March 2023

March 22, 2023

All things Expo West

A newsletter in March can only mean one thing. An Expo West debrief.

Now Expo West is like no other trade show we attend. And in fact, too often a debrief from any other trade show is often bland and not hugely interesting or informative. 

But Expo West is different. That is because it showcases the best the US has to offer in terms of “natural and organics” covering the spectrum of functional foods through to dietary supplements. And there is no other trade show you can attend when you worry that 3 days might not be enough time to cover everything you need to see, taste and experience!

So what did we see

Overwhelmingly, there were some very clear ‘trends’ for everyone to be aware of. These include:

  • Plant, plant, plant. This is not new, and we have to be clear that a ‘natural and organics’ show perpetuates this trend, but we can’t ignore the groundswell of brands hero’ing the importance of plant and (rightly or wrongly) that it is ‘healthier’.
  • Collagen, collagen, collagen. The oxymoronic outcome of Expo West is that plants are healthy, dairy is unhealthy, but collagen (you have to kill the cows to get it) is fine because it makes you pretty. But whatever your opinion, collagen is a hugely influential ingredient and product.
  • A coffee culture. Brands want to make coffee more functional with collagen/keto, Ashwagshda and mushrooms, the favourite coffee collaborations. But the bit we like - is the fact that the brands and products are leveraging the behavioural impact of the coffee occasion.
  • Better for you beverages. There were prebiotic drinks, brain drinks, and energy drinks. In fact, there was a drink for every benefit. Yet, they all look the same and you have to ask whether they will be here in 12 months. The trend is real, but the art in differentiation will underpin the fight to survive.
  • The female consumer. This is something we have already presented on and continue to follow but brands like Ah! Yes, and Winged Wellness are good examples covering sexual health to menstrual health. As science evolves, brand execution will evolve. Despite product availability not being new, it still feels like the start of something.
  • A no-brainer use of mushrooms. There is normally one ingredient per year that everyone talks about. This year it was mushrooms and it was added to everything - supplements, powders, coffee, bars and drinks. And it was all types of mushroom too. What binds it all - the brain.
  • Bars are a staple. You would be forgiven that bars - protein or otherwise - didn’t stand out, or weren’t visible. The truth is that there were 50+ brands exhibiting bars, it is just that we are used to seeing them. They still exist, and they are more functional than ever, with gut the standout.
  • Better for you bakery. This is a case of brands thinking ‘beyond bars’. Better for you bakery appeared to be more prominent, whether cookies, biscuits or muffins. The area we think is interesting is the cookie dough tubs like Deux.
  • Sustainability is hygiene. If a brand doesn’t have a sustainability agenda it will be left behind. We know there are questions as to how much consumers care, but you can’t ignore and celebrate the extent to which brands are looking to be better. The area we like the most - Upcycled.

There is probably so much more to say, but this should give you a starting point to search for some interesting brands and products!

Be careful what you ask

Whilst everyone wants to know what we thought, or what was new. If there is one overriding thought we’d leave you with post Expo West it is this…

If #expowest2023 reminded us of anything it is that we need to stop asking the question “what’s new”…

Rather, we should ask “what’s changed” or “what’s evolving” or “what’s redefining/reimagining itself”. We really believe the landscape of products, needs, ingredients and formats is well defined and winning is about interpreting how this landscape best suits the needs of consumers today.

That is the challenge we all face, and we love discussing it!

In other news

A gut feeling

The gut and the microbiome is an area that we think is primed for growth - we discussed the current product landscape and how we believe this will evolve at our webinar earlier this month. If you missed out and fancy giving it, or any of our other webinars a watch, it’s available on demand.

Next step Geneva

2023 seems to be going at breakneck speed, we can’t believe that in just a few weeks we’ll be a quarter of the way through the year already. This means the VitaFoods event in May is fast approaching. For us, and possibly many of you too, this event is one of the highlights of our year. It’s a fantastic opportunity to catch up with customers, meet some new ones and fully immerse ourselves in the world of active nutrition for a few days. Nick will be in his element!

This year we will have some new exciting features and products to share with you all. If you're going and want to meet for a chat and to learn all about ANIE Insight, the latest member to join our ANIE family drop Charlotte a note.

Till next month, Expo and out…

Uncover more...

Get immersed in the industry
Get in touch to find out more about how we can be a part of your business development journey, or book a demo of our platform to see it for yourself