Every year, thousands of vendors, buyers, members of the press, and food community gather in sunny Southern California to launch and promote their natural, organic, and innovative products at Natural Products Expo West. It’s the biggest event for food and products, and I was lucky enough to escape the East Coast for the weekend to attend. After an overwhelming three days of getting lost in the exhibit halls, countless amazing conversations, and a new outlook on the growing vegan market, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite products at the show.
Their amazing nut based, raw desserts are so close to the real thing, I had to ask them twice what were the actual ingredients in the “cheezecake.” Using whole fruits, nuts, and vegetables, these desserts are gluten free, dairy free, and Paleo.
Many know Brad’s as the company that makes raw kale chips, but they have now expanded to include broccoli snacks-finally giving our beloved kale a rest. They have an interesting texture which makes for a fun snack, and the spicy flavor is a satisfying salty snack.
After tasting the pineapple and cilantro popsicle, I have become completely enamored with Hyppo. Growing up in a Mexican household, these were the closest things I’ve found in the States to be similar to the familiar flavors of Mexican “paletas.” The founder’s story is really fun, and all of the fruit that is used in the pops are harvested at peak ripeness.
I am a huge fan of popcorn, but rarely buy the pre-packaged stuff due to long lists of ingredients- it’s popped corn! This avocado oil popcorn is super addicting, a great snack, kept me full all afternoon and only has three ingredients.
This cashew- based gelato (can you tell I’m ready for summer?) is so dense, creamy, and full of flavor, that I went back for a second tasting. It has very few ingredients, is sweetened with maple syrup, and even comes in a delicious coffee flavor.
This is such fun take on kraut and pickles. Ozuké uses fun herbs like juniper and dill and unconventional vegetables like kale and beets. My favorite was the beets, dulse, and kale, and they are soon launching a delicious umeboshi (Japanese pickled plums).
Betsy’s bars are some of the tastiest that I’ve had and are allergen, dairy, and soy free. With flavors like cinnamon cardamom and chili chocolate chip, these bars make the perfect on-the-go breakfast or post- workout snack.
I’ve been drinking Kombucha Wonder Drink for years, but have never seen the raw line. My favorite was India, with green cardamom, ginger, Indian Rose, and tulsi, and left me feeling refreshed and energized.
Artichokes turned into a refreshing beverage. The concept was completely foreign to me until I sampled the product. Artichokes are macerated, extracting the natural water from the leaves and stem. It is refreshing, light, and tastes amazing chilled, warm, or even mixed in a cocktail.
Initially, I was drawn to this tea from the cute little cartoon on the front of the matcha powder. After tasting the tea made from the powder, as well as the other teas, I was in love with Tea Pigs. Their teas are super tasty and taste great even after the third steep.
These coconut milk based drinks are both delicious and a great alternative to a midday snack or coffee. Their mission is also very empowering and they aim to spread positivity and light about the health industry, all while setting a positive example for the food industry.
This tonic gives me memories of the shot of apple cider vinegar my mother used to take as a “cure all.” With apple cider vinegar, oranges, lemons, onions, ginger and more, this tonic supports the immune system, digestive health, helps with sluggishness, and can help you try to cut back on caffeine.
Favorite Beauty & Lifestyle
While I was hesitant to mention Worker B at first due to the fact their products use bee products, I really cannot speak more highly about a company that does use ethically produced beeswax and honey. Worker B sources only from chemical, antibiotic, and pesticide free hives, as well as sourcing from non-migratory beekeepers who know the honeybees land and terrain. All the skincare products are crafted by a husband and wife team, and work wonders on the skin! They also have beautiful and fresh raw honey.
The exfoliant, mask, and creme from Jeffrey James are super hydrating and work wonders on my skin. My mom, who suffers form severely oily skin in the summer and dry skin in the winter, also loved the product and said it left her skin feeling smooth and clean without all of the excess residue from commercial cleaners.
These fun little pod-style stickies are perfect for travel and on-the-go lifestyles. You simply squeeze the pre-filled pods, releasing the essential oil blends inside. You can stick them virtually anywhere and is lovely getting a nice whiff of peppermint or lavender during the day.
After a hectic morning, it was great to discover Balanced Guru products. Their energy mists were a great pick me up, and I loved the empowering mist. They also have a fantastic line of hair and skincare products, and the “Scrub Me” body exfoliant has quickly become one of my favorite skin care products.
As soon as I laid eyes on the beautiful, hand painted batik bags, I was immediately drawn in. These bags are made of 100% cotton, hand painted in India, and are roomy enough for my mat, have zippered pockets for my keys and wallet, and have make me excited to go to yoga class!
There is something about a cotton dress that just makes me happy. I bought this dress in black and have worn it many times already- it’s perfectly breezy and is easily transformed!
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