Another year, and now Natural Products Expo West 2017 in the books!
Natural Products Expo West (or Expo West) is held in Anaheim, CA. It is one of, if not, the biggest trade shows in the natural products industry. It features a healthy mix of products and services across a variety of industries from healthcare to retail. What’s even better is that there is a solid growing number of vegan products to explore!
This year’s event brought in over 80,000 attendees from across the globe to the Anaheim Convention Center and Arena, as well as the Hilton and Marriott hotels onsite. Across the “campus,” there were “Hot Products,” new to market and start-ups waiting to be shown off to the world!
The convention spans 4-5 days, including its 3-day trade show, It’s an opportunity to learn from industry leaders, meet game changers in natural products, and for us to connect with colleagues, peers and friends, especially of the vegan kind!
So, let’s get right into what y’all came here to see! In no particular order, we present our official Top Ten Vegan Finds at Expo West 2017
NadaMoo – Birthday Cake & The Rockiest Road
What is NadaMoo!? Well they happen to be a company that churns out creamy, delicious and fun flavors of coconut-based vegan ice cream. It’s all but impossible to pick a favorite of their two new flavors Birthday Cake and The Rockiest Road, Carlo liked Birthday Cake a tad more. But just a tad.
VioLife America – Halloumi Cheese
Coming all the way from Greece, VioLife makes a full compliment of vegan cheeses, spreads and are now starting to tap into the deli slice biz. And now they’re officially launching in the U.S. in just a few weeks!!! Their new Halloumi Cheese is real savory and can be toasted into little crispy cheese chips. This one blew us out of the water. No, really!
We also HIGHLY recommend their Parmsean wedge, Pastrami Chicken (how’d they do that?!?!), slices, blocks…damnit…just get ALL OF IT!
Daiya – Pumpkin Spice Cheezecake
Every year, Daiya ups their vegan game, by adding new and exciting products to their every increasing catalog. Their new Pumpkin Spice Cheezcake is hands-down the best of their line, which is saying a lot. It’s creamy and has the right amount of sweet and spice. This is a seasonal product. So keep an eye out starting late summer/early fall for these to hit your local grocer’s freezer!
Follow Your Heart – Yogurt
Follow Your Heart now makes vegan yogurt. Yes, you read that correctly. The kings of vegan cheese, dressings, dips and condiments now make yogurt! This was a very pleasant surprise because a. the yogurt was a total surprise, and b. their yogurts are as good as any brand we’ve ever had. They don’t have a weird, unpleasant aftertaste. It’s coconut-based without the coconut flavor, which is what we love!
There is also VeganEgg in liquid form AND Rocket Cakes bottled pancake mix! SO SO SO GREAT!
Nature’s Charm – Coconut Salted Caramel Sauce
Last year, Nature’s Charm was mostly known for their popular Condensed Coconut Milk. This year, they added a product that’s arguably the best thing we tried at Natural Products Expo West 2017. These folks have the mastered the texture, smell and taste of salted caramel, which opens up endless yummy possibilities. Although we do envision this stuff sitting atop our favorite ice creams, this is going to be an active dip of various kinds. The company also released chocolate fudge and butterscotch sauces, which are also YUM!
WatUsee Chickpea Crumbs – Gluten-Free and Organic Chickpea Crumbs
WatUSee Foods is a personal favorite of Carlo. He can eat an entire bag of their amazingly crunchy Chickpeatos Chickpea Snacks in one sitting. Their new Gluten-Free and Organic Chickpea Crumbs are the most unique product we saw at Expo this year. They have the taste and crunch that’s similar to panko crumbs, only healthier with slight nutty notes. This is a must-try for fried and baked seitans, tofu, tempeh and veggies. Our air fryer is about to make a new friend with these!
Upton’s Naturals – Cheesy Bacon MAC and Cheesy MAC
Those clever folks from Chicago brought you a dish directly from their Upton’s Breakroom which is a great little cafe that’s affixed to their factory (We’re making plans to FINALLY go in the Summer). This may very well be the best vegan mac on the market – well it’s not out yet but will be soon. You just heat them for a minute and bing, you have a great meal! Bring a box to your job’s breakroom and win over some non-vegans.
KOMBUCHADOG – Kombucha, especially the Mint!
We have good news and bad news…and good news. The good news is that KOMBUCHADOG makes AMAZINGLY smooth kombuchas that feature adoptable rescue dogs on their bottles. The bad news is they’re currently only available on the west coast. The other bit of good news is that they trying to going nationwide. If you can get some, get some! If you cannot, keep checking if and when they’ll be available near you. When you buy a bottle, you’re helping a pup get one step closer to a forever home! How awesome is that?!?!
Note: Carlo does not share in Carmella’s love of Kombucha, but he was HIGHLY impressed with this company!
Miyoko’s Creamery – Smoked VeganMozz
Miyoko’s Creamery from Miyoko’s Kitchen is the best artisan cheese on the market. That genius, Miyoko Schinner, has done it yet again. She’s created another REMARKABLY tasty cheese that you can put in sandwiches, salads or just eat as is. The smoky taste and pleasant texture caresses your palate. We’re actually craving some at the time of writing this! You can purchase it now at MiyokosKitchen.com or wait for it to launch in stores nationwide in June!
Field Roast – Miniature Corn Dogs
Field Roast, the company that makes delicious “grain meats”, sampled the most talked about new vegan product at Expo West. And for good reason, they ROCK! If you’re a fan of corn dogs, heck even if you’re not, you MUST try these when they are available later this year, along with their Buffalo Wings (Fruffalo) and Southern Fried Cutlets. OH! And there is a new seasonal sausage line to check out as well!
It was really hard to pick our Top Ten from all the great vegan finds at Expo West. Next week, we’ll share some more of our favorites as part of our Honorable Mention list!
Did you catch some of the photos and other blogs about Expo West? What were some of the favorites that intrigued you? What new products are you most excited about? Tell us in the comments!