Want the inside scoop on the hottest new trends? Join me the Natural Products Expo West, taking over the Anaheim Convention Center March 5th through 8th! This will be my eighth year at the show and it’s my favorite place to connect with the amazing individuals and companies that drive the natural lifestyle movement.
For the second year, I’m proud to be one of a select group of bloggers chosen by New Hope Media, which produces Expo West, to report from the show. And because of that oh-so-elite status, I got the lowdown on the top five natural lifestyle trends we’ll be seeing this year—first in Anaheim, and then in supermarkets. Want to know what will be the next quinoa or kale…crickets?
According to NEXT Forecast projections, the natural products industry is expanding rapidly—a full 64% from 2013 to 2019—and at double the projected growth rate of conventional goods. Here are a few trends that might account for some of it.
Want to know what’s the next quinoa or kale…crickets? Keep an eye on these five natural lifestyle trends! COCONUT CRAZY
Have you seen the USDA Certified Organic Crisco Coconut Oil? (Yes, really: I shared more about it here.) When a behemoth as big as Smuckers gets on board, you know that coconut is a trend with staying power. Manufacturers are starting to use coconut as a way to get rid of less-healthy fats—and that’s a good thing. And coconut water? It’s now a $1 billion beverage category, and it hasn’t even been on the market for 10 years.
WATER, THE NEW SODA
Speaking of water, this year it’s anything but plain. Think maple, almond, watermelon, cactus—even olive and artichoke! Is naturally flavored water the new soda? I certainly hope so, considering the studies that link soda—even diet soda—to obesity, a problem that impacts a full third of Americans today.
Mission-based marketing is hot, with companies building on philanthropic concepts that often encompass fair trade philosophies. Which totally makes sense because why would you buy plain old coffee when you can buy coffee that supports small artisan farmers in Ecuador?
The one caveat to the philanthropy forward rule is vegan foods, which now tend to emphasize ingredients and taste more than their animal-free status. Obviously cruelty- and animal-free are still important to consumers, but nobody wants to eat something that tastes like cardboard just because it’s vegan. Right?
PALEO & PROTEIN
Empowered by online communities and social media, the Paleo Diet has become the Weight Watchers of the 21st century. Brands are slapping the word on packaging, and a new Certified Paleo program has emerged. (Still wondering what Paleo is, exactly? In a nutshell: No grains, processed sugars, dairy or legumes. Easy, right?) Paleo probably has something to do with the fact that protein is again a big trend in foods. But it’s not limited to animal products—new foods get their protein from peas…and crickets.
Would you eat crickets? What big natural lifestyle trend did I miss? Tell me about it in comments, please! And if you want to go inside Expo West with me next month, I’ll be sharing photos and videos from the show Instagram, Twitter and the Mommy Greenest Facebook page.