Natural Products Expo East 2015 Recap-Part 1

Natural Products Expo East this year was yet again another whirlwind event. Similar to last year, we opted for attending the last day of the even just for a quick day trip to Baltimore. Though this event can always, easily take up half the week as it runs for 4 days. With our day beginning before the sun was up, we made great time and rolled into Baltimore around 8:30 Saturday morning. We grabbed our press passes and were headed to breakfast until the NEXT (new products) Pavilion opened at 9:30.

As we approached the third floor Next Pavilion, the first company in front of the stairs was CideRoad Organic Switchel, a new favorite of our (check out our full review here.) Seeing a new favorite was great because I had a feeling our day was going to be jam packed with lots of awesome companies. I was totally right! With over 1,300 vendors there, we were overwhelmed. Thankfully I’ve narrowed down my top 10 eye-catching companies to share with you. There were many other great companies we loved, but because full reviews of their products will be forthcoming I won’t mention any of them yet.

I love coconut oil, no doubt about it. I use it for everything from hair care to cooking, so it’s no surprise I’m over the moon about Jackson’s Honest. They make delicious potato chips and tortilla chips, cooking in coconut oil. This family run business is the product of the need to create nutrient rich foods for their family and son Jackson, who has an undiagnosed disease. They found results in eating healthy fats, like coconut oil, which was a great source of nutrition.

IMG_8327-Web These were the first chips I’ve ever had that were cooked in coconut oil and they were fantastic! Jackson’s Honest has their flavoring on point, as I literally ran back to their table to let them know how much I enjoyed their Sea Salt & Black Pepper chips, as I took a sample to snack on as I walked around. All their chips are certified Non-GMO and cooked with coconut oil. They also offer organic potato versions of their Salt & Vinegar and Sea Salt flavors. All tortilla chips are certified organic, so you know you are getting quality ingredients. Check out their full line of products here.

IMG_8355-Web Batter World was a company I had on my list to stop by and visit, so I was glad to come across their table and meet with them to find out more. Created by two Moms who enjoyed making pancakes for their kids, but wished it wasn’t so labor intensive during the school week (don’t we all wish that?) So they crated a wholesome pancake batter without any preservatives, in a squeezable container. It comes frozen, so that allows no need for preservatives, simply defrost it in the refrigerator overnight and store any unused batter in the fridge for up to 10 days. I thought the Multigrain batter tasted the best, but they also offer Original and Gluten-Free too. I was so excited to head home and find this at my local Whole Foods, but unfortunately it is only offer on the West Coast currently. However they do suggest that you request it at your local food store, as more requests urge companies to stock it.

IMG_8359-Web Simply Gum is another refreshing product I came across at the expo. Created with only 6 ingredients, all easily recognizable and easily pronounceable. This gum doesn’t look like your average dye colored or bleached white stick of gum. To me it closely resembles the shape and color of rabbit food pellets, but tastes nothing like it. Simply Gum shows that we shouldn’t judge something solely based on its outward appearance. I tried a single piece of Mint flavored gum while at the expo and was surprised at how light in taste it was, with non of the expected chemical flavors often repeated in mainstream brand gum. I no longer chew gum because I could never find any without funky ingredients, especially none without wax or aspartame – Simply Gum contains none of those funky products. They offer 6 flavors, including the very interesting Fennel Licorice. Find them at Whole Foods and other natural markets, search here for the closest store to you.

4:00 Cookie was another company I searched for knowing ahead of time they were a “good for you” company. The idea behind their cookie treat, was that when people crave a mid to late afternoon snack it might end up being something unhealthy, like a regular cookie or sweet treat. Owner, Debra Holstein knows that since that might happen, she created a cookie that is super healthy but still tastes like a sweet treat.

Instead of using traditional ingredients, like white flour and sugar. 4:00 cookie uses whole wheat flour, rolled oats, flaxseed and nuts, with a touch of sweetness from coconut flower sugar. These good-for-you ingredients help with a slow release of whole grains and low-glycemic sweeteners, helping to avoid the usual sugar rush with regular sweetness.

If I didn’t know ahead of time these cookies were made with wholesome ingredients, I wouldn’t have known as they taste as if they are a regular sweet treat. 4:00 cookie even offers a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie with 12 flavors total there is something you are sure to like, even the Granola Squares!

So that this post isn’t overwhelmingly long, I’ll conclude this recap on Wednesday with the final five companies that caught our eyes. Check out our Instagram page for several others from the expo we loved!