Healthy Vending Snacks Evolve: Captain HUMAN at Expo West

by Annabel Adams

This past weekend, HUMAN’s CEO, Sean Kelly, Captain HUMAN himself, and I attended Natural Products Expo West, the world’s largest natural, organic, and healthy products trade show, held at the Anaheim Convention Center in Anaheim, CA. If there’s any question in your mind as to the state of the natural products industry, consider that when Expo West first started in 1981, it drew 3k people. This year? 60k! There were 3,500 natural products exhibitors, 547 of whom were first-timers!

Captain HUMAN made sure to visit some of his favorite product companies whose HUMAN products are favorites in our vending machines all across the country.

We noticed that the same trends we saw last year (organic, vegan, gluten-free, non-GMO, no artificial anything) were again in full swing, however, many products boasted more than one of these selling points (e.g. vegan AND gluten-free). This is great news for consumers!

A few other trends:

  • Seeds, especially chia and flax, are popping up in many products
  • Probiotics Product companies are beginning to focus on their own company practices as a selling point, i.e. becoming “B Corporations
  • Consumers are focused on knowing what’s in their food by being able to pronounce and recognize ingredients (these foods are HUMAN) and also knowing where these ingredients come from. This means that there is an increase in “certification” labeling (e.g. Certified Organic, Certified Vegan, Certified Fair Trade, Non-GMO Project certified, etc.) and we expect this to continue in the coming years
  • Many products last year were gluten-free and made with brown rice; this year, many GF products were made from lentils & other beans
  • Most foods were sweetened with fruit concentrates, brown rice syrup or the newbie: coconut sugar (a trend we expect to grow)

If you are on the East Coast and interested in attending the Natural Products Expo, you can register now for the September event held in Baltimore, MD here.

View the slideshow below to see  all of Captain HUMAN’s adventures at Expo West 2012!

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Annabel Adams

Communications Director at HUMAN Healthy Vending
Annabel Adams is a Los Angeles-based writer and the blogger behind Feed Me, I'm Cranky where she tackles food and obesity politics. To fuel her barefoot running and powerlifting, Annabel loves to snack on anything vegan she can get her hands on. Annabel has been featured in Cosmopolitan, Fitness, Health, and Redbook magazines.
 

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