2019 Food Trends Spotted at Expo West

Natural Products Expo West is a huge expo showcasing thousands of natural food and other natural products. Each year more than 80,000 people gather in Anaheim, CA to scope out the latest and greatest and this was my first year joining them. Below I outlined some hot products including what stood out to me and what seems to be trending in the food world.

Note: A couple (2) of the brands mentioned below are or have been clients. All opinions are my own.

 
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top 10 food Trends from expo west 2019

  1. Hard Boiled Eggs To Go

I’m glad to the see number healthy, prepared meals now available. Multiple booths at the expo shared prepared and packaged hard boiled eggs. Eggs are a great source of protein, choline, and other nutrients. These prepared eggs would be perfect for those who are learning how to cook (or learning to make time to cook). I also love this idea for an easy gas station or grocery store snack when on the go or traveling.

2. Puff Snacks

Every company seems to hopping on the puffed snack train. Think Pirate’s Booty style. Biena Snacks, known for their crunchy chickpeas, now makes Baked Chickpea Puffs with 7 grams of protein per serving! The natural plant based protein from the chickpeas makes it a more filling, substantial snack.

3. Baby Food with Whole Food Ingredients

Babies will be eating well in 2019. There are now more and more companies offering baby foods with just simple ingredients. Fresh Bellies makes baby foods with pure fruits and veggies and seasoned with herbs and spices. They are preservative free. I love what they are doing for child nutrition! Serenity Kids makes savory protein foods in easy to-go pouches including salmon, bison, and even uncured bacon?!

4. Plant Based and Dairy-Free Foods

Plant based is still trending and for good reason, there are both health and environmental benefits to eating more plants. There were many brands at Expo West showcasing non-dairy cheeses, dips, spreads, ice cream and plant based burgers. A few that stood out to me were Miyoko’s, Daiya, and Kite Hill. Daiya’s shredded cheeses melt perfectly like the real thing and their ice creams are amazing! Kite Hill makes amazing plant based cream cheese. And I love the Miyoko’s vegan butter and cheese wheels! The vegan butter spreads easily and browns just like regular butter and the flavor and texture of all their cheeses and dips were impressive.

5. Oat Milk

Oat milk is big, like huge, this year. I went into the conference expecting to see some of this and hoping to learn more about why it is so trendy. MANY companies now sell an oat milk, both big and smaller name brands. Big name coffee companies, like Chameleon Cold Brew and LaColombe also now have varieties made with oat milk.

So why is Oat Milk so hot right now? They say it’s because of the creamier consistency. I find the consistency similar to a traditional soy milk, not necessarily creamy, but thicker in consistency than a watery almond milk. One company told me that the nutrition benefits of the oats does not transfer into the milk. Other companies claim it does.

6. Flax Seed

Speaking of creamy milks, Manitoba Milling Flaxseed Company shared their new chocolate and unsweetened versions of their flax milk at the expo this year (coming soon!). Both flavors are delicious! Manitoba Milling’s Flax Milk is creamier than both soy and oat milk and more nutritious. Because they use the whole flaxseed (in both their flaxseed and flax milk) there are more omega-3s than other brands.

 
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There was also a company at the expo, Flax4Life who makes baked goods with flaxseed. Ground Flax Seed is the first ingredient in most of their products and all products are certified gluten free and they taste great.

Flaxseed is a great way to boost fiber and omega-3s and works well in any meal. I was glad to see that it’s gaining in popularity!

7. Sprouted Grains

Sprouted grains are fascinating to me. Sprouted grains are whole grain seeds that have started to sprout into a plant but aren’t a full grown plant just yet. This increases the bioavailability of some nutrients and there is actually research behind this to support it. Sprouting grains also helps to break down some of the starch so they may be easier for some people to digest. The expo had many brands there featuring sprouted grains and beans - from sprouted mung beans (Crunchsters) to sprouted breads and bagels (Silver Hills, Food for Life, and Alvarado St. Bakery)

8. Allergen Friendly

Allergen friendly foods still seems to be popular. This is extremely important because there are millions of people with diagnosed food allergies. Many live in fear of accidentally consuming something they are allergic to. I was happy to see the allergy friendly options available. There were many products that are free from top 8 allergens, like Enjoy Life. Lo-Fo Pantry makes low-fodmap flours and there were other brands with gluten free pancake mixes, breads, and more.

9. Probiotics

Gut health is still big and we are seeing probiotics in more and more products. There was plenty of kombucha and even dried fruit and chips with probiotics! The Farmhouse Culture Dill Pickle Probiotic Chips are amazing!

10. Frozen Meals

Food manufacturers have realized the need for making healthy eating easy. Historically, many frozen prepared meals were very high in sodium (most still are).

I was very impressed with Beetnik Foods. They are made with organic, whole food ingredients, and most (if not all) have less than 300mg of sodium per serving. Most other frozen meals have upwards of 700mg! I tried the Beetnik chicken meatballs and was very impressed.

I also enjoyed, Saffron Road meals for their exceptional taste, whole food ingredients, low sugar, and lower sodium content.

highlights of expo west 2019

  1. Whole Me

    These granola bites have been my go-to snack lately. They’re made with whole food ingredients, are low in sugar (just 4-5 grams), and provide a decent about of filling fiber and protein. (The almond coconut is the best!) Keep an eye out for some new flavors and products that will hopefully be on shelves soon!

    A journalist recently reached out to ask what I thought of WholeMe Clusters, see what I had to say in this Today Show article.

  2. Seven Sundays Muesli

    I love this company and I eat their muesli for breakfast almost daily. I eat it both hot and cold any time of year. There is no added sugar and is just so good. At the expo I paired a sample with the Three Trees Pistachio Milk and it was amazing!

  3. MUSH

    We don’t have Whole Foods in Montana, so while out in California, I quickly became a regular. Each day I had MUSH for breakfast at Whole Foods. MUSH makes ready to eat overnight oats in to-go containers. They are seriously delicious. They use just real food ingredients and have a whopping 8 grams of filling fiber! They also happen to be gluten and dairy free.

    (I’d love to see them try this with Manitoba Milling Flax Milk instead of almond milk!)

  4. World of Chia

    This was cool. I’ve made my own chia jam before but have never seen a packaged version. I believe I tried an unsweetened version but they also slightly sweeten some varieties with agave.

  5. The Coconut Collaborative

    I’ll admit I went back for seconds of this one. I eat cow’s milk yogurt daily but I know it is hard to find a good tasting dairy-free yogurt for those who don’t eat dairy. While lower in protein than cow’s milk yogurt, the Coconut Collaborative’s Coconut Yogurt has no added sugar, contains probiotics, and tastes absolutely delicious!

  6. Good Culture

    I never thought I was a cottage cheese person until I tried Good Culture cottage cheese cups. They are the perfect consistency and texture and taste great. Each cup has 14-19 grams of protein and some are lightly sweetened with no more than 10g of sugar per cup (some of that being natural lactose from the grass-fed dairy and fructose from the fruit filling).


Were you at Expo West? What were your favorites and what did you notice as trends this year?

National Nutrition Month: Nutrition Resource Guide

Each year, we celebrate National Nutrition Month during March, hoping to bring awareness to good health and healthful food choices. March 14th was Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Day celebrating the hard work and expertise of RDNs all over the world. RDNs work in a huge variety of settings with various specialties, educating their audiences and helping to provide accurate, evidence-based nutrition information. 

I compiled a short list of a few of my favorite nutrition resources created by dietitians to celebrate my colleagues' hard work and so that you have many places to find accurate nutrition info. Below you'll find resources in a variety of formats. This is a just a small list of my highly credible, educational, and entertaining colleagues. If you need more suggestions just stalk who I follow on Instagram for many more.

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Recipe Sites

Milk N Honey Nutrition - Mary Ellen Phipps, RD

Shaw Simple Swaps - Elizabeth Shaw, RD

Grateful Grazer - Stephanie McKercher, RD

Krolls Korner - Tawnie Kroll, RD

Lively Table - Kaleigh McMordie, RD

One Hungry Bunny - Katie Pfeffer-Scanlan, RD

 

Nutrition Blogs

Abbey's Kitchen - Abbey Sharp, RD

Hungry Hobby RD - Kelli Shallal, RD

More Nutrition Information

Today's Dietitian

EatRight.Org

Food & Nutrition Magazine

WellSeek

Instagram Accounts

@bonnietaubdix

@memeinge

@thehungryclementine

@carolinesusierd

@jaclynlondonrd

@eleatnutrition
 

Podcasts

RD Real Talk - Heather Caplan, RD

Nourishing Women - Meghan Dixon, RD & Victoria Myers, RD

Less Stressed Life - Christa Biegler, RD

Food Psych - Christy Harrison, RD

 

Books

These are the books I frequently recommend to clients.

 

For women looking to end the cycle of dieting and stop obsessing over their food choices:

Intuitive Eating - Evelyn Tribole, MS, RD & Elyse Resch, MS, RD

Body Kindness - Rebecca Scritchfield, RD

 

For women who are pregnant, looking to become pregnant, or recently gave birth:

Expect the Best When You're Expecting - Elizabeth Ward, MS, RD

Healthy Happy Pregnancy Cookbook - Willow Jarosh, MS, RD & Stephanie Clarke, MS, RD

 

For young girls experimenting with the spectrum of plant-based eating:

The Smart Girl's Guide to Going Vegetarian - Rachel Meltzer Warren, MS, RD

 

For those with kids:

Secrets of Feeding a Healthy Family - Ellyn Satter, RD

 

Where do you get your nutrition info? Comment below!

9 Things I Learned My First Year in Business

Like many entrepreneurs, I jumped into business without any previous experience or business education. Needless to say it’s been quite the adventure and I’ve learned a ton along the way.

I personally don't think you need to have a business background to start, run, and operate, a business (I also don't have one, so I may be biased). I think it's one of those things you learn as you go through making mistakes and experimenting with what works and what doesn't. Below are a few things I've learned during the first year of my entrepreneurial journey.


1. less is more

Early on I wanted to do everything and had new ideas I wanted to pursue everyday. I wanted to counsel clients; I wanted to have a membership site; I wanted to do freelance writing; I wanted to host webinars; I wanted to give grocery store tours; I had endless ideas. 

While it's great to have excitement and passion in your business, I'd encourage you to start with less services and do them really well.

Be clear in your offerings and confident in your services, skills, and knowledge. As hard as it can be, stay focused on the direction of your business. 

You can eventually offer more services, but to start I think you'd benefit from doing just one or two things really well.

2. you do you

If you're like me and jumped into business without knowing a thing about business, it can be easy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing. During the first six months I was in business, I was constantly looking at my colleagues' websites, listening to podcasts, and watching endless webinars. I was completely wrapped up in what everyone else was doing.

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When I finally turned my attention to me and my brand and my audience, it paid off.

Whether you are the face of your business and brand or not, people tend to buy a story, a connection, or a relationship they have with a person or company. It's hard to build a relationship if you're trying to be someone else or doing what you should do based on something you read somewhere. By being authentic to you, your passions, your strengths, and your brand, you'll provide a more quality service and be more successful in the long run.

3. start a blog

Blogging isn't for everyone, but it is great for a few reasons. Updates to your website (like blog posts) help boost your SEO. Blogging also helps your readers and potential clients see you as an expert and get to know, like, and trust you. I also find blogging helps me learn more about certain topics. When controversial topics or questions I don't know the answer to come up, I take it as an opportunity to do some research and write a blog post. It can also be a good way to create content to share in multiple ways  - a simple blog post can turn into a free download to collect emails, a video lesson, and social media posts. If you think blogging is for you, the sooner you start the better.


4. be visible

For the first six months I was in business, I was really good at hiding behind my computer (unintentionally).  I spent a lot of my time watching webinars, reading blogs, and figuring out what I was doing. Once I stopped hiding behind my screen and watching what everyone else was doing, I switched my attention to my own business and brand. I became visible both online and in person through social media, guest blog posts, and local community events. People started to find out about me and my services.

6. network & build community

People don't know about your business unless you tell them. Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs, people in your field, mentors, and anyone else. Partner with other local businesses to host events or set up a table at other events to promote your product or services. You will learn a ton and find endless opportunities by connecting with others both in your local community and online.

7. leave your part-time job

A bit extreme? Maybe. A fellow business owner told me this about six months ago when I was about to accept a part-time job. She said at some point you need to make the jump. I knew she was right but at the time I guess I wasn't quite ready. You'll know when you're ready. Sometimes part-time jobs are needed to pay the bills - I get that, I've been there. But, at some point your business will need your full attention, time, and energy. Make the jump.

8. you don't have to work 8 hours a day

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The nice thing about working for yourself is that you can make your own schedule. You can decide when your workday starts and when you're ready to wrap up for the day. You can set your deadlines and meeting times. When I first started out, I felt like I had to start working at the crack of dawn and continue up until I went to bed. The thing was, I didn't actually know what I was doing and probably wasted a lot of time. I've recently heard multiple entrepreneurs say that they chose to start a business because they wanted to work less hours and make more money. I've also talked with successful entrepreneurs who only work 25 hours a week and others who take off for months at a time. Point being - it's OKAY.

9. summer will be slow, but fall will pick up

This is something I wish I knew before my first summer in business. During the spring of my first year in business, I felt busy. I felt like I had a decent amount of clients and close to a full caseload. I was consistently blogging and connecting with my audience and was getting the whole business thing dialed in. But when summer came, the phone stopped ringing. I panicked and picked up a part time job. When September rolled around my schedule picked up again. 

For most industries, it seems as though summer is slower for business. People are more interested in their summer vacations and tend to be less interested in making improvements to their health, business, life, home, office - you name it. Once fall and winter roll back around they're back in a routine and ready to make changes, get organized, and spend money.


Like anything in life, you learn more and more as you do it. You have to start somewhere and if you keep waiting for the perfect time, it may never happen. Take the leap, it will be worth it.