Expo West finally returns after a two-year break! The show was unexpectedly canceled back in 2020, although an online event did take place in 2021. Held at the Anaheim Convention Center in CA, this trade show focuses on natural products, highlighting all the best. Featuring over 2,700 exhibitors this year, it gave us almost too many booths to visit. Although we didn’t arrive on the show’s opening day, we were able to pack everything the show had to offer into the time we had. Let’s dive right into what Expo West gave us to explore!
Expo West Snacks & Beverages
We arrived at the show on March tenth and noticed right off the bat that the place was buzzing! Jason Momoa had made an appearance for his company, Mananalu, a water company focused on pure water and recyclability. Of course, I had no meetings in the North Hall on that day where his company was set up, just my luck! Speaking of water companies, Expo West featured a surprising amount. Who knew that water could have so much variety? Different packaging, PH levels, vitamin additions, and CBD, are all-new takes on inventing water. As the market is expected to reach $319.8 billion this year, it’s no surprise there’s a focus on water.
Caulipower featured this amazing hippie van decked out in all sorts of goodies and various samples around the corner. Caulipower is taking gluten-free to a whole new level with their products, from pizza to potato toast. I particularly enjoyed the Margherita pizza, so delicious! The company focuses on giving back to the community, with donating sales to the American Heart Association.
After a long first day, we were back for day two! Starting in the North Hall, we found all the hot eats and treats. Mama O’s Premium Kimchi offered an experience, make your own kimchi! We couldn’t pass up this chance, the food smelled too good. Afterwards we found all of tasty chicken, made from plants. It was shocking how many non-meat options were available, judging by taste alone, you would’ve never guessed. Almost everything tasted just like the real thing, but wasn’t, plant-based food has come a long way. The Food Institute put out a study showing the top trend from the show was to Eat More Plants, and 10% of the exhibitors were focusing on doing just that. Pushing for plant-based replacements is a push for sustainability too.
Stepping away from the tasty snacks and healthy ingredients, we move to the other side of the expo, sustainability. Not only were companies selling food that is better for us, but better for the earth too. So many of the exhibitors were handing out re-usable shopping bags, a great way to impress upon attendees that we can also impact sustainability. Chicobag featured an impressive Bag Monster, with a sign stating, “Do Not Feed the Bag Monster”, who knew plastic bags could look so terrifying?
Booths were able to draw us in with their reusable bags alone. Charlotte’s Web had the best hemp tote bag, fitting for a CBD health company. Their products are focused on great quality and coming from the best sources.
Goodbye California, Until Expo West 2023!
All I can say is wow! So many insights, goodies, and experiences jammed into an amazing few days. Getting to see all these brands, the products their offering, and the creative hard work that goes into it just blows you away. It’s no surprise that the Expo West show is such a hit with the major trend being a push for natural and organic foods and beverages. Studies from The Food Institute are predicting the sales to exceed $300 billion by 2024.