Natural Products Expo

This weekend was Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim, CA

And it was our first time there! Wowza!!

If you’re not familiar, it’s a trade show for all the natural products, big and small!  Companies attend for various reasons… launch/introduce new products or get picked up by distributors and buyers. This year a bunch of bloggers and smaller companies attended to spread the word about new products as the expo isn’t open to the general public, and a lot of the products haven’t hit the shelves yet!

 Cliff Bar

Peter and I had a really great time! We left feeling inspired and a little bummed at the same time. Being in the food industry we love a good product, and especially a company with high standards behind it.

But there were a lot of products at this expo… like, Too Many

I left there saying it was a lot of processed products… I need some fresh produce!

I mean how many kale chip brands do we need? Coconut water? Or superfood snacks? Companies are very generous with their products at this expo, saying things like “Try this – it’s vegan, gluten-free and organic”… Peter said something that I can’t stop thinking about. He said, “We’re getting to a point where just saying that isn’t enough”.

Yes, it’s Vegan (score). Yes, it’s Organic (even better). And, it’s Gluten-Free (double yes). But some of these things are still highly processed foods, and they still impact our health & environment.

So that was a little bit of a bummer… but now onto the positives!!!


  • Vegan (Lots and Lots and Lots)
  • Gluten-Free (Everything was gluten-free)
  • Cold Press Green Juices (Juice me… although a few companies weren’t organic?!)
  • Coconut Everything (We will take, the milk, ice cream, flakes, bars… give it to us :)
  • Superfoods
  • Chocolates
  • Tea
  • Companies expanding their brands with other products
  • Quinoa Everything
  • Vegetable Chips (Not just kale, but there was a lot of that too!)
  • Supplements
  • Lots of “Natural” Beauty Products

Super foods

Another really fun thing about Expo is the booths

The big companies really go all out!

Some that we really liked were…..

  • Beyond Meat This is a meat alternative company made from pea protein and some with soy. They had this really cool Taco Bell theme (never thought I would write that) with the goal of convincing Taco Bell to fill their tacos with their product instead of who knows what they’re using right now. This was pretty genius. It was definitely a company people were talking about. Peter and I got to talk to Justin, one of the employees – super cool, honest guy and he said they were making thousands of tacos all 3 days and selling out (well sampling out, since they were free)!
  • Amy’s– This booth was crazy large, pretty much like a cafeteria. I think they have every food product you could ever want now… soups, burgers, bars, candies, cookies… it was crazy!
  • Cliff Bar We really liked the feel of their booth. It was very laid back and they had a stage with a band playing music. It felt like we were at a restaurant for a minute.


Products and Companies

We Really Clicked With (The Good Guys:)

  • Health-Ade Kombucha If you guys follow us on Social Media you know I am a big fan of this kombucha! It’s so good. It’s not too sugary, has a nice strong flavor and consistently has a nice fizz going on. The Owner/Co-owners are so nice and down to earth. And best part, it’s a seasonal Kombucha! So the flavors change with The seasons… can you say totally up our alley! They gave us 2 bottles to try, The Pink Lady and The Grape… both tasty but my favorite is still the Lemon Ginger. So this brand is currently sold in the LA area but they said they’re coming to Jimbo’s Naturally very soon!! I’ll take a case… no two!


  • The Raw Guru- this may be a little confusing so stay with me! So Alex is The Raw Guru and has a few companies/products that can all be found under, Windy City Organics. Now the product we were most excited to try were the probiotics… these are not your average probiotics though. They’re raw, vegan and made with yacon root and coconut sugar, which means no corn carriers and really clean. The best part, well, the tastiest… they taste like Lucky Charms marshmallows… not surprising since Alex is the guy behind Rawmio Chocolate Hazelnut Spread… Peter and I can go through that stuff! What’s really cool about all of Alex’s companies is they’re all really clean products that he’s been making/using/studying since he was 15… and he’s super friendly and knowledgeable… totally someone you want to be friends with!

Cookie Dough

  • Cappellos This company sells gluten-free, grain-free pasta… but it contains eggs. We don’t do eggs, but they also sell Vegan, Paleo Cookie dough! Chocolate Chip cookie dough in a tube… like Toll House. The cookie dough is safe to eat raw… they were sampling it that way.  We were trying not to eat too many samples at the event so they gave us 2 rolls to take home. And wow that stuff is amazing, made with almond flour and coconut oil, it’s a keeper. We probably ate half the tube uncooked and the rest cooked…. both ways are amazing. And the friends who own this business are so nice and pretty cute… I like them;)

Also worth mentioning

Mary’s Gone Crackers: I always forget about this brand, but I like them. Great gluten-free crackers. But Now I LOVE THEM. They created a gluten-free graham cracker that’s amazing! Tastes like the real deal… I have a thing for graham crackers if you didn’t know that about me. It’s super hard to find a good vegan, gluten-free graham cracker and they nailed it. They also have a chocolate… I don’t think that one taste like a graham cracker though, more like a really tasty chocolate cracker… I love these things, they’ll hit store shelves in May… just in time for my birthday:)

Dena’s Fuel For Fitness: She sells raw vegan snacks and is so awesome and fit:) Really liked her stuff, super fresh and tasty but when we got home we realized it’s not organic… Ah man… deal breaker for us, but hopefully soon.

Mama Chia- Is now selling Chia Seeds and coming out with a book. We are a fan:)

SquareBar: These guys are great. We can never get enough; a protein bar that actually tastes good with simple ingredients.

Suja: We couldn’t find them:( I am sure they were rocking it though!

Runa Tea Yummy tea with an awesome story… Watch It Here

Enjoy Life Love Them, they had these awesome allergy-friendly cookie bars… Couldn’t Resist!

Delicious Living– This little magazine we get at our health food store was at the expo and the editor Elisa and (I think the marketing manger…?) Mia. They were both so nice and knowledgeable about products and companies. It was really nice to meet them in person. This months magazine has a bunch of hemp recipes… Yes please!

And that’s not even all of it! I could go on but those are the highlights:)

We brought a big salad to eat before going in, and had a big salad when we got home!

photo 5 (3)

Have you ever been to Natural Products Expo?

What about these brands, have you seen any?

Do you have a certain criteria when buying products?



    6 replies to "The Good Guys at Natural Products Expo"

    • Lahotski

      I couldn’t find Suja either…. so funny!

      • Sarah

        Thats is funny:) It was totally crazy but I thought they would be front and center?! I am sure they did well where ever they were!

    • Mommaschell

      Have I been to the Expo West? Yes, this was my 16th year I attended Expo West. This year’s show was total overkill. However, I keep coming back to say “hi” to friends over the years and get in on show specials for my business. This year I got to say “happy retirement” to a colleague from Frontier who was with them for 33 years. I’ve known her for about 25.

      MommaChia, Mary’s Gone Crackers…love their products. The rest…who are they?

      Forgetting mainstays like Frontier, Dr. Bronner’s, Bragg…how about Zhena’s, Numi, Rishi Tea for tea? They are time tested and have the cleanest products around.

      Criteria for buying products: on a personal level and as the buyer for my business, my criteria are such: buy with as few ingredients as possible, buy closest to the source (ie direct from the farmer or purveyor instead from big box companies), local (of course, if possible), quality ingredients.

      • Sarah

        Yes! We agree over kill but lots of great companies, to many to name them all:)

    • Laurel

      I went to a gluten-free expo a couple of years ago and had the same reaction about the number of heavily-processed products. I haven’t been back since realizing whole, organic foods aren’t going to be marketed at these events. I am still easily suckered into believing the “health food” marketing gimmicks from these companies, so I prefer to just avoid them. Glad to have the two of you disseminate the good from the bad for me!

      You didn’t mention Brad’s Raw Kale Chips, though I notice you have one of their bags. Love their “vampire killer” kale chips! I try not to purchase them too often though because of the cost and because I want to eat the entire carton in one sitting!

      • Sarah

        Laurel,we are totally on the same page! We never buy Brad’s because they are so spendy and we usually have a fridge full of kale and a dehydrator in the kitchen…I feel guilty buying them ;) But tasty none the less:)

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