ANAHEIM, CALIFE. – Mushrooms, chickpeas and dates were among the ingredients presented in a number of innovations at Natural Products Expo West. The brands that participated in the event, which took place on March 8-12 in Anaheim, have identified new applications that cover a number of product categories.
“Expo West is all about innovation,” said Carlotta Mast, senior vice president and market leader at New Hope Network Informa Markets, which hosts Natural Products Expo. “We see unique ingredients, new formats and formulations … that help consumers meet very specific health and well-being needs.”
Sales of natural, organic and functional foods and beverages in the United States will soon exceed $ 220 billion by 2024. That’s more than $ 100 billion 10 years ago, Ms. Mast said during a presentation at the event.
“Natural, organic and functional foods and beverages … now account for 25% of total food and beverage sales, so they are still small compared to conventional foods and beverages, but are growing at a much higher rate again” She added.
Quoting Business Journal of Nutrition She said sales of natural, organic and functional foods and beverages grew by 7.2% last year to $ 187 billion, compared to 9% growth in 2020. Sales of organic food and beverages increased 6% to $ 50.7 billion, while sales of functional foods and beverages increased 8.3% to $ 84 billion, Ms. Mast said.
“The pursuit of health really drives this industry,” she said. “Consumers have changed. They pay more attention to their health and well-being. They are exploring new brands. They cook more at home. And it creates more long-term opportunities for this industry. “
The trend at Expo West was mushrooms in various forms. Brands showcased snacks such as chips and cured meats made from shiitake, king oysters and portabel mushrooms. Functional mushrooms such as reishi, lion mane and chaga have appeared in many beverage recipes, from ready-to-use tonics to blends of coffee and tea that promote benefits such as brain health, soothing effect and more. Mushrooms also give a spicy aroma and fleshy texture to the dishes presented at the exhibition.
Chickpeas were used in various snacks and pantries of the main products seen at the exhibition. Universal beans are the basis of vegetable yogurt and frozen desserts. Spreads and condiments included alternatives to mayonnaise, dzats and allergen-free peanut butter. Chickpeas have also replaced grains in foods such as pasta, pizza and cookies. New to Expo West was Chickease, a brand of cooked chickpea snack in bags that you can grab and go with flavors including Classic, BBQ and Tex Mex.
Dates are used as nutritious sweeteners in several new uses, including chocolate, protein bars, frozen desserts and pudding. Good Food For Good has offered a line of organic ketchups and barbecue sauces sweetened with dates. Rollin ‘n Bowlin’ presented pitted snacks with peanut or almond butter filling. Joolies debuted diced chocolate-coated dates. Several brands have also featured bottled date syrup.
Other exhibitors have shown kelp as a key ingredient that can play a role in the sustainable nutrition of the world’s growing population. Zero-content crops do not require fresh water, fertilizer or dry soil to grow, and it filters carbon and nitrogen from the water. In addition, kelp contains vitamins and minerals including zinc, calcium, folate, potassium and iron. At Expo West 12 Tides presented its range of kelp chips, and Ocean’s Balance featured seaweed in a range of sauces and condiments. Atlantic Sea Farms sells kelp for thawing and consumption, mashed kelp cubes and fermented seaweed. Kelpie Chips are fried and seasoned seaweed snacks with flavors including apple cinnamon, pizza and celandine.
Jackfruit, a large fruit tree of Southeast Asia, is the main ingredient of Jack & Annie’s, a brand of frozen and chilled plant-based meat alternatives. Upton’s Naturals offers shredded and seasoned jackfruit as a substitute for pork or chicken in tacos, salads and sandwiches. According to the company, Amazi Foods produces chewing gum from dried jackfruits, which “taste like adult fruit buns.” Seril’s Chakka chips are crunchy and cooked in coconut oil, reminiscent of a favorite snack from the Indian founder’s childhood.
Another new ingredient spotted at Expo West is sacha-inchi, a seed native to parts of South America and the Caribbean that has emerged as part of an organic meat substitute, crunchy puff pastry and vegetable oil. Starseed has released a line of disposable sacha-inch butter packets that are positioned as a food for endurance athletes.
An innovative ingredient spotted at Expo West
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