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Top 10 Organic Products from the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show and Good Food Mercantile in NYC

Last week, I was in New York City to attend two fantastic trade shows — 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show and Good Food Mercantile.

Whenever I go to these shows, I always come across some outstanding organic products, and this year was no exception.

Here are my Top 10 Organic Products of the 2024 Summer Fancy Food Show and Good Food Mercantile.

 

BUG SPRAY FROM BLUESTEM BOTANICALS

Fancy Food was the first time I had come across Bluestem Botanicals and was incredibly impressed by what I saw and learned from this Pennyslvania-based brand and farm. Several of its very innovative products could have easily made this list.

Yet, the one that really caught my eye was Bugs Away, a certified organic bug spray.

Bugs Away is a gentle blend of hydrosols (distilled aromatic waters) known to repel bugs. Catnip, rose geranium, lemongrass, lavender and eucalyptus are combined in a gentle, water-based aromatic blend that is safe for liberal application to the skin of children and adults alike.

Bluestem’s deep commitment to ecology is very admirable, as it created a  ‘Wildlife Corridor’ project on its property in 2009. With the help of the Bucks County Soils & Conservation District and the NRCS, it has sculpted swales, set aside riparian buffer zones, dug ephemeral pools, have planted over 1,000 native trees, woody shrubs and have established a 1-acre warm season grass meadow.

 

JAPANESE FRUIT SPREADS FROM KANKITSU LABO

The Japanese brand Kankitsu Labo is offering U.S. consumers some delicious and very unique organic citrus spreads.

While yuzu is relatively well-known here, I had never heard of sudachi or amanatsu prior to visiting its booth at Fancy Food.

All certified organic, the three flavors are Yuzu & Grape (no sugar added), Amanatsu & Lemon, and Sudachi & Blend.

A very beautiful and thoughtful product line. It feels bespoke.

 

HYDRATE DRINKS FROM KOR

Most people know Kor for its organic shots, but soon, my prediction is that the brand will be more known for its line of organic hydration drinks.

Called Hydrate, they are available in four flavors — Tropical Punch, Citrus Refresh, Superfood Quench and Orange Ginger — and feature 30% cold-pressed juice in each bottle, electrolytes and no added sugar. My favorite was the Superfood Quench, featuring blue spirulina.

Rolling out this September nationally at Whole Foods Market.

 

REGENERATIVE ORGANIC CERTIFIED® SPARKING PREBIOTIC HYDRATION BEVERAGES FROM RECOUP

In my weekly Organic Insider newsletter, I am constantly featuring new Regenerative Organic Certified® (ROC) products.

But the Regenerative Organic Certified® Sparkling Beverage from Recoup is practically in a class of its own. That is because it has been awarded ROC Gold Status, the highest of the three levels and something that very, very few farms and brands around the world have achieved.

Recoup has made a pivot as of late, changing its product from a regular juice to a sparkling prebiotic hydration beverage. And it works.

Made with electrolytes, no added sugar and no stevia.

 

SINGLE SERVE A2 YOGURT CUPS FROM BELLWETHER FARMS

In the organic industry, A2 milk has been making real inroads as of late, as the story is resonating greatly with dairy-sensitive consumers.

The background….

Traditionally, cows produced milk with A2/A2 beta-casein protein, but over time, a mutated A1 gene worked its way into dairy cattle. It is believed that many people’s bad reactions from dairy — gut issues, inflammation, congestion and autoimmune diseases — are a result of consuming the A1 protein. As such, a majority of people self-diagnose themselves as lactose intolerant, yet many of these same individuals can tolerate A2 milk.

A2 dairy products are now showing up in milk, kefir and yogurt, but I have never seen organic A2 yogurt before in single serves.

As a huge fan of organic A2 dairy, kudos to Bellwether Farms for offering this single-serve product — in plain, strawberry and blackberry — and making it more accessible for people, especially those who want to try it for the first time and don’t want to purchase a large container.

 

ARONIA BERRY DRINKS FROM NATURAO

I first became acquainted with aronia berries — and their super-high antioxidant properties — at Natural Products Expo West 2012.

Unfortunately, since then, organic aronia berry products have just not been seen too often, particularly at retail.

I am hoping that will change with Naturao, a New York-based family-owned company and farm that grows its own organic aronia berries. The organic drinks come in three flavors — Apple, Hibiscus Rosehip Tea and Black Tea — and there is no added sugar.

With both its great taste and the fact that the USDA table of ORAC (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity ) says that aronia berries have nearly three times the value of blueberries and blackberries, Naturao has a very compelling story to tell.

Currently available at select retail locations in the Northeast, with further expansion expected soon.

 

CHOCOLATE KNEKKEGODIS FROM NORWEGIAN BAKED

Norwegian Baked has been on my radar screen for many years, as it is a NYC-based company and I used to buy its delicious organic crispbread crackers — Knekkebrød — at Lifethyme Market when I lived in Manhattan’s West Village.

Instead of tossing away the “imperfect” or broken cracker bits, founder Hedvig Bourbon decided to upcycle them and then add caramel dark chocolate with cranberries on the top.

This creation is called KnekkeGodis, and trust me when I tell you that these pictures above do not do this product justice. This one will stop you in its tracks.

 

ENERGY DRINKS FROM UNITY

There are so many times when I have needed a jolt of caffeine and a cup of coffee or tea simply have not done the job. And given my organic lifestyle, one of these conventional energy drinks was never a consideration.

If I only had access to Unity, an organic energy drink that offers 220mg of caffeine.

Available in three flavors — Tropical Paradise, Citrus Sunrise and Berry Bliss, which was my favorite. Love the branding, too.

 

U.S.-GROWN SAFFRON FROM CYRUS SAFFRON

I have been writing about the organic industry for 14+ years and had absolutely no idea that U.S.-grown, certified organic saffron existed.

So, I was stunned when I came across Cyrus Saffron on the main floor at Fancy Food — and even more surprised to learn that it has been around since 2014.

This small family-owned business grows much of its saffron on its ranch in Chelan, Washington, and its product is 22-24 karat 100% organic saffron, all-red with no yellow. Moisture is never added to increase weight, and this premium saffron is rigorously tested, with 3rd-party lab results for high levels of safranal (aroma), crocin (color) and picocrocin (flavor).

 

MANUKA HONEY DROPS WITH PROPOLIS FROM TRANZ ALPINE

I am very familiar with both manuka honey — a very powerful honey from New Zealand – and propolis — a resin-like material made by bees that is often taken by people to fight colds.

However, I have never seen the two of them together in a USDA certified organic product — until I discovered this at Good Food Mercantile.

TranzAlpine could have a big hit on its hands come wintertime with these organic Manuka Honey Drops with Propolis.

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To read my full recap and key trends from the 2024 Fancy Food Show and Good Food Mercantile on Organic Insider, click HERE.

A message from E3Live

"My Everyday, Must-Have Green Organic Aquabotanical"

The best testimonial that I can give is that I drink this every single day, as it impacts my mood in an incredibly positive way.

E3Live + BrainON is certified organic, fresh-frozen AFA (Aphanizomenon flos-aquae) with a concentrated, aqueous, organic extract of Phenylethylamine and Phycocyanin.

Learn more.

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Company Stories

Ozuké – The Best Organic Kimchi I’ve Ever Had

When I review organic food products, I do my best to make sure that they are available either online or at retail locations throughout much of the country, so readers can go buy them.

Sometimes, however, my excitement about a product is so strong that I have to make an exception.

Over the Thanksgiving holidays, not only was I fortunate to have eaten at Dr. Andrew Weil’s restaurant True Food Kitchen for the very first time, but I was also lucky enough to have discovered Ozuké kimchi by the Esoteric Food Company.

For the most part, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented foods is a very regional business.

So, wherever you go in the U.S., there tends to be a different local producer of these foods.

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A message from Tradin Organic

Why Tradin Organic is Prioritizing Regenerative Organic Farming

At Tradin Organic, we believe that regenerative organic farming is key to growing healthy and nutritious food ingredients — for now and for future generations.

And in Sierra Leone, we have grown the world’s first Regenerative Organic Certified cacao.

Learn more.

Living Maxwell

Company Stories

How Sustainable Bananas are Produced at EARTH University in Costa Rica

When I was at EARTH University in Costa Rica, I got a chance to learn everything about sustainable banana production – from how they are grown in the fields to how they are shipped to the U.S.

In this video, I’ll take you onto the banana plantation of EARTH University and show you the issues that they have to deal with when growing bananas in such humid conditions.

What’s important to note is that it took EARTH University many, many years for its sustainable bananas to reach profitability and the school was told by consultants that the program wasn´t going to work.

EARTH University’s president refused to give up because he knew that this was the right way to do business – for the environment, for the farm workers, for consumers – even though his bananas were more expensive than conventionally-grown ones.

Whole Foods recognized the importance of what EARTH University was doing and the values that it stood for, and decided to distribute the school’s bananas throughout the U.S. Not only has this partnership been critical for the long-viability of EARTH University’s banana program, but the strong demand for the school’s bananas has proven that sustainability is good business.

Without question, EARTH University’s bananas are the best that I have ever eaten. If you have the chance to buy them, definitely do so.

You’ll be eating a fantastic product and also be supporting an incredibly important endeavor for sustainability.

Also, being such a huge fan of bananas, I can’t tell you how interesting this day was for me. Enjoy!

livingmaxwell: a guide to organic food & drink