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Top 5 Organic Products of Natural Products Expo West 2022

Natural Products Expo West, the largest organic trade show in the U.S. was back for the first time since 2019, as the last two years were canceled because of COVID.

Prior to this year’s show, I had one CEO tell me that he thought this would be the best year for innovation anytime in the past decade, given that brands had such pent-up demand over the last 24 months and would be particularly eager to show buyers their most forward-thinking products. Based on what I saw at last week’s Expo West, I believe he was correct. The innovation that I saw was outstanding.

Here are my Top 5 Organic Products of Expo West 2022


I haven’t had a Coke in more than two decades, but it doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the taste of this soda. I do. However, I just know how unhealthy it is.

Fortunately, Suja Organic has come out with the closest facsimile of this iconic beverage that I have ever tasted.

Called Nature’s Cola, it combines fruit juices, fruit extracts and spices, as well as reishi and lion’s mane, 1 billion CFU of live probiotics, 25mg of caffeine from green tea, and Jerusalem artichoke inulin as a prebiotic. Only 5g of sugar per bottle.

What Bryan Riblett, the company’s VP of Commercialization and Chief Innovation Officer, has done with Nature’s Cola is nothing short of a masterclass in beverage formulation. It’s brilliant.

Nature’s Cola is expected to hit the shelves sometime in 2022, but no firm dates or distribution have been announced as of yet.



By every measure, Barnana is a very successful company, having established itself as “the” brand when it comes to organic banana snacks. That, in itself, is a major accomplishment.

Yet, the company is now duplicating that feat – and possibly even surpassing it – with plantains.

Until recently, the organic plantain category has been largely white space, and with its new Organic Crunchy Plantain Nuggets, Barnana has an amazing opportunity to utterly dominate this segment, particularly since these were — by far — the best salty snack at Expo West. I could not stop eating them.

Cooked in 100% organic coconut oil, they are available in four flavors — pink salt, chili lime, barbeque and ranch.

Barnana is also making a serious impact on the social and environmental side of the business.

Using upcycled bananas and plantains, the company now works with more than 1,500 individual farming families in the Amazon, with the goal to double that number in the next five years. Additionally, Barnana pays a 30% premium over market prices, helping its fruit growers increase their monthly income from an average of $80 to around $350 a month.



Have you ever wondered why there isn’t an organic version of the Impossible Burger or Beyond Burger?

Well, the founders of regenerative superfood brand Imlak’esh Organics were thinking the same thing and decided something about it — but for pork. And at Expo West, they unveiled a sister brand called CHI Foods, the first-ever CPG line of USDA certified organic, plant-based pork.

Having spent many years building a regenerative supply chain for Imlak’esh, much of the groundwork, in terms of sourcing raw organic ingredients for CHI, had already been figured out.

Available in four flavors — original, maple sage, Italian herb and CHI-rizo — the products are keto and paleo and do not contain many of the ingredients commonly found in meat analogs, such as wheat, pea or soy protein, methylcellulose, soy leghemoglobin, modified food starch, monocalcium phosphate and magnesium carbonate. What it does contain is T-CHI-P, the first regenerative organic, perennial texturized protein, made from Sacha Inchi nuts and fava beans.

CHI had an absolutely monster show, and the interest from retailers was off-the-charts. Major partnerships are set to be announced over the coming months, and the product is now available for pre-sale on the company’s website.



Chai? Not new at all.

Medicinal mushrooms? Everyone is using them these days.

But somehow Organic Traditions delivered a Dirty Chai that left me literally speechless at its booth. It was beyond delicious.

Featuring a 5 mushroom blend (chaga, cordyceps, lion’s mane, reishi, turkey tail), black tea powder, nutmeg, cardamom, ginger and other spices, the Dirty Chai is something that I want to wake up to each morning.

Company president Jerry Zeifman never fails to deliver, and at every show, he is always presenting something new, great-tasting and on the cutting edge of nutrition. Several of his new products from last week’s show could have easily made this Top 5 list.

Dirty Chai will be available on the company’s website this summer, with retail distribution expected after that.



I am very biased when it comes to Kalamata olives, as it is one of my favorite foods. Just like kimchi or sauerkraut, I always have a bottle of them in my fridge.

So, when I learned what Big Picture Foods is doing, I was immediately interested, and even more so after I tasted the products.

What makes these organic Kalamata olives so unique is that not only are they grown in Greece via regenerative farming methods, but the company is using a 9-month, Greek-style natural fermentation process. No chemicals, or lye, are used to cure these olives, whereas these synthetic processing agents are used in many other organic olives. (More on that to come soon.)

I have not seen a ton of innovation in the olive space, and Big Picture Foods is poised to become a very significant player, especially since you can taste the incredible quality in its products. Additionally, the company is in the process of becoming Regenerative Organic Certified.

Available online and at over 400 retailers nationwide.

If you’d like to read my full recap of Expo West 2022, including key trends and analysis, click HERE.

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.

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Why Sun+Earth and Brother David’s are So Vital for Organic Stakeholders and Our Planet

David Bronner, the Cosmic Engagement Officer (CEO) of Dr. Bronner’s, saw this coming years ago.

With California having legalized cannabis in 2016, he knew that this plant was headed down the path of other agricultural crops — mass industrialization, genetic engineering, enormous energy consumption through fossil fuels, and the displacement of small-scale family farmers.

Where cannabis differs from other agricultural commodities, however, is that there can be no such thing as “organic cannabis” until the federal government stops classifying it as an illegal drug.

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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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Whole Planet Foundation is Transforming Lives in Costa Rica

Last week in Costa Rica, I visited with some women entrepreneurs who are receiving microloans from the Whole Planet Foundation, a non-profit organization of Whole Foods.

I have written about the Whole Planet Foundation before and the amazing job that it is doing around the world but meeting the loan recipients in-person gave me a much greater appreciation for the impact that this program is having.

Women entrepreneurs from impoverished communities receive loans, starting at a few hundred dollars, to start businesses – baking, sewing, buying animals, running a small store, etc. With a 98% success rate (only 2% of the loans default), this incremental revenue plays an essential role in improving the well-being and welfare of thousands of families.

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Cornucopia Institute Requests that the USDA National Organic Program be Investigated for Corruption Charges over its Approval of Synthetic DHA and ARA Supplements

Let me say right up front that I support the USDA’s national organic certification program. Why?

Because it is the only nationally recognized and accepted system we have in place for organic standards.

I firmly believe that the more people we have participating and engaged in the system, the stronger it will become. Conversely, the more people who opt out of the system, the weaker it will become.

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