It took stamina to navigate through more than 1000 exhibitors and 16,000 registered attendees at the 2023 Natural Products Expo East in Philadelphia Convention Center in September. There were 900 brands showcasing the latest and greatest natural and organic products.
After reviewing my notes, photos and stash of samples, I’m ready to report on the new food & beauty trends I discovered. I wonder if I consume these natural foods, beverages, and supplements and apply all the organic beauty treatments, whether I’ll move closer to living to 100.
Living to 100
In addition to his books and cookbooks about the blue zones (the places around the world with the highest rates of living centenarians), Dan recently introduced a line of ready-to-eat meals inspired by the longevity pillars and food principles found in the blue zones. I tasted the Blue Zones Kitchen Sesame Ginger Bowl made with high fiber beans, veggies, grains and spices and thought it was quite flavorful. Unfortunately the entrees aren’t widely available yet. The meals are based on some of Buettner’s recipes so maybe check out his cookbooks.
Natural and organic are growing
Since working in the food industry for decades, I enjoy these type of shows. It’s fun to attend as an influencer/blogger. For sure, natural and organic brands are on the rise. In fact, 425 of 2023 Expo exhibitors were first-timers. According to Informa Markets’ New Hope Network (who produce the Expo), demand for natural and organic products is higher than ever with the industry on track to surpass $300 billion in sales in 2023. That’s amazing!
Judi’s 2023 natural food and beauty trends
So what did I find trending after walking the exhibits from Hall A to H? Here’s my takeaway:
* Beverages are flowing like a well-tapped river: I sipped all kinds of nut milks including hazelnut, cashew and pecan as well as flax (though not a nut) and nut-based lattes in flavors like Pistacho-Crème and Maple Walnut. I still prefer original almond milk and find ShopRite’s Original Almond Milk the best.
Tonics to cure what ails tantalized my tongue. I drank Bite Me Apple Cider Vinegar Tonic; GNGR Vitamin C Tonic containing Orange, Tumeric and Ginger; and other bevs with tummy and stress-relief additives. There was Sayso non-alcoholic mocktail teas made with medicinal spices and honey; Peak State Coffee with Benefits of adaptogenic mushrooms; Brain Juice to improve focus, clarity, memory and mood; and Shine nutrient enhanced water to handsomely hydrate.
* Plant-based products are in abundance to help you get your daily dose of fruits and veggies and fiber too: Some were upcycled using the by-products from other sources. Mushrooms were definitely trending with items like Shroomeats Mushroom Shred-It shiitake dry mix and Popadelics crunchy mushroom chips. There was even ketchup and mustard with added veggies.
My favs were Mind Blown Plant-Based Seafood Co. crab cakes, which tasted just like the real deal and 18 Chestnut Soups in glass jars that were expensive per ounce but smooth and delicious and 100% vegan. Ooh, ooh, ooh, the Tuscan Tomato and Butternut Squash Pear were yummy. My “unique award” this year goes to Undressed Salad Bar, it’s a salad in bar-form, like a protein bar.
* An endless array of snacks both savory and sweet and gluten-free and vegan are in the offering: While some snacks are high in protein, I suggest that one read the labels when selecting treats as often they can be high in sugar, sodium and fat even though they are natural or organic. There were S’Noods Snack Noodles; root foods chips and plenty of new protein bars like Zing, Kize, Speka cottage cheese bar and Resist (btw I didn’t fancy any of these bars).
* Americans like their sweets and baked goods: I always tend to gravitate to this category. Carbs are my big weakness. I loved Lyman Orchards pies (especially strawberry rhubarb) and think I might buy a pie for Thanksgiving this year since the they are sold at Wegmans and also available to order online. Sweet Tahini chocolate fudge and frozen desserts ranked high — likely because I love anything with tahini. another fav was trüfrü, hyper-chilled or hyper-dried fruits that are chocolate covered — so good, so good, so good.
There were several gluten-free cookies and baked goods – some okay, some not. I tried Planet Bake and Drumroll plant-based donuts which I found rubbery and tasteless. If I’m going to have a donut, I’d rather save my fat calories for a freshly-baked cider donut from my local farm-stand.
Dates and date sweetened treats are on the upswing as is date syrup and all kinds of honey. OMG, if you like dates, the Date Better organic dark chocolate covered dates with nut butter filling are worth the cals. I just made Date Brownies last week from Jake Cohen’s new Nosh cookbook. The brownies were extremely chocolatey and so good, so good, so good.
Supplements for any and every ailment
If you don’t get enough of your daily vitamins, minerals, pro-and pre-biotics, protein or sleep — not to worry as there’s a supplement to up your ante. Whether you prefer pill-form, capsules or gummies – you can take your pick when it comes to adding supplements to your diet. Equally intriguing is Gene Palate, a tailored nutrition report designed to curate your unique nutrient needs with a customized list of 100+ optimal foods aligned with your DNA.
Who even really needs to eat anymore – if you’re rushed you could literally gummy your way through the day, add collagen protein powder to your water or morning coffee, take an Om Mushroom immune-booster gummy in the afternoon, and if you need to de-tox or de-bloat at the end of the month, pop a nbpure magO7 to cleanse or Suku de BLOAT. My fav was the nbpure poobiotics to make you poop!
Better natural beauty with “skinimalism”
When it comes to natural beauty products, industry experts dubbed the new trend “skinimalism.” It refers to the fact that beauty and personal care manufacturers are simplifying and streamlining ingredients and using more sustainable packaging with clean labels and no parabens, phthalates, sulfates, or other harmful components. Experts said that “women’s health” was also ready for spotlighting with more awareness of menopause in the news.
These trends were evident in products such as Pure Mitti Ayurvedic soaps (to promote healing) NOW Solutions collagen jellies, Orgono Living Silica collagen capsule, and Medicine Mama vulva cleansers. Yep, I said vulva cleansers – who knew women needed them?
Don’t forget about your dog’s wellness
No trend report would be complete without adding a note about the wellness for our pup population. These days we all know that dogs are members of the family and as members of the family they deserve to eat healthy too. Since I have two grand puppies I treat them as I would my future grandkids. Aren’t pets humans? (You should read my review of the book Pet Nation.)
Needless to say, I didn’t taste any of the dog food or doggy snacks that were on display. I did grab a few samples of new natural treats from Bundle x Joy, Wild Earth and Natural Rapport. I’ve yet to give them to my grand puppies O and M. Will let you know what they think once I do.
There you have it – my 2023 natural food and beauty trends. Stay healthy and be well.