What a great show this was—so many new products launching and tons of small brands experiencing their first major trade show. Not to mention, an exciting four days for Eco18. Three of our team were there, running around looking for the 18 best and new products to feature. An impossible challenge!
We began with the official press conference where Carlotta Mast, Editor-in-Chief of NewHope360.com and Natural Food Merchandiser and the Food Network’s Tyler Florence gave an overview of the industry trends they are seeing. The biggest take away is that the consumer shift to a healthier lifestyle and eating real food, is more than a trend, it’s now a lifestyle choice for many Americans. Tyler was very passionate about his choice to make his baby and toddler line of foods Sprout, organic with no additives, just fresh real foods, cooked and pureed.
There were over 2,000 exhibitors and there was no way we could visit each and every one, so we have focused on our personal favorites from first time exhibitors, new products and emerging trends. Even then we were challenged to keep it down to 18, so we have some additional shout outs!
As always, thanks Topricin for your foot cream, we NEVER leave home without it. Four long days and nights in high heels would not have been possible without your amazing pain relief cream! Kamut International and SliceTruck invited us to a private preview party of the new KAMUT® Crust Pizzas that SliceTruck will be serving at their food truck and their new take-out restaurant due to open soon. All we can say is YUMMMMMM…best pizza we have ever tasted.
Gluten-free is a trend that seems to have gone mainstream, there were so many companies with fabulous offerings, Pamela’s Products to die for cheesecake, and a whole range of baked goods, Nature’s Path new Manna Breads were amazing, as was a new snack brand 180snacks. Some other products we liked, Hi I’m Skinny, the fat content was a little high, but all the taste was there and great looking package. We were also really excited to see one of our favorite brands now going retail—Bee Alive—the very best Royal Jelly around.
So, let’s start with food (we have very healthy appetites at Eco18)!
Tyrell’s Chips – There were so many snacks at the show. In fact we pretty much felt like we snacked non-stop for four days, so the fact that Tyrrell’s Hand Cooked Chips stood out so much says a lot! We especially kept going back for the Sweet Chili & Red Pepper chips–to die for! Cooked in small batches, the ingredients list is short and sweet and leaves no questions as to what you’ll be munching on.
180snacks – This was another standout snack. Their Almond Pops with fruits like blueberries, cranberries and mango are gluten-free, oven baked, kosher, 100% vegan and all-natural, plus they tasted great. Made with whole grain brown rice they are perfect for kids. Us big kids loved them too!
Vin’Tucci – These all-natural wine infused cookies definitely caught our attention and were quite tasty! The treats are perfect for dipping in coffee and pair well with cheese or fresh fruits. With three different flavors including spice, honey and anise, there is something for everyone. Best of all, these treats are butter, oil and egg free.
Svelte – A few of us at eco18.com tend to live on protein shakes. Well, two of us anyway, and we each have at least one shake a day. That said, protein shakes always make our ears perk up and it’s a constant search to find a shake that is low in calories, high in protein and great in taste…much easier said that done! That made finding Svelte like a dream come true. Svelte is an all-natural protein shake, in a 15.9oz container offering 260 calories, 16 grams of protein and AMAZING taste. It comes in Chocolate, French Vanilla, Cappuccino and Spiced Chai. We were sure to sample all flavors and can tell you can’t go wrong with any of them. Yes, there are other protein shakes out there that are a bit higher in protein and lower in calories–but they aren’t all-natural and they certainly don’t offer the flavor.
Olympus Dairy– OK, so we thought we knew Greek yogurt. We’ve certainly tasted all the top brands and have to say we like them all. Watch out, Olympus is the only Greek yogurt made in Greece. Those Greeks know something about yogurt. We couldn’t tell exactly what makes it different, but it certainly is. Even the 0% fat is super creamy, thick and absolutely delicious. Plain with honey was hands down our collective favorite, but all the fruit varieties were packed with chunks of fresh fruit—blueberry, strawberry, peach. And, until you taste their Feta cheese, you have never tasted real Feta!
Michael Angelo’s – The very best pre-packed frozen Italian entrées we have ever eaten. According to Michael Angello Renna and “mama” Angello, the secret is in the quality ingredients and “fresh preparation”. When the orders come into the company, that’s when they purchase all the ingredients, so everything is fresh. They make it right away, freeze and ship. Wow, that’s why it tastes homemade! And Eco18 has the scoop, the company is in the process of making all their pasta with KAMUT® Brand khorasan wheat. The Angelo family are so committed to quality, they want their pasta to be the most delicious and nutritious, so in moving over to KAMUT® wheat they feel they can not only deliver a better tasting, better for you product, but one that is more authentic to their Italian heritage.
On the personal care side there were some really fun items and beautiful packaging!
Rockin’ Green Soap – The unique look of this booth made it impossible for us to not stop and see what Rockin’ Green Soap was all about. It’s a laundry detergent started by a mom whose children had sensitive skin and had issues with most other soaps. From there, Rockin’ Green Soap was born. This is also a great line to help parents get kids helping with laundry chores, as the packaging and name alone–including “Hard Rock”, “Soft Rock”, “Funk Rock” and “Femme Rock” among others–implement a whole new element of fun to clean clothes.
The Jojoba Company – The gorgeous packaging of this all-natural, Australian line drew us in and had us wanting to look more. The line is made with 100% all-natural Australian jojoba and other special Australian ingredients such as Kakadu plum and Quandong. The line includes a full range of products for hair, face and body.
Pureness Health – Pureness Health offers a line of soap that is gorgeous and offers an interesting anti-aging element, as they are made with Kasu. Kasu is the leftover ingredients from making sake. They began to realize that the women who were making the sake and working with the Kasu were left with soft, young hands–while the rest of them aged as expected. From there they began to realize the benefits of Kasu and from there a beauty line was born.
Broo Your Do – Beer in your hair products? Apparently women have been doing this for quite some time, including Jacqueline Onassis. The beer provides B vitamins, proteins and minerals, leaving hair silky and smooth. Broo is made with handcrafted porters and pale ales and blended with sulfate-free cleansers and gentle conditioners.
The dietary supplement category has been pretty stagnant the past few years, but we found some interesting products that could really invigorate sales.
Rejuvila – They were certainly an energized bunch of people, and the concept was a new take on vibrant aging. Positioning themselves as a healthy living company, their new Nutrisqueeze line certainly takes full advantage of new packaging technology. The one serve squeeze pack has whole food ingredients and phytonutrients in an innovative portable single serving puree. Now, if you take it right out of the pouch it may take some getting use to, but it can easily go into a smoothee or over cereal.
Nutrawise – Youtheory a line of Collagen supplements and protein shake. The packaging and the awesome booth certainly got our attention. They were super busy when we dropped by, so we didn’t have time to talk, but the concept of collagen for beauty and health inside and out really appeals to us. Smart line with smart ingredient combinations—one to watch!
Ascenta – NutraSea™ great tasting omega-3 oils—really! We were skeptical that fish oil could taste good (having tried many other brands and been disappointed). This Canadian company has got it right. Total advocates of omega-3, we wanted to hear the whole story. Needless to say there is far too much information for this quick round up, but as the leading brand in Canada, we could certainly see (and taste) why. Hope to see them on shelves in the US.
The green and natural household category has reall grown over the years and we picked two brands, both have been around a while, but were very innovative at this show:
Medport – What a makeover this brand has gone through. As well as showcasing their newly designed vitamin and pill holders, we loved their Fresh Starts line. Perfect for busy moms, the all-in-one concept allows you to prepare, store and serve your baby’s meals all from the same container. All BPA free, their Fit & Fresh food prep and go system was also vey innovative and attractive.
Method – Method has been around for years–even recognized as one of the leaders in all-natural home cleaning products. We were excited to learn at Expo West that Method is taking it up another notch as they introduced their new beach recycled plastic bottles. They are collecting plastics off the beaches around the country–helping to clean up the oceans–and converting the plastics in to their new packaging. Now you can no only have all-natural cleaning products in the home, but also feel good about the sustainability and how it is helping the planet even more.
We certainly love our pets and that was really evident with the types and varieties of natural pet foods and snacks:
Puppy Dust – This all-natural treat includes wheat and is corn free with flax to help give pups healthy skin and shinny coats. Simply dust your dog’s food with this, and with the yummy flavors like bacon cheddar cheese and peanut butter honey, your dog will think he’s eating a real treat.
The Bear & The Rat –Yogurt is one of our favorite snacks so why not have something similar for our four legged friends to enjoy? These probiotic frozen treats for dogs offer the same benefits to our furry friends as they do for us, aiding in digestion and immune health. Pups can enjoy these treats in Banana Peanut Barker, Bacon Peanut Barker and Choc’o’Not flavors.
And, last but by no means least:
Marley’s Mellow Mood –Ziggy Marley was at the show debuting his new line of drinks, Marley’s Mellow Mood. The line includes lightly carbonated sodas in citrus and berry flavors, and ready to drink cold teas in green tea with honey, black tea and half lemonade, half tea flavors. A portion of all proceeds goes to 1Love.org, which supposrts a variety of different charities. Ziggy was also performing at the annual “Rock and Roll” concert, where the mood was very upbeat!
We had a wonderful time in sunny Anaheim and it was a pleasure and privilege to meet so many innovators, inventors and entrepreneurs–people who are passionate about what they do. Their desire to make healthy, nutritious and eco-friendly products for us and our planet, was truly inspirational.