Natural Products Expo East 2012

by Sue Taggart

This year’s Expo East show was fun and exhausting. With over 1,550 booths to visit in two days, we did our best to see most of the 36% of first time exhibitors as well as some of our favorite brands.

I was walking the show on a sprained ankle, so my personal shout out goes to Heel for their homeopathic Traumeel pain relief Ointment and ingestible pills.

All I can say is the combination worked. Even after walking the show for two days straight, there was no swelling and the pain was virtually gone—thank you!

I also loved the “go raw” Spirulina Energy Bar, only 14g, so a perfect pocket-size snack for a quick and very tasty energy boost! Lesser Evil Snacks were debuting their new Chia Chips line, which tasted so good and are good for you!  I tried Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss for the first time…it will not be the last, tasted as good as premium ice cream but dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, low glycemic and 100% organic. Other products we liked include Au Naturale Cocktails, they’ve stripped down our favorite libations to the bare essentials and paired them with fabulous, all natural cocktail inspired fragrances. Very impressed with Island Bamboo’s extensive line of eco-friendly kitchenware made from renewable HUE bamboo. Air’s Clean new all natural air freshener and room deodorizer doesn’t mask odor with heavy scents, it attacks the micro-organisms that cause it. And, Woolzies Dryer Balls is an ingenious natural laundry softener that lasts for hundreds of loads

As always, it was so difficult to narrow it down to just 18 of our favorite products, but we think we have found some interesting ones for you. Four of us contributed to this round-up, and there was some heated discussion on the personal favorites, but I think we all agree that the 18 products selected really did stand out from the crowd.


1. Veria

Veria is on a quest for balance. By marrying ancient Ayurvedic wisdom with cutting-edge science, Veria creates personal care products and herbal supplements designed to promote wellness from within. The beautiful packaging—simple, clean and colorful really caught my eye. Ayurvedic principles and products can often be confusing, Veria, is guided by a simply profound principle: More of the good, less of the bad. They present their line in a way that makes perfect sense. They are also committed to doing it in the most natural, sustainable ways possible, to preserve balance within the environment, our communities and ourselves. With a commitment to premium ingredients and conscious packaging, Veria have certainly found the right balance for the health and sustainable consumer.

2. Erba Vita

This wonderful line of herbal supplements was being exhibited at Expo for the first time. The company, which was founded in Italy by the Bollini family in 1982, has a long tradition and passion for nature and phytotherapy. As such, their formulations from raw materials to finished products are tested every step of the way. I was really interested in the weight management products, particularly the 4 Slim Trainer Feel Full Snack Time, a liquid formulation that you spray under the tongue then swallow—up to five times a day if you need to. Haven’t had the opportunity to try it yet, but really intrigued to see if it does help to fend off those snack attacks between meals.

3. Natural Force

These first-time exhibitors had the first all-natural pre-workout formula that we have seen and it was great. Most of the products on the market, think Jack3d and NO-Xplode, are some of the most “fake” things that our bodies could ever consume. These Natural Force guys have made an all-natural supplement containing things such as royal jelly and maca root that will still get you pumped to walk in the door of the gym.


4. Coco Pollo   

Wow!!! If I hadn’t known that this was a sugar-free chocolate, I would never have guessed. Unlike most sugar-free chocolates out there, it isn’t sweetened with sugar alcohols in the form of maltitol or sorbitol. It’s sweetened with natural stevia. It begins with the great quality chocolate, it’s 70% Cocoa dark, yet it still tastes rich, smooth and creamy and there are some amazing flavor combinations like Tart Montmorency Cherries, Ginger and Elderberry. The milk chocolate, which is 39% Cocoa, is my favorite milk chocolate ever. I love Cadbury’s, I grew up with it, but these are a more adult version yet still with a great taste and texture—my favorite is the Roasted Almonds, a perfect combination of creamy chocolate and crunchy nuts, not overly sweet. 

5. B-Amazing! Foods

I wanted a snack, so I stopped by the B-Amazing! Foods booth to try their new “real food” bars, and I was amazed. You could really taste the fresh fruits and vegetables that make up these really filling and nutritious bars. The four flavors on offer were really appetizing too, Quinoa Apricot, Cinnamon Raisin, Lemon Cranberry and Apple Coconut. Each B-Amazing! Foods bar incorporates a colorful rainbow of root vegetables starting with fresh sweet potatoes, carrots, yellow beets and squash. Depending on the flavor, there’s a satisfying blend of whole lemons, cranberries, apricots, figs, dates, oranges, apples and coconut, mixed with organic whole grains, complex sweeteners like coconut sap sugar and brown rice syrup, up to seven kinds of nuts and seeds and topped off with a variety of spices. B-Amazing! Food bars contain no refined white sugar or hydrogenated fats, and all of the bars are non-GMO. Additionally, the Cinnamon Raisin and Apple Coconut bars are vegan.

 6. XO Baking Co.

Well to be honest, I don’t eat gluten-free, but these tasty looking desserts were staring at me as I walked by and I couldn’t help but stop and give them a taste. And wow, am I glad I did! I couldn’t believe how delicious they were; you wouldn’t even know that they are gluten-free. Over the course of the trade show I went by the booth—ahem—a few times and was able to taste the Pumpkin Bread, Oatmeal Cooking and Fudge Brownie. All of them were delicious! XO Baking Co. lets you bring these pre-made mixes home with you to bake your favorite breads and desserts all the while having the peace of mind that they are gluten-free; perfect for those of you who may have Celiac Disease, gluten-sensitivities…or who just like baked goods.

7. Simply 7 Pomegranate Chips

The new Pomegranate Chips definitely caught our eye at the show and they taste delicious! Made by Simply 7 Snacks, these chips are made with simple ingredients like raw vegetables, fruits, grains and legumes. The new Pomegranate Chips offer a slightly sweet taste and are available in Sea Salt, Black Pepper and White Cheddar. All of Simple 7 Snack’s products, including their Hummus and Lentil Chips, are gluten free, Non-GMO and Vegan–so everyone can enjoy them!

8. Blue Buddha Beverages

The eco18 team got the chance to try new functional, all-natural herbal infused teas that launched at the show this year from Blue Buddha Beverages. There are four different teas to choose from including Vitality, which is a hibiscus raspberry flavor, Radiance, a blueberry, green tea flavor, Serenity, made with chamomile and lavender and Wellness, featuring elderberry and green tea flavors. The teas each have a different function from boosting energy to creating a calm and relaxed state and supporting immunity. There are no artificial sweeteners or preservatives in any of the teas and they are all Non-GMO. Check out their website to see where you can pick one up, our favorite was the Vitality!

9. Spacho

We’ve talked about making your own gazpacho before, but it makes a great on the go snack, too. V8 has been an on-the-go (dare we say hangover?) breakfast mainstay for years with its mix of fruits, vegetables and nutrient powers. The problem is that V8 is the big-food version of something that should really be much healthier than it is.

Enter Spacho, the all-natural version which packs a healthier punch. The difference is quality is all too evident once you try it. I asked the same question that everybody asks – when is the spicy version available? They said to look for it soon!


10. Cloud Star Buddy Biscuits

Shaped in the form of little gingerbread men, these treats just don’t look cute! They’re made with wholesome ingredients to keep pets and their owners happy and healthy. Buddy Biscuits from Cloud Star are all-natural, low allergen treats for dogs and now for cats too. New this year at the show were grain-free biscuits for cats and dogs with whole grain sensitivities that are 100% grain free and gluten-free. If you’re planning ahead for the holidays, keep their gingerbread flavored Buddy Biscuits in mind for a special treat for your pup. This company also does good behind the scenes, donating over 10% of their net profits to organizations that benefit animals, women, children and the environment.


11. Every Man Jack

Growing up with an older brother, I’ve always been pretty in tune with the male grooming routine (or sometimes, lack there of). Already familiar with the Art of Shaving product line, I was really impressed with the premium shave skin care at the Every Man Jack booth. Their face wash gently cleans and preps the skin while the shave cream and shave gels comforts and protects. And, to top it off, every man should try the signature mint face lotion for healing and moisturizing. It really puts in perspective what is needed for that perfect shave, right? Every Man Jack is also readily available at stores like Whole Foods, Target and Duane Reade.

12. Sibu Beauty

At Sibu, the beauty is in the berry. Ranging from nourishing day creams to a replenishing purifying mask, Sibu’s entire line of beauty products is made from premium, Sea Buckthorn found some of the most remote locations of the Himalayas.  While I had the pleasure of sampling some of Sibu’s amazing skin care products at home, I was really impressed by Sibu Beauty Revitalize and Renew Sea Buckthorn Liquid Supplement. While the juice has quite the tart kick, the supplement has a rich source of Omega 7, which works from the inside out to provide cellular support for the improvement of skin tone as well as hair and skin growth.

13. The Orange Owl

I was instantly drawn to The Orange Owl—probably because I really like owls. But once I took a closer look, I really loved what this beauty line had to offer. The line is all-natural—including free of parabens, dyes, sulfates, etc.—and hand-made in Vermont! They are also dedicated to eco-friendly and socially conscious practices for the line. The Orange Owl offers a variety of goods that will leave you feeling fabulous, including: soaps, body scrubs, lip balm and body butters.


14. Bambooee

Love, love, love this product!!!! This reusable bamboo towel with its 20 sheets replaces 60 rolls of regular paper towels! I finally found something that will make me switch. I use so many paper towels that I have been actively looking for a better way and Bambooee is it. According to the companyy, Bambooee is stronger, more absorbent, more durable and cleans better than any paper towel. And it’s so versatile. Bambooee’s are machine washable, reuseable, they reduce waste and help reduce your carbon footprint. Trees are being cut down at an unsustainable rate and 3000 tons of paper towel waste is produced per day. So excited to try them at home and in our office.

15. Spoonk

The name alone got my attention, but the promise of a better nights sleep, really had me hooked. This Acupressure Massage Eco Mat has already been seen on Dr. Oz to rave reviews, so not only did I listen to whole story, I actually handed over $50 for my very own “Spoonk”—and that was a show special price!. It works by those nasty looking little spikes stimulating your body’s acupressure points, which release endorphins to reduce stress hormones like cortisol. This helps you experience a deep relaxation and you are able to fall into a deeper sleep. I’ve used it and I can say, yes you do. The initial “sensation” of the spikes on your bare skin is more than a sensation, it hurts, but it does go away after about 5 minutes. It has been studied for pain relief and energy too with impressive results.

16. Naturally It’s Clean

This line of cleaning products is made with enzymes as the key ingredient. According to their website, enzyme-based cleaners are effective at removing mold, and keeping it away! A full line that will take care of surface in your home and let you feel comfortable knowing your kids and pets are running around being exposed to what you’ve just cleaned with!

17. JR Watkins

This is a company I’ve probably come across hundreds of times—I’ve always been drawn to their beauty offerings. But what I hadn’t ever noticed about the line was that they also offer home cleaning supplies. Their natural home care selection includes everything from dish soaps and all-purpose cleaners to bathroom and window cleaners—and much more. Probably my favorite thing about this home cleaning line, besides being all-natural and free of harmful agents, is how gorgeous the packaging is. This is the type of cleaning line I would want to have sitting out proudly on my counter, verses tucking away under the sink.


18. Koala Baby

An organic line of baby products from Australia caught my eye—who doesn’t love Koala bears! Debuting not only the baby line, but their main line, Jasmin Aromatique Organics, I was intrigued by their story and their commitment to really pure, natural and certified organic products. The company was awarded the highest ranking by the prestigious Organic Monitor Foundation; with a 9.6 rating, which defines them as “the most organic” skin care collection. The baby line is produced to the same exacting standards. The company owns an organic farm in Australia as well as their entire processing, manufacturing and packaging plants, so they control their products from beginning to end. and

In the spirit of full disclosure some brands mentioned in this article were, are or could be in the future, client’s of our parent company, the leading healthy lifestyle agency, ADinfinitum, Inc.

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