We had the pleasure of attending Natural Products Expo East last month in Baltimore, MD. After having attended the “Main Event,” aka Natural Products Expo West, in Anaheim, CA in March, we were excited to see what new items would be hitting the market for late 2015/early 2016. We were thoroughly impressed.
Our friend Ariela joined us for most of the trip to Baltimore, where we got to explore A LOT of new products in health/beauty, home and food! It was also great to meet and re-meet the people behind some of our favorite brands, and to compare notes with friends.
Without further ado, here’s our list of 10 products we fell in love with during Expo East that we think you should find and try when they hit the market!
1. Follow Your Heart – Parmesan Cheese (3 ways – COMING SOON)
What Follow Your Heart has been doing with conventional cheeses has blown us away. Those cheese slices knocked our socks off. Now, there’s Parmesan on the horizon. We tasted this at Expo and were trying so hard not to embarrass ourselves by doing a happy dance. It was right levels of sharp and salty, as Parmesan should be.
This will be available later this year in wedge, grated and shredded varieties! Your vegano Italiano won’t be the same after this!
2. Five Star Foodies – Artichoke Burgers
If a vegan product has artichokes, you know Carlo is on it! These burgers are gluten- and soy-free, made with brown rice, cashews and artichokes. They’re available in 3 varieties: Original, French Herb and Tandoori. They’re all well-seasoned and delicious. You can’t go wrong with any of them. Go with the flavor you’re in the mood to try!
You also have to try their Cold-Pressed Ciders, especially the Hibiscus and Unfiltered. So refreshing, any time of the year!
3. Harbor Creek Farms – Artisan Mac & Cheese Strudel
A company who has been “making crabby people happy since 2008,” Harbor Creek Farms is a very special company. They give back to their community with 10% of sales going to help the homeless. They also run a non-profit called, Urban Hands, which creates jobs and provides healthy, free meals to local community organizations in the Vancouver, WA area.
We totally support their mission! We also support their new Artisan Mac & Cheese Strudel! We LURVE vegan mac & cheese. We love anything with a crunch. You’re getting both in a creamy mac with a flaking dough. Nom nom nom!
They also make a delicious cranberry horseradish sauce that will be making its presence on our Thanksgiving table this year!
4. Unreal Candy – Dark Chocolate Crispy Quinoa Peanut Butter Cups
While we may hate the Red Sox, there are some good things to come out of Boston…like Unreal Candy!
Fair trade, non-GMO, gluten-free, and most importantly, vegan! If you love rice krispies treats, then you’ll be pleasantly surprised by this “unreal” take on the classic peanut butter cup! The flavor crunch from the quinoa adds to the nuttiness of the peanut butter. Of course, who doesn’t love chocolate?!?! This combination is tops.
Not so much into crunch? Their standard dark chocolate peanut butter cups are yummy. They also make an almond butter version. Now, we’re crossing our fingers for their candy-coated to go vegan soon!
5. Hugo Naturals – Artisan Soaps and Bath Salts
When going vegan, some don’t realize that it goes beyond food. What you put on your body is as important was what you put into it. Hugo Naturals gets that! In a sea of “natural” health/beauty products using ingredients like beeswax and synthetics, it’s refreshing to find a brand who eliminates them and gets what vegan means!
Hugo Natural’s line offers handmade soaps and bath salts in very delicious fragrances that say “Bye, Felicia” to harsh chemicals. They’re 100% animal and cruelty-free. We don’t dry out our skin, thanks to essential oils (jojoba, coconut and almond) and other plant-sourced ingredients! The company just came out with vegan peel-off nail polish that Carm’s looking forward to trying soon!
6. PRZMAN – Happy Ending After Shave Mist
Carlo’s found a new aftershave he’s raving over. Because he’s got sensitive skin, it’s sometimes hard for him to find an aftershave that doesn’t cause irritation…at all. The Happy Ending mist is a light spray with aloe vera juice, plant extracts and essential oils. He found it to have a soothing quality, and it smells really good too!
PRZMAN connects with guys seeking natural, cruelty-free products that are not tested on animals. While it may seem over the top on keeping the “manliness,” there’s something to be said for a brand who can show that taking care of yourself and using beauty products can cross gender lines. In addition to their products, PRZMAN is a content hub with news, articles and videos on men’s living from health to fatherhood.
7. Suzanne’s Specialties – Just Like Honey Rice Nectar
Carm grew up on orange blossom honey. It was a staple in the home, used for everything from tea to breakfast cereal. While this product has been around for a while, it was the first time we had seen it. There are a few honey alternatives that we dig, but this one is tops in our book. Suzanne’s Specialties has nailed it that classic honey flavor with a mix of brown rice syrup, agave nectar and maple syrup.
Can you go wrong with a product that shares its name with an amazing song by The Jesus & Mary Chain?
Suzanne’s Specialties also make that deliicious Ricemellow, vegan marshmallow fluff! If that’s eluded you, now you know where to go! Vegan fluffernutter sandwiches, anyone?
8. RPM Sports – Powerball
For many of us who are sedentary workers (we rarely get off of our asses), we need to find some creative ways to get our exercise on! Powerballs by RPM Sports are a great way to build up arm strength whether you’re at the gym or your desk! All it takes is one of these balls in the palm of your hand.
These balls use your body for resistance as you work your hand, wrist and arms. They require no batteries. Each ball uses a ripcord to start its inner rotor of the ball, like a gyroscope. As you move your hand with the ball, you’ll start to feel how it engages your muscles for a short workout.
The price-point isn’t too bad on these balls, starting at around $19.99 for the standard version on up to $99.99, designed for professional athletes.
9. Pure Genius Provisions – Brownies & Blondies
We love seeing local businesses doing their thing!
Pure Genius Provisions is hitting the market with a line of gluten-free, vegan brownies and blondies that made with beans without tasting the “beaniness!” The Chocolate Chip Blondie is made with garbanzo beans, while the Deep Chocolate Brownie has black beans in it. Both are made with gluten-free oats and maple syrup. They’re seriously some of the moistest, packaged baked treats we’ve ever had!
10. Green Mustache – Mustache Munchies
Green Mustache makes bottled juice smoothies that include at least 1 full serving of fruit and 1 full serving of vegetables. They’re refreshing and delicious, especially the Tropical Twist. However, we’re super excited for their new product, Mustache Munchies!
We were so happy to try these, because they were literally brand new to debut in time for Expo East. If you loved Goldfish crackers in your pre-vegan days, you’ll love these! Mustache Munches are vegan, gluten-free, slightly cheesy and shaped into mini mustaches! Cute, yummy and made for all kids (big and small), these crackers are baked with kale and chia seed.
Expo East offered us so many products that we enjoyed. We’ll be sharing and reviewing of them over time. So, be sure to check back to see what we have up next!
Have a new vegan product you love? Tell us about it in the comments.