Trending Categories from Expo’s Exhibit Hall

With hundreds of product launches on the show floor, WholeFooods editors pinpointed several trends from this year’s show.

First, non-GMO was everywhere, perhaps more so than last year. From the Whole Foods Market announcement (see the full story in the April NewsLinks section), to the buzz over labeling legislation at the state and federal levels, to the rapidly increasing number of products that are Non-GMO Project verified, it had a constant visible presence on packages and signage throughout the show.

Coconut water and coconut-based products continue to have a presence, as do ancient grains and foods for sensitive diets (where gluten-free is king).

Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham, Naturex’s Explorer in Residence, gave WholeFoods his insights on trends from the Naturex booth. “One of the most remarkable ingredients is sceletium, a succulent herb from South Africa with profound and rapid mind and mood benefits,” he states. He says it makes your mind “razor sharp.” Another herb that’s gaining traction is schisandra. Kilham says this adaptogenic herb helps reduce stress, enhance mental acuity and memory, and improve energy. He also cited green coffee bean extract and cranberry as top sellers, and says he has his eye on natural cosmetic ingredients like oils from Africa and the Amazon.

  Joel Harper

Also huge was the sports and energy support category,with many “clean” and/or “caffeine-free” items. One noteworthy launch was the CleanSeries line from Twinlab, which offers protein powders that are gluten-free, NSF certified and non-GMO. “We wanted to create an oasis of trust,” said Twinlab’s Mark Stover of the line. “We wanted to demystify the sports nutrition market and offer something you can trust.” Twinlab had on hand celebrity trainer Joel Harper, who is a spokesperson for the line. “Many people need more protein in their diet,” Harper stated, suggesting to take protein supplements within 30 minutes of exercise for muscle recovery.

Published in WholeFoods Magazine, May 2013