Natural Products Expo West made its return at the Anaheim Convention Center March 8-12, 2022, and it was quite a different event from where we left off back in 2020 when the world as we knew it changed. The RangeMe team was in attendance to uncover the new consumer packaged goods (CPG) trends on display and connect face-to-face with the suppliers and retail buyers on RangeMe. There was an overwhelming attendance of brands and buyers filling this 1.8 million-square-foot convention center, spanning across five halls, an arena, and the Marriott hotel.
As our team walked the various halls of exhibitors, we were more than excited to see so many “RangeMe Verified™” signs displayed at supplier booths. We loved hearing about the many successes brands have experienced on RangeMe. “I’ve been using RangeMe in various forms for different companies over the last four to five years and I can absolutely say it’s worth the investment to become a premium user,” says David Curtis, Director of Sales for the non-dairy ice cream brand Must Love. “Going premium helped me turn out at least one to two national chains. The ability to look at the metrics on who visits your profile is invaluable data.”
With natural products on the rise, here are some of the top trends from the show that we believe will gain the most momentum this year.
Little labels, big impact
Achieving—and leveraging—certifications continues to grow for brands. RangeMe’s own Brandon Leong, SVP of Marketing & Growth, moderated the educational session, “How Certifications Can Increase Sales While Protecting People and the Planet,” on Friday, March 11. Attendees heard from industry experts and some of our amazing certification partners, The Non-GMO Project, Marine Stewardship Council, and Fairtrade America on why certifications matter. Some highlights from the educational session included:
- 87% of millennials believe that the success of a company should be measured by its social and environmental impact
- More than 80% of consumers want companies to use labels on products to communicate their responsible sourcing practices
- 78% of consumers said they are willing to pay a premium for a product with a certification
Conscious consumerism has no plans for slowing down, and certifications provide consumers with reassurance that the products they’re purchasing are directly impacting the world for the better.
Are you a supplier looking to get certified? Connect with the Non-GMO Project, Marine Stewardship Council, and Fairtrade America on RangeMe here.
Life is easy with frozen foods
The freezer aisle is no longer dino-shaped nuggets, pizza rolls, and TV dinners. While consumers are used to frozen foods being easy but not always delicious or healthy, brands like Deep Indian Kitchen and Komo Comfort Foods are changing the way we shop in the frozen aisle. Several exhibitors showcased the future of frozen foods–convenient and fast, but made from flavorful authentic recipes and nutritious ingredients.
The ‘MANE’ attraction
At the Winter Fancy Food Show, we reported that mushrooms are blooming into the snack scene, but have you heard about lion’s mane? Lion’s mane mushrooms get their name from their appearance resembling the mane of a lion, but their benefits go beyond looks. Lion’s mane is known for improving your brain function, productivity, focus, and overall well-being. Odyssey Elixir uses lion’s mane in their French Roast Latte to harness focus and in their Cold Brew Oat Latte to harness energy.
Pantry like a rockstar
Walking the show floor made it apparent that consumer pantries are getting makeovers, given the number of gluten-free baking mixes, healthy pre-made sauces, dressings, and spice mixes we saw. Organic Traditions displayed their superfood pancakes and energy bites mixes. Dan-O’s, the viral social media sensation, spiced up the show with their “Low Sodium, All Natural, No Sugar… All Flavor, No Fillers” seasonings. These brands are sure to shake up anyone’s pantry!
Let them eat
Healthy snacks are no longer the exception, they are an expectation. Eating healthy has never tasted so good with brands like PeaTos and Whoa Dough providing a healthy twist on the traditional sweet or salty snack taste we all love! Peatos are replacing corn-based chips with peas, providing 2x the protein and 3x the fiber. Whoa Dough’s real cookie dough bars are vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, and extremely delicious!
To sustainability and beyond!
Conscious consumerism is at the forefront of the industry and in our 2021 Retail Recap, it’s predicted that sustainability will continue to trend into 2022. Consumers want products that are good for them and good for the planet. Brands like Moonshot, a Black- and women-owned company, provides climate-friendly snacks. Their purpose is to create delicious, carbon-neutral snacks that are good for people and the planet. Moonshot is setting an industry standard with their Planet FWD program, which builds technology to help food brands rethink the cycle of food production as an opportunity for regeneration.
We expect to see attendance continue to grow at future shows, and with the hundreds of “RangeMe Verified™” signs we saw around the show floors, RangeMe remains the bridge between buyers and suppliers as in-person shows make their return. Until trade shows make their full comeback, here are some tips on what your brand can do if buyers don’t show up to an event.
Want to leverage more insights when connecting with retail buyers? Learn how third-party certifications can help you stand out from the crowd here.
Did you attend Expo West or plan on attending discovery events like Global Market in the future? Remember to leverage your RangeMe profile when following-up with retail buyers. Learn more here!