.
Back to the Roots (Food & Beverage)
The two young founders of this exciting company are at it again, snagging a second NEXTY nomination for their latest venture: disrupting the saturated cereal aisle with a three-ingredient, stone-ground-wheat cereal. These guys don't do things halfway; even the milk-carton-shaped package turns cereal on its head. We think it would be great if all cereals took this "undoing food" approach to making everyday edibles accessible.
Barsmith (Food & Beverage)
Inspired by the wisdom of the world’s top bartenders, Barsmith presents the first non-GMO cocktail mixers, made in small batches and expertly crafted with no artificial flavors and fresh, innovative blends like Honey Ginger and Old Fashion syrup in upscale, fun and flirty packaging. This Austin, Texas, based company uses only top quality ingredients for phenomenal flavor and exceptional cocktails anytime.
Batter World (Food & Beverage)
Here's a convenience food pouch that makes sense: fresh-frozen pancake batter in a ready-to-pour, resealable package, made with clean ingredients and zero preservatives (hence the frozen aspect). Developed by two busy moms, this makes a quick, hot and wholesome breakfast a reality. There's also a gluten-free version made with almond flour.
Beyond Meat (Food & Beverage)
We expected a lot from Beyond Meat—the company challenging the idea that vegan meat replacements have to be a sacrifice. With its much-anticipated Beast Burger, Beyond Meat does not disappoint. Made with a non-GMO combination of pea protein, flax oil, palm oil, tapioca starch, nutrient-dense beet powder, pomegranate seed powder, shiitake mushroom, carrot, mesquite powder, moringa and more, the burger boasts more protein and iron than meat and more omegas than salmon. These excellent nutrients, paired with the Beast Burger's meaty, juice, smoky flavor and omnivore-attracting packaging, makes Beyond Meat successful at luring even the most steadfast meat eaters into sampling it. There are cleaner veggie-burgers out there, of course, but Beyond Meat nearly replicates this American staple, which could help wean the burger-hungry off factory-raised meat.
Bgreen Foods (Food & Beverage)
Would you know what to do with chestnut flour? Neither would we. But Bgreen makes trying healthy new ingredients less intimidating by partnering with well-known cookbook authors to create recipes using its ingredients, which are featured on the back of its packages. And a line of entirely gluten-free, certified organic, non-GMO pastas and artisan flours made without preservatives is no small feat, either.
Bhama (Food & Beverage)
The fans of the Tea Leaf Salad at the iconic San Francisco restaurant Burma Superstar are legion. Now, the creative folks at Bhama have packaged that aromatic, flavorful goodness into a convenient tub (minus the greens, of course). Fermented tea leaves come in one sealed portion while the yummy crunchy sesame seeds, fried garlic chips, peanuts, yellow peas and seasoning are wrapped separately. Toss them all into a bowl of salad greens and you are transported.
Big Slice (Food & Beverage)
Thanks to Big Slice apples, fruit-lovers of every age can enjoy a tasty, unique apple snack on the go. Shelf-stable pouches of kettle cooked and flavored apples are attractive and sophisticated, especially thanks to standout flavors like Chai, Cherry Vanilla and Peach Beliini. Three flavor lines—Pure, Fit and Luxe—have a non-GMO, gluten-free option for any apple fan, whether enjoyed straight from the pouch or added to yogurt, oatmeal, granola or even frozen desserts.
Blossom Water (Food & Beverage)
The beauty and lightly sweet taste of flower extracts have come alive in a new line of refreshing, all natural essence waters. With flavors like lemon rose, grapefruit lilac, plum jasmine and pomegranate geranium, Blossom Waters are uniquely flavorful, aromatic and lightly sweetened with agave for a smooth, tasty and artfully sophisticated experience for only 45 calories per bottle.
Clif Bar & Company (Food & Beverage)
Clif has always been at the forefront of nutrition for endurance sports. When cyclists and long-distance runners began to rebel against the overly processed nature of first-generation energy bars, Clif came along with its organic bars that delivered all of the performance in something that felt more like whole food. Now, as athletes are tiring of sugar-laden energy gels that have been crammed in jersey pockets for much of the last decade, Clif has responded with its new Organic Energy Food line. These savory squeezables in flavors like Pizza Margherita (ingredients include tomato puree, quinoa, olive oil and basil) deliver the mix of carbs, fats, and proteins that athletes need during multi-hour efforts while managing to taste like lunch rather than dessert.
Cissé Trading Co. (Food & Beverage)
Not just another baking mix company, Cissé makes its products with organic, fair trade cocoa powder sourced from the Dominican Republic and offers consumers a unique peek into that process. The company's website invites consumer to trace the full journey of their cocoa, "from bean to box," and also names the contract manufacturer the company uses (New Hope Mills)—a rarity in the world of packaged food. Shoppers can scan the QR code on the back of their Cissé box to write a message to the company's cocoa farmers.
Community Seafood (Food & Beverage)
Consider this head-scratching statistic: Over 95 percent of the seafood available in the Santa Barbara, California-area is imported, and at least 95 percent of the seafood caught locally is exported. In an effort to keep seafood consumption local, sustainable and traceable, Community Seafood has launched a frozen artisanal fish business that will make fresh-frozen, traceable seafood available in your local retailer's freezer. Just scan the QR code on the front of your package to be introduced to the Southern California fisherman responsible for your catch.
Dahlicious Lassi (Food & Beverage)
This revitalized Indian lassi brand is really getting it right. The delicious dairy drinks are made with 100 percent grass-fed, organic milk; cultured for 12 hours; flavored with only organic whole fruit and spices; and brimming with live probiotics. To top it off, there are two convenient sizes boasting an elegant, inviting style. On-trend flavors show off unique fruit varietals and warming spices.
Dreaming Cow Creamery (Food & Beverage)
Behind Dreaming Cow’s tasty cream-top yogurt is a company committed to sourcing the best-quality milk from unconfined, grass-fed cow. The result is a flavorful treat that’s full of calcium, protein, probiotics and good fat and comes in unique flavors like Maple Ginger, Blueberry Cardamom and Dark Cherry Chai. We also love how this company uses video and social media to give consumers a view into the lives of its cows. At Expo West, visitors to the Dreaming Cow booth could take a virtual tour of its farm in Pavo, Georgia, through an Oculus Rift headset.
Earnest Eats (Food & Beverage)
We’re longtime fans of this grain-focused brand that incorporates USDA Organic and Non-GMO Project verified oats and other ancient grains like amaranth and quinoa into granola, hot cereal and nutrition bars. But we were so impressed with Earnest Eat’s new ancient grain cups that are fortified with interesting superfoods you’d be hard-pressed to find in a hot cereal. We’re talking globe artichoke, dragonfruit, maqui berry, dandelion root, turmeric, spirulina and more. Eat them in succession for a clean, satiating meal, or whenever you need a quick, light meal. Also new from this innovative brand: Energizing Hot Cereals that feature coffee fruit flour, a caffeine-containing fruit that’s a byproduct of coffee bean harvesting that's discarded, polluting rivers, streams and soils. By using coffee fruit as a (delicious) base for hot cereals, Earnest Eats helps create a new revenue source for those living in some of the poorest countries of the world.
Eatwhatever (Food & Beverage)
That’s right, you truly can eat whatever, because now you don’t have to worry about bad breath. Just swallow the gel, then suck on the mint. Unlike other breath fresheners, Eatwhatever works in your stomach and your mouth. In peppermint and ginger flavors with vegan and gluten-free ingredients, it’s just two steps to kissable breath.
Fishpeople (Food & Beverage)
This aptly named company is raising the bar for packaged seafood with its spirit of “relentless transparency” that encourages customers to learn about the fishermen and farmers behind their food. Fishpeoples’ fishermen harvest only 10 sustainable fish species, which are then combined with other local West Coast ingredients to create packaged gourmet seafood meals. By punching a code that appears of the back of each package into the company’s website, consumers can trace their ingredients to specific fishermen and farmers. And, Fishpeople gets bonus points for B Corp Certification.
Four Sigma Foods (Food & Beverage)
Mushrooms are for the modern world, according to Four Sigma Foods, makers of mushroom-based powders that dissolve into hot water. Packaged in portable, tea-like packets, mushrooms like chaga, shiitake, lion’s mane, reishi, cordyceps and maitake are blended with toothsome, flavorful ingredients like ginseng, mint, rose hip and more to increase palatability. We especially love the XOCO blends: mushrooms blended with hot cocoa powder and other herbs like guarana, chili and rose hips. Four Sigma Foods takes a maligned ingredient usually found in pills (or risotto), and enables it to be incorporated into your busy schedule.
Giv Foods (Food & Beverage)
This new company’s unique veggie burger flavors like Sriracha with Sweet Chili and Sweet Potato with Sage caught our attention, but its commitment to doing good sealed the deal. Giv’s line of frozen superfood burgers are vegan, gluten free, soy free and non-GMO. Each one is packed with at least 3 grams of fiber from real veggies and 7 grams of protein from pea protein and grains like brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat and gluten-free oats. Giv donates half of the profits made on its products to charitable organizations. The best part? Consumers pick where their money goes by visiting the company’s website and entering a unique code printed on their box.
Good Culture (Food & Beverage)
Whodathunk cottage cheese could be sexy? These amazingly tasty, 6-ounce single-serve cartons are certified organic, made with grass-fed dairy milk and free of stabilizers typically found in cottage cheese—which makes the carb load way lower and the protein count way higher. Check out the kicky packaging and savory options, too. What a way to make a classic new again.
Green Plate Foods (Food & Beverage)
Lots of kids' "fruit" snacks are more sugar than fruit. These sweet little bites contain just five real ingredients (mostly fruit, coconut and oats) blended together and cut into bite-size triangles. Certified gluten free, they're ideal for a sweet craving but contain no added sugars or concentrates. An organic line is coming, but we actually like that this version is set at a habit-forming price.
Harvest Soul (Food & Beverage)
Just when we thought we were over HPP juices, along comes this nut-and-seed-infused, certified-organic version to shake things up. The texture is just right, with bits of real fruits, veggies, and seeds for loads of beneficial fiber. Sold in BPA-free bottles and containing no added sugars, these are a fresh new addition to the crowded juice category.
Jackalope Bread (Food & Beverage)
We thought we'd seen the best that gluten-free bread has to offer, but this new brand (developed by a mom) blew us away with its taste, texture, simple ingredients and absolutely no grains or starches—making it paleo- and FODMAP-friendly too. (No GMOs, soy, dairy, yeast, or sugar; how do they do it?) The company also makes baking mixes, which we can't wait to try.
Kaslo Sourdough Pasta (Food & Beverage)
Remember when fermented foods meant kefir, kimchi and saurkraut? Next up is this completely unique sourdough pasta, born out of the traditional sourdough breadmaking tradition that uses natural fermentation rather than yeast. That means better microbiota in the gut—which means better digestion (reportedly, some gluten-intolerant eaters can eat it!). This could be a game-changer for grain-eating people everywhere.
Leaf & Love (Food & Beverage)
Two moms (one has a child with type-1 diabetes) developed this certified organic, perfect-for-lunchboxes lemonade that boasts zero grams of sugar—yes, zero. Because lemon deliciously masks stevia, there's no funny aftertaste that might put kids off. The shelf-stable boxes are ideal for lunches, car trips or camping. A great solution to sugar-loaded kids drinks.
Little Secrets (Food & Beverage)
Imagine if M&Ms were made with natural coloring agents like red cabbage juice, beet juice and turmeric, and without corn syrup or artificial flavors. That’s what Little Secrets is doing with its line of vibrant candy-coated chocolates that deliver on both taste and quality (some of its products are fair trade, and it’s working on making them all that way). With backing from Revelry Brands, the investment firm led by EVOL Foods and Bear Naked Co-Founder Brendan Synnott, Little Secrets also has the needed marketing and strategy muscle to penetrate the mainstream candy market.
Little Spoon Organic (Food & Beverage)
Little Spoon’s revolutionary infant food Babyblends have a clean list of ingredients and a wide variety of flavors for three specific stages of a baby's growth. But what's really extraordinary is their commitment to transparency and food safety. Little Spoon uses FDA-approved high pressure technology, and they rigorously test each and every batch of their Babyblends to ensure product safety. Their packaging is completely free of Bisphenol-A (BPA), and all of their produce is organic and non-GMO. They have committed to never using unnecessary ingredients like preservatives, sugar, salt, additives or fillers.
LOLIWARE (Food & Beverage)
LOLIWARE are biodegr(edible) cups. Biodegr(edible)—a term coined by LOLIWARE—means that the cups are both biodegradable and edible. These plant-based, flavored gelatin cups (made from seaweed-derived agar) provide the opportunity to eat, or compost, your cup. Designed as an alternative to disposable cups destined for the landfill, the cups can hold a drink for more than 24 hours, have a shelf life of three months and completely break down into compost within 60 days. They currently come in four flavors: citrus, matcha green tea, Madagascar vanilla and tart cherry.
Love Beets (Food & Beverage)
Unlike kale, sweet potatoes and other vegetables, beets haven’t exactly been embraced in the world of better-for-you snacks. But Love Beets is trying to change that by putting a fun spin on this vibrant veggie that’s rich in folate, potassium, fiber and antioxidants. The company’s organic, single-ingredient beet juice is surprisingly tasty, but its forthcoming snack bars really steal the show. By combining beet juice concentrate with seeds, brown rice and pea protein, chicory root fiber and fruits like blueberries, cherries and strawberries, they’ve created a bar that’s filled with nutrients and natural sweetness that will win over even the non-beet eaters among us.
Made in Nature (Food & Beverage)
HPP cold pressed juice is all the rage, but the high cost is prohibitive for many a pocketbook. In response, Made in Nature has launched Telula, a line of whole fruit-and-vegetable juice blends combined with other trendy ingredients like chia and tumeric. It's a 10-SKU line of multi-serve bottles that bring new life to a dormant category: shelf-stable juices. Telula offers the same high-function ingredients that are currently found in HPP juices at a more accessible price point. The 32 oz. proprietary glass bottles have organic, non-GMO, not-from-concentrate ingredients with calorie counts equal to or lower than category leader Suja. The brand includes varieties like Green Fusion, Green Zing, Melon Mint and Tart Cherry Chia.
Mikey's Muffins (Food & Beverage)
Hooray for food startups that are really on to something! An inspiring 25-year-old entrepreneur developed this grain-free, certified-GF "English" muffin that's rocking the gluten-free and paleo worlds. Made with just six whole-food ingredients (no dairy or soy, either), they're addictive when well-toasted. These satiate us for breakfast or lunch and make us wonder what Mike will be up to next.
One Coffee (Food & Beverage)
For those coffee lovers who appreciate the convenience of a K-Cup but struggle with their environmental impact, One Coffee has you covered. They make organic coffee in a 99 percent biodegradable K-Cup (with a 100 percent version coming soon) that brews up a more responsible and delicious cup of coffee.
PUREnola (Food & Beverage)
With a big focus on crunch, Purenola delivers a great-for-you, grain-free, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, raw treat made from sprouted raw nuts and seeds. The care and love that go into Purenola are apparent, from the gorgeous labels on glass jars to the aromatic flavors that really deliver. The company’s commitment to charitable giving and community building just add to the shine.
Rebbl (Food & Beverage)
Encouraging consumers to take a multivitamin is hard. But thanks to Rebbl Super Herbs, taking adaptogenic herbs is much easier. USDA Organic coconut milk is blended with maca, reishi mushroom, ashwagandha, ginseng, cat’s claw, eleuthero and more. Slightly sweetened with coconut sugar and stevia, these Fair Trade beverages deliver just 120 calories per bottle. We also love how Rebbl supplies in-depth sourcing information on its website and actively supports carbon-capture programs. (The brand also donates 2.5 percent to Not For Sale, a nonprofit that supports regions of the world vulnerable to human trafficking.)
Safe Catch (Food & Beverage)
Safe Catch represents the future of seafood, not just because the brand prioritizes pole and line fishing (rather than nets) to minimize by-catch, but also because they test every single fish for safe mercury levels. Using purity standards that are 70 percent more stringent than the FDA’s mercury limits, Safe Catch alleviates the very valid fear of eating tuna contaminated with this poisonous metal.
Simple Mills (Food & Beverage)
Simple Mills earns a NEXTY nomination for its ultra-clean baking mixes that boast short ingredient lists: almond flour, organic coconut sugar and flour, arrowroot powder, baking soda and sea salt. Paleo-friendly and suitable for gluten-free and dairy-free eaters, these easy-to-make baked goods are the antidotes to highly processed, sugary baking mixes often found on store shelves. Plus, Simple Mills’ bright and beautiful redesign elevates the brand to a standout product. Available in unique flavors ranging from Vanilla Cake to Banana Muffin to Chocolate Chip Cookie.
Simply Dara (Food & Beverage)
A refreshing bite in the not-quite-a-bar category, Simply Dara’s Raw Balls offer a unique cookie dough experience that isn’t too sweet. Further reinforcing their NEXTY nomination status is a solid lineup of on-trend claims listed on their package, including paleo, vegan, gluten free, non-GMO and 100 percent sustainable-compostable packaging.
Simply Gum (Food & Beverage)
This 100 percent natural gum with just six simple ingredients and sweetened with organic dried cane juice makes for a better chew. It's handcrafted in NYC, with nothing artificial and flavors like ginger, maple, coffee and fennel licorice. Plus, the packaging is as simply beautiful as its ingredients.
Snack Out Loud (Food & Beverage)
Known for its roasted bean snacks that offer more nutrition than your traditional crunchy snack foods, Snack Out Loud has something new and creative to offer: Power Puffs. They look like typical snack puffs but are made with beans, so they’re chock full of protein and fiber. Not to mention, they’re delicious. Props to this company for creating something truly new in the healthy snack category.
Super Sprout (Food & Beverage)
As consumers attempt to add more fruits and vegetables to their diets, SuperSprout offers seven organic fruit and vegetable powders to easily and conveniently boost nutrition without hassle. SuperSprout is a whole food supplement— one that is made from concentrated whole foods. Whole food supplements are one of the fastest growing segments in the supplements industry, according to Nutrition Business Journal. SuperSprout offers strawberry, ginger, lemon, blueberry, apple, wheatgrass sprout, barleygrass sprout, broccoli sprout and carrot powders that are easy to swirl, sprinkle and mix into a meal, adding nutrition in seconds.
TaDah! (Food & Beverages)
A poppable falafel ball with the dip already inside? Genius! The founder of TaDah!, dedicated to making healthful foods based on the Mediterranean diet, realized the best place for a tasty dip was in the center of a crunchy falafel bite. So he stuffed Cucumber Dill Yogurt and Harissa Hummus inside the gluten-free, vegan chickpea fritter, making an ultra-convenient and satisfying snack. Tadah!
Tava Life Provisions (Food & Beverage)
Ghee, the Indian version of clarified butter, is a staple in Indian cooking and Ayurvedic medicines. This shelf-stable ingredient, which is rich in vitamins A, D, E and K and fatty acids, is great for cooking because of its high smoke point and smooth, buttery taste. It’s also lactose-intolerant friendly, since all of the milk solids are removed. Yet it hasn’t been readily adopted in the U.S. outside of the paleo community. By infusing grass-fed ghee with ingredients like green chili, sea salt and vanilla bean, and packaging it in beautiful jars that harken back to its Ayurvedic roots, Tava makes this under-appreciated ingredient more approachable for the average consumer.
Treeline Cheese (Food & Beverage)
Nominated for helping to redefine dairy-free, vegan cheese, Treeline is one of our favorites. This isn’t the dairy-free cheese many have had before; this is artisanal cheese made from tree nuts and cultures that even cheese lovers love this dairy-free selection.
Two Moms in the Raw (Food & Beverage)
On her quest to find a powerful and holistic approach to healing after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis in 2004, Shari Leidich discovered a natural path to wellness through raw food nutrition. With her fierce determination, mixed with a dose of spunkiness (as well as with the help of her own mom, the other mom), Two Moms in the Raw is on a passionate mission to reimagine how people snack—with granola bars, nut bars, sea cracker and truffles that are all 100 percent organic, raw, vegan and free of wheat, dairy, soy, refined sugars and gluten. Deliciously tasty ingredients in their most potent and powerful form, and all lovingly mom-made.
Whole e coco (Food & Beverage)
We see coconut water everywhere, but this elixir caught our attention because it still contains coconut cream and coconut oil, so every bottle provides 9 grams of beneficial MCT fats, which provide crash-free natural energy. With no added sugar and organic certification just around the corner, this refreshing yet heartier drink makes coconut water pale by comparison.
World Peas (Food & Beverage)
The founder of World Peas based his potent and authentically seasoned peas and fava crisps on flavors he discovered traveling around the world with his family. Thanks to his liberal hand with the spice, these crunchy, healthful legume snacks satisfy in big, bold ways. The Salt and Vinegar Fava Crisps are especially unique, with the thin crunch of a chip but the nutrition of a bean.
Yumma Superfoods (Food & Beverage)
These single-ingredient organic and raw superfood blends from Yumma (owned by SioSi) are just launching in the United States, and we believe the brand will deeply resonate with Americans. Most ingenious is Yumma’s patented process to freeze-dry fat-containing foods like coconut and amazingly, avocado. Yumma’s Avocado Powder contains no fillers or additives and requires zero refrigeration. Just add water, stir, and you have an avocado paste perfect for guacamole or burritos. The brand even sampled an avocado chip at Expo West—freeze-dried avocado with spices that melted into a velvety, good-fat chip we wouldn’t dare feel guilty noshing. Now that’s something we’ve never seen before.
Zaza (Food & Beverage)
In keeping up with the times, where a slice of dessert seems too indulgent for a snack, Zaza has transformed its gluten-free, vegan, nut-based, paleo-friendly cheesecake and pie slices into spoonable dessert cups. Created to be an allergy-free treat for the founder’s children, Zaza’s Chocolate Ganache, Key Lime Pie and “Cheezecakes” satisfy anyone seeking a delicious, creamy full-flavored bite (or two, or three). Added portability and portion control position these raw desserts squarely in a permissible snack space.
Bodylogix (Supplements & Ingredients)
We love what’s inside BodyLogix’s Natural Whey Protein: gluten-free protein powder sourced from grass-fed cows. But we love what’s on the outside as well, namely the eco.canister—a fully recyclable jug that skips the plastic of standard powder jugs in favor of a compostable molded-fiber shell.
Canadian Prairie Garden (Supplements & Ingredients)
This company's fruit and vegetable purees use a process that begins with a steam infusion and then flash cooks in only nine seconds. This innovative process safeguards the aromas, flavors, colors and nutrients. The 15 crops in its garden purees—including the newly commercialized sassyberry that could give acai a run for its money—are all non-GMO, with no additional ingredients or preservatives. As fresh as it gets.
Essentia (Supplements & ingredients)
We’ve all seen too many bottled waters with too many claims, some bordering on the ridiculous. Drinking water that will make you “smarter” is not going to boost your SAT score. We’d be suspicious of Essentia’s “88 percent more hydrating,” water but we have to give them credit for performing an actual randomized clinical study. Based on blood viscosity and compared to a competing bottled water, findings supported the hydration claim. We’d like to see the study published (it has been submitted to several journals) but we appreciate a bottled water company spending the money to conduct it.
Futureceuticals (Supplements & Ingredients)
Sprouted is nothing new, and greens powders for smoothies, though growing rapidly, isn’t breaking news. But Futureceuticals has brought the two together at the right time to capitalize on the whole food supplement and alternative format trends. Proponents boast that sprouted foods capture the peak nutrition in the plant. Coming from a company with rigorous quality-assurance procedures, SproutGarden adds to the momentum in the powdered greens movement.
Hero Nutritionals (Supplements & Ingredients)
In 1997, Hero launched the first gummy bear kids multi. It took another ten years before they figured out that if kids liked gummies, maybe adults would, too. Cut in the shape of fruit slices, the re-branded Slice of Life line has a half-dozen SKUs aimed at adults and made with all-natural fruit colors, flavors, sweeteners and nothing bad. There’s a reason the gummies category is growing at more than a 30 percent clip.
Ingredion (Supplements & Ingredients)
Novation native starches allow food and beverage manufacturers the ability to create clean label products for custards, dairy desserts and salad dressings. Sourced from Non-GMO Project verified plants such as tapioca, rice, corn, potato and sago, the Novation line meets consumer labeling preferences while still withstanding the rigors of processing as well as providing shelf stability.
J.G. Pizzey (Supplements & Ingredients)
Gluten free is certainly more than a fad at this point. But wouldn’t it be great if gluten-free foods were not only just missing all gluten but also nutritious? BakePur Flax fixes all that by providing not just functionality but also nutrition. Who wouldn’t like a gluten-free product that was also a good source of omega-3s? Bread, muffins, rolls and cookies just found a healthy new friend.
Kannaway (Supplements & Ingredients)
Kannaway’s new Cannabis Beauty Defined line of hemp-based anti-aging products deserves mention for its unique formulations, but we were drawn to it just as much for its smart, subdued packaging and branding. These sophisticated blue containers take cannabis-based personal care products out of the hippie space to make them seem very much like they belong at the luxury cosmetics counter.
Mazza Innovation (Supplements & Ingredients)
Responding to the clean label phenomenon, the PhytoClean method is a patented technology that uses temperature and pressure to trick water into behaving like an organic solvent. The result is a line of high-quality clean bioactives derived without organic solvents like ethanol. Now you can get your polyphenols, alkaloids, glycosides and specialty carbohydrates for integration into foods, supplements or beauty products, all with clean label declarations.
Nature's Dynamics (Supplements & Ingredients)
Any company so far ahead of the curve on so many trends deserves a bigger presence, and there are more than enough signs that Nature’s Dynamics is ready to grow. Coming from a health food store background and stints at other supplement companies, Richard McPeake founded the company in 2004 and was producing whole-food, certified organic gummies long before the cresting whole-food and gummy waves were even ripples. Now with products that range from chewable multivitamins and probiotics for kids to gender-specific and condition-specific formulations, the company’s much-needed label overhaul and online ordering service should raise the profile.
Nuun (Supplements & Ingredients)
Nuun was the first company to see that it might be wise for athletes to keep carbohydrates out of their water bottles. The company’s dissolving, sugar-free electrolyte tablets quickly became a mainstay for endurance athletes around the world when they debuted nearly a decade ago. Now, led by new CEO Kevin Rutheford (former CEO of Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day and former marketing director for Kashi), Nuun has completely reformulated its tabs to be vegan and non-GMO—to the extent that they now use avocado oil as a manufacturing lubricant.
NeoCell (Supplements & Ingredients)
The collagen market belongs to NeoCell because it’s a market the company helped build. Keeping that dominant market share means innovation, and where drink mixes and chews may seem like a gimmick in other supplement categories, NeoCell’s Beauty Burst chews make good sense. “Pill fatigue” is a bigger issue when those pills are taken by the handful, as is the case with collagen, a supplement that works best in large dosages. Some regimens call for six 1000 mg tablets a day. Three fruit-punch-flavored chews are undoubtedly a better experience.
OmniActive (Supplements & Ingredients)
The supplement industry can be so focused on what’s next that it can be easy to look past what’s already here. Most of us have reached for a glass of ginger ale to soothe an upset stomach, but fewer people are aware of the root’s antioxidant qualities. Fewer still would know its benefits for joint and cardiovascular health. Now OmniActive has turned the simple root into a high potency extract for supplements. We’re not sure anybody is ready to declare it “the next curcumin,” but the company’s Gingever has the potential to move ginger past the upset tummy application and into a range of health benefits.
Oxylent (Supplements & Ingredients)
For those looking to ingest nutrients without having to swallow a pill, the effervescent multivitamin powder hounds at Oxylent have been making a range of high-quality formulations to mix in with a glass of water. Now they jumped into the sports nutrition game with a 3-in-1 powder for energy, stamina and recovery featuring top-shelf branded ingredients for today’s natural athlete. Did we mention all Oxylent products contain no sugar, GMOs, dairy, gluten, soy or anything artificial?
RIBUS (Supplements & Ingredients)
Nu-FLOW is the clean, organic solution to silicon dioxide—that dreaded, non-nutritive flow agent used in many supplements. Made from simple organic rice hulls that are sterilized and ground into a fine powder, Nu-FLOW makes labeling supplements as organic a whole lot easier.
Source Naturals (Supplements & Ingredients)
This legacy supplements leader stays on trend with its Vegan True line to help vegans meet their unique nutritional needs. It provides nutrients that vegans have difficulty getting from their typical diets, such as vitamin B12, zinc and iron, as well as supplements hard to find in vegan forms such as omega-3 fatty acids and glucosamine. Also notable is its entry into telomere space with its Telomeron SKU. Telomere science won the 2009 Nobel Prize; it is theorized that maintaining telomeres—the protective end caps of DNA strands—keeps aging at bay.
SuperNutrition (Supplements & Ingredients)
Another legacy supplement company earns a NEXTY nod for its new SimplyOne HeartSmart product— the first in the natural heart health category to optimize the benefits of K2, a vitamin traditionally known for supporting bone health. It’s created a patent-pending blend of vitamins A, D3 and K2 (MenaQ7) in a chewable form to support arterial flexibility and elasticity, healthy blood pressure and healthy bones.
Trace Minerals Research (Supplements & Ingredients)
TMR’s TMRFIT Clean Series meets athletes at all times in their competitive space. The line includes pre-workout, post-workout and liquid ZMA for recovery while sleeping. At their core, the three products contain TMR’s Non-GMO Project verified ConcenTrace trace minerals and, notably for the competitive athlete, have no artificial colors, flavors or sweeteners. They're also non-GMO, gluten-free and certified vegan.
Alaffia (Beauty & Natural Living)
Empowerment. It’s a beautiful word, and it’s the mission behind Alaffia beauty products. Alaffia was founded in 2004 to alleviate poverty and empower communities in West Africa through the fair trade of shea butter and other indigenous resources. Proceeds are returned to these communities through educational projects, women’s health efforts, a reforestation project and more. And did we mention that these products are luscious?
CocoKind (Beauty & Natural Living)
For a basic body and lip care product line to stand out, it has to excel in both purity and quality, which this brand does with its body butter, lip balm and other products that use ingredients including organic virgin coconut oil, organic shea butter, organic beeswax and organic lavender oil. This new-to-Expo West company knows how to be kind to your skin and body with a totally pure, four-ingredients-max line made with organic virgin coconut oil. Its mission is based on being “pure, nutritious and meaningful.” Not to mention each product is USDA Organic—a seal that always impresses us when it appears on a personal care product—and that the company donates a significant portion of proceeds to nonprofit organizations.
Define Bottle (Beauty & Natural Living)
A beautifully designed, eco-friendly water bottle that allows you to take delicious, nutrient-rich, fruit infused water to go. Created by 15-year-old Carter Kostler to help his mom stay away from drinking soda on the go, the Define Bottle offers opportunity for limitless combinations of fresh fruit, teas and herbs and is a great alternative to plain water. What a beautifully sweet idea from a young boy on a mission to tackle childhood obesity head-on.
Dr. Bronner's (Beauty & Natural Living)
Authenticity is common nomenclature in the natural products world. But what does it really mean? You don’t have to look much further than this industry leader's corporate “All One Report” and rebrand—which the company refers to as “old and improved”—that captures all of the character and values that make this brand an annual best-in-show. Staying fresh while staying true to yourself. Check out the report for information on the company’s sustainability, corporate responsibility and more for an awesome example of how.
EarthKind (Beauty & Natural Living)
Toxic chemical sprays, begone! EarthKind's Stay Away products are the first pest prevention line to be made solely with essential oils and plant fiber—nothing else. With options for ants, moths, spiders, and rodents, the scents creatively and effectively target pests; for example, the oils used in Stay Away Spiders not only interfere with a spider’s ability to sense its prey, but also drive away the prey itself, giving spiders no reason to hang around.
EO (Beauty & Natural Living)
Natural beauty brand EO has long been known for its bath and body products, hand soaps and sanitizers. But Expo West marked somewhat of a transformation for the company, proving it’s ready to take its beauty offerings to the next level. Founder Susan Griffin-Black shared her excitement about experimenting with high-performance botanicals to deliver the company’s new, transformative Ageless Skin Care Line with grace and beauty. The natural antiaging category is full of potential, and EO is just the type of company that can help fuel its growth. A higher price point with sophisticated packaging, the line features unique antiaging ingredients such as tsubaki oil—a source of rare antiaging omega-9 fatty acid—and snow algae.
Further Products (Beauty & Natural Living)
Marshall Dostal's habit of collecting depleted vegetable oil (e.g. what's left after frying foods) and refining it into biofuel for his automobiles left huge drums of pure glycerin in his garage—a byproduct of the distillation process. The solution? Creating artisan handmade soaps, lotions, and soy candles out of the glycerin. Zero waste with functional benefits: This is true sustainability in action.
Good Paper (Beauty & Natural Living)
Good Paper's beautiful handmade cards (which use fair trade, recycled materials) are crafted by women rescued from trafficking in the Philippines and young adults orphaned by disease in Rwanda. The folks behind Good Paper partner with International Justice Mission to provide jobs and a fresh start. Each card is hand-signed by the person who made it, enabling you to connect with their stories on Good Paper's website.
lifestinks (Beauty & Natural Living)
When it comes to a story that stops you in your tracks, enter the Duggan Sisters. After suffering through life-changing illnesses, these women took on the ingredients that make our bodies sick and created lifestinks. They went back to school to learn about homeopathic and holistic alternatives, and created a natural deodorant that actually works, with none of the bad stuff. Their wall of thank-you letters from happy customers who having similarly undergone severe illnesses and turned to people like the Duggan Sisters to try to change their habits and products is inspiring.
Nature's Logic (Beauty & Natural Living)
This historically great product has eye-catching new packaging, and while the formulation isn’t new, it needs to be recognized for its on-trend (actually they may have been ahead of the trend) whole-food, real-food approach to pet nutrition. Nature’s Logic pet foods include no synthetic vitamins or minerals and meet AAFCO nutritional guidelines using only real food, not manufactured synthetic ingredients.
Nova Scotia Fisherman (Beauty & Natural Living)
Nova Scotia Fisherman’s 100 percent natural Xtreme Skin Care line uses local Canadian ingredients like Nova Scotian sea kelp, sea buckthorn, sea fennel and bayberry. One of the main ingredients in each product, Nova Scotian Sea Kelp, stands out as an antioxidant and anti-aging agent that improves skin elasticity and softness. To boot, none of the products use animal testing, petroleum based ingredients or parabens. Nova Scotia Fisherman is a family- and friend-owned company that employs local staff in Nova Scotia while also donating a portion of every sale to the Nature Conservancy of Canada.
Organic Essence (Beauty & Natural Living)
USDA certified organic, a very long list of what is NOT in their products and breakthrough truly sustainable packaging make these personal care products one of a kind. These cool looking jars and tubes are made from 100 percent recycled paper and are completely biodegradable and safe for home composting, so nothing yucky seeps into creams, and nothing yucky is left in landfills when you’re done!
Raw Elements (Beauty & Natural Living)
Mineral sunscreen is a category to watch in the natural beauty space, and this line delivers innovation and quality in a sporty brand that will catch on with eco- and health-conscious consumers. Non-GMO Project verified and ranked among the best sunscreens by the Environmental Working Group, these sticks and lotion contain full-spectrum, non-nano zinc oxide and nourish with organic sunflower oil, cocoa butter and beeswax. In addition to its quality sourcing and involvement with the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, the company includes a range of educational content on its website to further support its commitment to safety.
Scotch Naturals (Beauty & Natural Living)
Scotch Naturals nail lacquer by Lila Natural Cosmetics is a game-changer in the beauty and natural living space. After five years of research and development with leading polymer chemists, Scotch Naturals only recently unveiled its patent-pending NaturaLaq technology, which features three key ingredients: castor oil, shellac and alcohol. Without sacrificing beauty or quality, Scotch Naturals is now the first-ever nature-based nail lacquer that is 100 percent free of phthalates, parabens and toxins. The nail lacquers also come in a wide range of stylish colors, have a durable, quick-dry formula and are gluten free and cruelty free.
Seaweed Bath Co. (Beauty & Natural Living)
The Seaweed Bath Co. started as a solution for psoriasis relief and became much more. With new packaging reminiscent of days spent at the beach, the full line of bath products uses a plethora of unique ingredients from both the ocean and around the world to soothe and revitalize skin. Made with sustainably harvested, certified organic Maine bladderwrack seaweed—a natural inflammation fighter—neem oil, argan oil and Hawaiian Kukui oils, each product offers a unique blend of vitamin E, fatty acids and natural anti-bacterial protection. Seaweed also encourages skin elasticity and the nutrients found within can reduce acidity levels in the body and skin.
Sibu Beauty (Beauty & Natural Living)
Sibu nails combining beauty, a superfood key ingredient story and the halo of the Dalai Lama all in one! Sibu Beauty skin care products are made from the Himalayan sea buckthorn berry. Known as the “beauty berry” across Europe and Asia, sea buckthorn contains over 190 bioactive compounds that restore, revitalize and protect youthful beauty—from the inside-out and outside-in—with topical treatments, dietary supplements and a new beverage.
Thrive (Beauty & Natural Living)
Finally, natural personal care for men has hit its stride— and there’s no better brand to prove the category’s potential than Thrive. The less than one-year-old company has it all: Simple branding that hints at masculinity rather than screams it; a strong mission and story (it supports local farmers and entrepreneurs in Costa Rica); and a focus on ingredient quality and performance. Not only does it formulate with unique Costa Rican botanicals, but it also grows them in restorative gardens that help to support local biodiversity. Plus, the company partnered with a local formulator to provide local business opportunities while capturing the intended use of the ingredients. The male consumer is bringing great opportunities to natural brands such as Thrive that are bringing the right products to the market. Yup, something tells us this brand is bound to thrive.
Under the Canopy (Beauty & Natural Living)
Under the Canopy aims to change the fashion and textile industries from the inside out, featuring an extensive line of apparel, bedding and household textiles crafted using certified Organic cotton. Ethical, transparent manufacturing methods are used from farm to finished fashion, and all items meet the stringent Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). Founder Marci Zaroff also helped Fair Trade USA develop the first USA Fair Trade certification for textiles. Best of all: The price point is super-competitive with non-organic apparel.