Trade shows are so much fun! If you’ve never attended one, it’s basically several days of sampling a wide variety of foods out of little sample cups. Natural Products Expo East is held each September in Baltimore, Maryland. This year I was treated to delicious new products from companies I already love, as well as fantastic new finds from up and coming businesses. There are so many to choose from, it’s really a challenge to narrow down my favorites… the following is my take on trendspotting at Expo East 2015: (Disclosure: I have no monetary relationships with any of the companies featured in this post at the time of print)
Trend #1-Sprouted Grains: The blogging world is full of news about the health benefits of sprouted grains such as increased vitamin, mineral and antioxidant content, as well and increased digestibility and nutrient absorption. A few of my favorite sprouted grain products from Expo East are:
Silver Hills Bakery– It’s difficult to find a sprouted bread with a lower calorie content. Silver Hills Bakery offers a “Little Big Bread” which contains 110 calories, 7g protein and 5g fiber for 2 slices. It’s also organic, vegan, and nonGMO.
Alvarado Street Bakery’s Essential Flax Seed Bread also offers an organic lower calorie sprouted bread with 100 calories, 6g protein and 5g fiber for 2 slices.
Way Better Snacks– I’m not a frequent chip eater, but when I do partake, I absolutely love Way Better Snacks for the nutritional profile and taste. No boring flavors here! Try the newest seasonal flavors: Apple Cinnamon Spice, Ginger Snap and Ginger-Kissed Sweet Potato. YUM!
Trend #2- Peanut Butter- enhanced:
Crazy Richards Pure PB+– It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of powdered peanut butter. More varieties are showing up on the market and this Pure PB+ offers the additional benefits of some B vitamins and decaffeinated green tea. It’s nice for athletes, and who would argue with a tiny metabolic boost from the green tea? At only 50 calories per 2 Tablespoons, you benefit from 6 grams of protein and 2g fiber. Use it in your smoothies and recipes calling for peanut butter to save a lot of calories!
Protein Plus, LLC- This company has developed the first peanut protein shake mix called Protein Energy Power. It’s DELICIOUS! If you are a peanut butter lover who also loves shakes and smoothies, keep an eye out for it soon.
Wild Friends Protein+ Peanut and Almond Butter: If you are a Shark Tank fan, you probably remember these ladies from the early episodes. I’ve been enjoying their tasty nut butters for a few years and new to the product line is protein enhanced nut butters with 50% more protein including Vanilla Peanut Butter, Vanilla Almond Butter and Chocolate Peanut Butter. They are definitely tasty- look for them soon!
Trend #3- Food for Kids:
FreshKids: As a mom, it’s always a struggle to find healthy versions of everyone’s favorite snacks. FreshKids offers just that. Remember the rectangular tray pack of skinny pretzel sticks we all used to enjoy in our lunchboxes? Now they are available in a whole grain version! They even meet the requirements for a whole grain serving for the USDA school lunch program. Check out their other products too!
Golden Platter Disney’s “Frozen” Chicken Nuggets: Generally, I’m not a chicken nugget fan, but for those looking for a healthier variety, these Frozen themed nuggets are made from breast meat, are gluten free and lacking preservatives you don’t want to feed your kids.
Trend #4- Low/No Calorie Beverages:
With a significant emphasis on decreasing added sugars in the American diet, there are tons of low and no calorie beverages popping up everywhere. Some are traditional with a twist, some are definitely novel. Here’s what I found at Expo:
Sound Sparkling Tea: This is organic tea meets sparkling water. Yup- carbonated flavored tea. These are definitely unique- Yerba Mate with Citrus and Hibiscus, White Tea with Peach and Ginger, and Chamomile Vanilla and Elderflower. All with zero calories per bottle.
Bigelow Tea: We are all used to seeing Bigelow Tea in our supermarkets, it’s been around since 1945. When you give an RD a box to stuff with tea bags, you get a very happy dietitian!! I packed mine with these new seasonal flavors, they are SOOO good! Apple Cider, Pumpkin Spice, Egg Nog, Salted Caramel- so awesome on a cool evening!
Everly: I love products that taste good and give back to mankind. Everly drink mixes contain zero calories and are sweetened with a little bit of stevia and erythritol. Available flavors are Pomegranate Maqui Berry, Peach Mango and Green Tea Passionfruit. For each box purchased, a packet of life-saving hydration medicine is donated to treat a child sick with waterborne disease. So amazing.
Trend #5-Not Your Carb Laden Muffins:
Mikey’s Muffins: These were a very pleasant surprise! Mikey’s Muffins are paleo friendly, low calorie, multi-purpose English muffins for those who cannot or choose not to eat gluten, dairy, soy, or grain products. With very minimal and clean ingredients, and less than 100 calories per muffin, I found them to be a fresh and new take for breakfast or snacks.
My Award for the “Most Unique”:
Jackfruit from The Jackfruit Company. Jackfruit is native to southern India and is a “miracle” crop with a single tree producing 2.5-3 TONS of fruit each year. Wow! It has a texture which makes it a great meat alternative for those looking to incorporate more plant based foods into their diet. It’s very low in calories, yet high in fiber. It’s not high in protein, so keep that in mind when meal planning. Look for it in the refrigerated meat alternative section of the supermarket.
Whew, and that’s just a fraction of my personal picks from Expo East 2015. Have you spotted any of these products in your stores or online? Let me know which ones you’ve tried and what you think!