As I do after each Natural Products Expo West, I name my top picks of the show.
Having discovered so many outstanding products, it was incredibly difficult to narrow the list down to five. The quality just keeps getting better and better each year.
Below are my Top 5 Organic Food Products from Expo West 2018 and if you’d like to read my key trends, full analysis and takeaways from the show, be sure to sign up for Organic Insider.
MACA CHOCOLATE DARK ROAST FROM TEECCINO
Teeccino founder Caroline MacDougall has been formulating organic teas for decades, and her expertise in making delicious drinks was on full display in her new Maca Chocolate Dark Roast at Expo West.
Aside from the beautiful flavor, this herbal blend contains plenty of phytonutrients from the carob, cocoa and chiles.
Yet, what makes this drink so unique is that the company is using ramón seeds (above), a food that I had never known about before.
Ramón seeds are very high in potassium, have twice the calcium of corn or quinoa, are abundant in fiber, do not have allergens, and contain a complete protein that has high amounts of tryptophan, the feel-good amino acid that the body converts into serotonin.
These seeds were a traditional food of the Mayan civilization, and they used them medicinally to detoxify the liver and promote lactation in nursing women. The trees grow to 120 feet tall and are one of the most dominant tree species in Central American forests.
Teeccino is pioneering the introduction of ramón seeds to the North American market, and it took the company many years to develop and harvest them in Guatemala, which was done in partnership with ForesTrade, an international supplier of organic, sustainably-produced tropical ingredients.
This Maca Chocolate Dark Roast is caffeine-free and acid-free, and provides a natural energy boost from nutrients, not stimulants. It can be purchased on teeccino.com and from select retailers nationwide.
Fantastic work by Teeccino for bringing us the ramón seeds and in such a great-tasting drink!
(Here is a picture of a ramón tree.)
MCT POWDER FROM NUTIVA
When you think about who “won” Expo West 2018, Nutiva could certainly make this claim.
Aside from launching the very first 100% American-grown organic hemp seeds at the show — an endeavor that took Nutiva founder John Roulac 20 years to achieve and almost landed him in prison — the company also introduced its new line of coconut-based organic body care products.
What put Nutiva on this list, however, was that it unveiled the world’s first organic MCT powder, a follow-on product to last year’s winner of organic MCT oil. (MCT stands for medium-chain triglycerides and is a form of saturated fatty acid that helps with cognitive function, among other things.)
Derived from 100% young organic coconuts, Nutiva’s organic MCT powder:
– Quickly converts to ketones, giving the brain, muscles and other tissues fast and sustained energy
– Is easier to blend into beverages, such as coffee, than MCT oil and is more gentle on the digestive system
– Boosts gut health with its 3 grams of prebiotic acacia fiber
– Contains zero net carbs
Over the past 12 months, Nutiva is proving that it can innovative as well as anyone in the industry, and the company had a monster Expo West 2018.
Nutiva’s organic MCT powder will be available on Nutiva.com in May, and on Amazon and at retailers nationwide in the second half of 2018.
ORGANIC PROTEIN BAR MIX FROM FOODSTIRS
Once Foodstirs introduces its single-serve mug cakes into Starbucks this summer — 8,000 stores nationwide — it will be in a total of approximately 15,500 retail locations within 2.5 years of launching the company in 2015. To achieve this distribution in such a short period of time is truly incredible.
Not only is this due to the company’s three rock star founders — CEO Galit Laibow, COO Greg Fleishman, and Chief Creative Officer Sarah Michelle Gellar — but it is also the result of the top-notch, innovative products Foodstirs is delivering to the marketplace.
Nothing exemplifies this more than what the company unveiled at Expo West — organic protein bar mixes.
How many times have you wanted to have a protein bar but didn’t feel like the super-processed ones at the supermarket or didn’t know how to make one from scratch at home?
Foodstirs has solved this problem with its delicious and easy-to-make organic protein bar mixes, particularly convenient for baking novices such as myself. Just add a little oil and water, and 25 minutes later you have 10 bars for $5.99 per bag — approximately the same cost as two or three ready-to-eat bars you get at the store.
Even better is that the ingredients are the cleanest and highest quality available — Biodynamic, Identity Preserved and Fair Trade, all under the USDA certified organic umbrella.
The three flavors — Chocolate Chippy Sea Salt, Chocolate Almond Butter, and Blueberry Bliss — will be available in April at Foodstirs.com, Amazon, and select retailers throughout the U.S.
This is a super-smart product.
ANNIE’S LIMITED EDITION HONEY BUNNY GRAHAMS AND ELBOW PASTA & CHEDDAR
It wasn’t too long ago when all of Big Food was being crucified for spending millions of dollars fighting against GMO-labeling and being the arch enemy of organic.
Fast-forward a few years later and you have General Mills, the parent company of Annie’s, not only converting 34,00 acres of farmland to organic but embracing regenerative agriculture and taking real steps to mitigate climate change and capture carbon from the environment.
This is a stunning turn of events and one that must be acknowledged and praised.
At Expo West, Annie’s and General Mills demonstrated just how serious they are about doing things differently — and progressively.
How many companies are mentioning the name of the farmer, location of the farm and variety of the regenerative ingredients used, all on the front of the box?
I know of none.
Farmers are not given nearly enough respect or recognition for everything they do for us. Because without them, we have no food.
The limited editions of Honey Bunny Grahams and Elbow Pasta & Cheddar are available exclusively at Sprouts while supplies last.
Phenomenal work by Annie’s.
BITSY’S GOOD COOKIES
Formerly known as Bitsy’s Brainfood and having gone through a re-brand, Bitsy’s introduced a line of organic cookies for kids called Good Cookies.
A multiple winner of my Best Trade Show Booth award (see here, here, and here), the brilliant creatives from Bitsy’s won me over with the positives messages embedded into the cookies, such as “Make a Difference” or “Never Give Up.”
Before launching Bitsy’s, the two founders of Bitsy’s, Maggie Jones Patton and Alexandra Buckley Voris, worked in schools and communities to empower young people to change the world — and themselves — by doing good and making a difference.
Understanding how best to communicate and relate to young people, Bitsy’s surveyed classrooms around the country to come up with a list of powerful words that promote positivity and goodness. Then, these messages were stamped onto the cookies.
It is the company’s mission to get these uplifting and encouraging Good Cookies into thousands of lunchboxes and to spread the message that “Kind is Cool” throughout cafeterias across America.
All of the Good Cookies contain organic vegetables and are peanut and tree-nut free. The three flavors — Gingerbread Zucchini Carrot, Chocolate Orange Beet, Sweet Potato Oatmeal Raisin — will be launching at Whole Foods Market nationwide on June 1st.
I LOVE the intention and thoughtfulness behind this product!
(Foodstirs is a sponsor of Living Maxwell.)