The Hot Spot in Naturals

    Baltimore, Maryland, USA skyline on the Inner Harbor.

    The Hot Products section at the recent Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore was one of the buzziest spots to be in the naturals industry from September 11-14, 2019.  

    “Every fall the exhibit halls at the Natural Products Expo East are bursting with products that are increasing consumer awareness about the importance of organic and supporting trends within plant-based, hemp and agricultural innovation,” said Lacey Gautier, Group Show Director.    

    The attention wasn’t all on the new brands. This industry is full of legacy brands continuing to innovate how we eat, supplement, groom and live.  

    Here are some of the highlights we spotted:  

    The best new frozen snack: The proud winner of Expo East’s 2019 Nexty Award, Crazy Richards, continues to innovate and remain far from ordinary peanut butter. Their Wholly Rollies, which won for Best New Frozen Product, are a simple treat that delivers 10g of protein in every bite so it makes an excellent nutritious alternative to your everyday desserts and sweet snacks.  

    Protein anywhere on anything: What’s better than protein? Protein you can take on the go. What’s better than protein on the go? Protein on the go that can go on anything. That was the thinking behind Vegetarian Traveler and their Protein Toppers, which allow you to add an entire 16 grams of plant-based protein to any meal or snack with just a spoonful of their soy, garbanzo, and pepita bean medleys. 

    Water your way to a healthy gut: Making sure you get enough fiber in your diet can be difficult, and supplemental beverages are growing in popularity. Probiotic beverages are all the rage, but a lot of people don’t know about prebiotics. Hellowater is the first of its kind, a drink that supports prebiotic health and the first fiber-infused water of its kind. Now you can boost your fiber intake and your hydration in one sip!  

    Feel no pain: If you’re plagued with joint or muscle pain, you can be desperate to find a surefire fix that won’t break the bank. Now you can get the same balm that Gwyneth Paltrow reports has helped her knee pain. The CBD-infused pain relief creams and balms from Muscle Mx provide both a heating and cooling therapy and are said to be great for pre- and post-activity muscle strain and pain.  

    A hybrid super berry to ward off sniffles: Cold and flu season will be here before you know it! The latest line of ElderCran products from Norm’s Farms is a great way to bulk up your immunity with the most natural method. Combining the farm’s famous black elderberries and antioxidant rich cranberries, Norm’s Farms’ new ElderCran supplements and tinctures are the first of its kind to make such a variety of super immunity boosters. 

    Eating Cleveland’s best: When people are looking for a snack or meal packed with probiotics they don’t often consider sauerkraut as an option. Not a lot of people realize that sauerkraut is full of not only probiotics but nutrients we might be lacking from our diets as well. Luckily, Cleveland Kraut makes a variety of flavors of kraut to be enjoyed with any meal no matter what’s on the menu and works great as a side or as a topping.

    Ready to eat banana-based ice cream: If you though Halo Top was the end all be all of healthy ice cream options, then you haven’t heard of Frönen. Created with those who suffer from celiac disease and dairy sensitivities in mind, the ingredients of Frönen’s ice cream are stripped down to the sweetest essentials: honey, coconut cream, and banana with cocoa powder, strawberries, and maple syrup for taste.  

    Getting to the core of the nut: The Nature Nut beauty line take all-natural hair care to the next level. With five core nuts from Israel, Nature Nut products are rich in Vitamins A and E to help ensure you’re getting the best for your hair in every wash.  

    Worry-free cookies: The makers of the famous Bite Me Inc. cookies introduces the Bite Free line—its safe for people with allergies and doesn’t compromise on taste and flavor. It continues to delight our palate!

    Year-round sun protection: Skin protection and nourishment are the name of the game for Babo Botanicals, which produces a wide selection of skin and hair care options for whatever might need a little extra TLC. They’ve long been lauded for their baby and childcare products. Probably their most important product, their year-round sun protection for kids is delicate enough for your baby’s skin but strong enough to deliver outstanding SPF protection no matter the weather.    

    Feeding children’s minds: It can be hard to get kids to eat healthy food that nourishes their bodies and their brains. But more and more brands are emerging that make healthy eating for kids easy and delicious. For example, Braniac’s line of DHA-infused yogurt is yummy and portable and best of all, it’s brain food for kids.  

    When avocado and chocolate meet: This product is for the Nutella fiends out there! Prepare to be converted to D’Avocadoa chocolate spread made entirely of avocado and cocoa powder. These simple ingredients make for a delicious plant-based smear that’s good for you too! 

    A different species of mushroom jerky: Like I said, plant-based proteins are all the rage and alternative jerkies are no exception. The NY Mushroom Co. is making a jerky in a league of its own. This brand, founded with an eco- and animal-friendly mission in mind, uses locally grown shiitake mushrooms and hand-crafted flavorings to deliver a snack you can feel good about eating.  

    Beyond bread and cauliflower crust: Move over cauliflower! Soon egg white wraps will be the new normal. Egglife, similar to brands like Crepini, uses alternative ingredients like egg whites to make their wraps bread-free for eaters who need to respect diet restrictions but don’t want to skimp on flavor.  

    Aloe sprinkled yogurt:– Aloe has long been considered a great digestive aid. Now it’s right in your yogurt. The Japanese yogurt brand Alove has introduced a line of aloe vera yogurt, jumping on the latest green alternative food trend that you can drink or enjoy like a traditional yogurt snack in a variety of refreshing flavors. 

    Pesto power: The founders of Le Grand were way ahead of the plant-based trend when they started this artisanal food company that swears by “the power of plants”. All of their products are certified vegan and their pesto—which comes already blended in a stylish and eco-friendly silver pouch—is a sure-fire way to top an already tasty dish with a powerful green addition. 

    Taking tofu to town: With all the new plant-based proteins on the market, this legacy brand continues to innovate. Tofu Town products offer delicious vegetarian and vegan food options with an emphasis on green eating and living. The sheer variety of their products from organics spreads (Veggie Street) to veggie sausages, burgers, and cold cuts (Veggie Life) to vegan butter (Blumenschmalz) makes sure you’ll never get bored at meal time.  

    Fruit juice of the Philippines: Ever heard of Calamansi? It’s a lemon-like fruit that grows deep in the heart of the Philippines. Often referred to as a Golden Lime, this little fruit packs a punch of Vitamin C, is a natural anti-inflammatory, and has been used in cold/cough remedies for generations. Mansi uses Calamansi in their newest drink, offering American audiences their first taste of the powerful and fragrant therapeutic super fruit. 

    It takes two to make a baby: Like the name suggests, Pink Stork is a great source of supplements and teas for pregnant women, new moms and for women looking for help with fertility. But what’s cool about them is that they also offer fertility supplements for men!   

    Next gen feminine care: The food industry isn’t the only place offering greener alternatives. Made for women by women, the Honey Pot offers a complete line of herbal feminine cleansers and wipes. Their coolest product is their “herbal” pads and pantiliners made out of pesticide-free cotton and infused with essential oils which can help with cramps and discomfort. We were also quite impressed with NannoCare which uses infrared technology to help with menstrual discomfort. During certified third party testing, women who used the NannoPad experienced less pain (at 95% confidence) and fewer days of menstrual pain and showed significant reduction of painkillers being used for menstrual cramping.

    A different kind of chip not seen before in naturals: You’ve probably seen Vegan Rob’s before—their colorful packaging is hard to miss! And the flavor of these vegan snacks is equally explosive. In fact, Vegan Rob’s were the first to make a healthier Pringle style chip!  

    The latest plant based alternative milk: When most people think of foods rich in antioxidants they think of fruits or vegetables, but recent research has shown that flaxseeds are actually hugely rich in antioxidants. While it can be difficult to incorporate flax seed into your diet, the Manitoba Milling Co. makes it easier than ever to get a fix of flax with their delicious Flax Milk and readymade muffin and pancake mixes.  

    The 2020 Natural Products Expo East will move to The Philadelphia Convention Center Sept. 23-26.


    Note: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author(s) and contributor(s) and do not necessarily reflect those of the publisher and editors of WholeFoods Magazine.

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    Nancy Trent is a writer and speaker, a lifelong health advocate, a globe-trotting trend watcher and the founder and president of Trent & Company, a New York-based marketing communications firm with an office in Los Angeles. Trent & Company, which launched many fitness brands, grew out of Nancy’s personal commitment to helping people live longer and healthier lives. A former journalist for New York magazine, Nancy has written seven books on healthy lifestyles, serves on the editorial boards of several magazines and travels around the world speaking at conferences and trade shows on trends in the marketplace. She is a recognized expert in PR with more than 30 years of experience creating and managing highly successful campaigns. Nancy can be reached at (212) 966-0024 or through e-mail at You may also visit