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NEXT trends to watch at Expo West

NEXT Trends Guidebook Expo West 2022
As Natural Products Expo West returns to California for the first since 2019, the trendspotters of the New Hope Network offer trends to watch.

Since the early 1980s, Anaheim, California, has hosted one of the largest global events in the natural products industry. From 8 to 12 March 2022, Natural Products Expo West will return for its first in-person edition since the COVID-19 pandemic closed the doors only days before the 2020 edition was to take place. Expect buyers, retailers and brands to convene in an expo hall abuzz with sampling, tasting, and learning about the latest market innovations.

Before every Natural Products Expo, the trendspotters at New Hope Network review brands registered to exhibit on the expo floor against the 50+ trends shaping the industry. The result is the Natural Products Expo West 2022 NEXT Trend Guidebook—a curated list of exhibitors that stand out and innovate within the industry’s hottest trends. This guidebook details the key macro forces with their corresponding trends, and a focused list of companies with their category and link to their website.

The guidebook showcases and illustrates the industry’s trends unfolding in the U.S. marketplace, particularly beneficial for those needing to understand U.S. trends. The NEXT Trend Guidebook covers 50 distinct trends nested under 17 macro forces, culminating from three paradigm-shifting cultural forces disrupting the U.S. consumer packaged goods industry.

Here is a sneak peak of the top ten trends unfolding around Natural Products Expo West 2022.

Eat more plants

From omnivores to vegans, the goal is to incorporate more nutrient-dense plants in the diet. Brands are creatively catering to picky children avoiding spinach and broccoli, adventurous adults seeking the latest exotic plant superstar, and consumers seeking meat and dairy alternatives.

Multi stakeholder

Brands that were not necessarily formed with the mission to solve poverty, hunger, or environmental problems but are rethinking how they conduct business by aiming beyond profits and reducing negative impact on people and planet.

Clean label

Simplification is a means to rebuilding trust. Brands are stripping out unpopular ingredients, creating simple ingredient lists and addressing all the cleanup efforts behind their products.

Sugar vilified

The industry is fractured on how to deal with the negative turmoil surrounding sugar and innovation is multipronged with low glycemic food-based sweeteners, zero calorie alternatives, or redefining the sensation of sweet cravings with new flavors (savory, bitter) and formats (sparkling).

Nutrition meets convenience

Make it simple but make it nutritious. Whether it’s incorporating medicinal benefits through food, foodification of supplements, or using the latest medicinal herb, innovation in convenience-focused brands are trying to bring nutrition back to the category.

Mission-driven commerce

Brands in this space are represented by radical change-makers doing the hard work to create a product or brand with a focused goal to improve how commerce is conducted by addressing social or environmental issues.

Diversifying ownership

The faces behind the majority shareholder in a brand are shifting. Whether it be through types of employee-owned models, or new enterprises with BIPOC, Latinx, or Asian-American founders, entrepreneurs are diversifying what ownership looks like.

Waste reduction

Brands and businesses are stepping up with clever ideas to reduce and remove waste along various steps and corners in the supply chain. Through by-product turned value add or ingredient optimization ideation, waste otherwise known as a pollutant turns into energy or edible food.

Sourcing responsibly

Working to mitigate the extractive tendencies of our food system many brands are operating with greater sourcing intention. In order to deliver quality ingredients, transparent and direct trade relationships are formed.

Plant-based ethics

The ugly side-effects of the livestock industry are drivers for consumers opting for more plants as they either reduce or avoid animal-based foods entirely.

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