Happy Holidays and enjoy the last of The Natural Products Expo East 2018 series, which highlights information on the latest trends in the natural products industry. My Top Ten Trends at Expo East post confirmed that animal and plant paleo products continue to be a hot product category. Many booths at Expo East offered animal and plant paleo product options based on the benefits and trends toward animal and specific plant-based nutrition.
As more people research natural products for their energy, health, and vitality many are embracing a combination of health trends from both aminal and plant options. Several representatives at Expo East I spoke with shared their reasons driving their decisions. Some of the most popular animal products on display utilized: bone broth, grass-fed organic meat, kefir, and yogurt. There were even booths with crickets. Paleo based plant products included ancient grains, beans, coconuts, cassava, greens, nuts, plantains, pulses, seaweeds, seeds, and vegetables. Several companies deserve honorable mention for their innovative ideas and products at the conference and warrant further review. Some of my favorite foods at the conference were:
- Bacon is back. Even pork skins were being promoted for a paleo snack.
- Beef jerky was a popular snack food on display. Ayoba-Yo promoted their traditional biltong prepared using grass-fed beef with a recipe they used in South Africa.
- Bone broth (beef and chicken) was being promoted by many exhibitors.
- Crickets were a unique paleo treat in the Cricket Protein Bar from Aketta I tried. The tasty energy bar allows one to consume a paleo protein, which along with many other insects (ants, grasshoppers, grubs and termites have played a role in paleo nutrition in many cultures.
- Fresh fish, canned fish, and fish jerky were being promoted by several exhibitors. Many were promoting sustainable harvest and wild caught rather than farm raised.
- Free range chickens and eggs are growing in popularity to help people avoid ones with antibiotics and hormones.
- Grass-fed beef and even buffalo are very popular. True Story Foods is one that stands out for their antibiotic-free organic meats. Meatbar offers a grass-fed beef bar.
- Gluten free and wheat free was a big Paleo theme with many products made from almond, cassava, coconut, and plantain flour is widely used in many food choices and recipes.
- Hemp is a great plant protein with many benefits for better health. Dharma Bars and GORP Energy bars with hemp protein are great.
- Moringa is another great plant-based protein with many health benefits. The Kuli Kuli Moringa Energy Bar is definitely worth a try.
- Mushrooms are becoming a fairly significant trend with many varieties being promoted. Fungi Perfecti shared how mushrooms can be a delicious and nutritious choice that is high in protein and referred to as a superfood that is super easy to grow and prepare. Four Sigmatic offered delicious superfood mushroom drinks in the form of coffees, elixirs, and hot chocolates.
- Peas and peanuts are very popular protein foods showing up in many protein bars, powders, and supplements.
- Plantain flour was another hot new product at Expo East. The Real Coconut booth has some great food choices using both coconut and plantain flour. They serve the gluten, grain, and dairy free market.
- Soy is still a popular food in many countries. Unfortunately, 90% of the soy in the US is GMO soy so be sure to choose GMO-free soy if you consume soy. There were many soy bars, powders, and tofu at many booths. Unfortunately, most of the soy and tofu in the US is not GMO-free and properly fermented and often contain herbicide residues so be careful and choose wisely.
There was a big focus at #expoeast on animal & plant paleo natural products. It is essential to read and research the ingredients label before buying natural products because not all products are created equal. It can be challenging to determine how healthy, natural and organic the ingredients on labels are so sure to do your research. Most of the marketers, suppliers, and vendors promoting their products appear to have high standards and quality sources but remember … it is up to you to make informed decisions and determine what products are best.
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