The 6 Best Products We Saw at Expo West
by Casha Doemland on 03/21/2018 | 4 Minute Read
By: Fred HartExpo West, the Superbowl of the natural and organic food industry, just concluded a dizzying 4-day trade show in Anaheim that saw 85,000 people attend with 3,000+ companies exhibiting - that’s a sh*t ton of branding and packaging. With so much going on in the food space, it’s harder than ever to stand out in a meaningful way. The behemoths of the industry all turned out with amazing booths and presences, from Kind to Chobani to Kashi.But we’re after the hidden gems, the ones quietly tucked away amidst the show floor aisles, filled with sample-grabby consumers. Here’s a look at six of our favorite brands that stood tall at this year’s Expo.
When was the last time soup was cool? How about invigorating? Or even artistic?Well the founders of Le Grand, makers of organic sauces and soups, brought a whole new look to the category. The brand beautifully celebrates the “power of plants,” and they make use of a subliminal plus sign on the packaging that plays up their health and wellness credentials, all while blending in a modern botanical aesthetic. It’s a refreshing and engaging look against a traditionally dense, produce-focused category.
Weller snacks unveiled their innovative line of non-psychoactive, CBD (hemp-extract) coconut bites at Expo West. The brand promises consumers an opportunity to “shift back into you” with their stress-relieving products. In such a contentious and often heady space, Weller is supported by an approachable, clean and optimistic look and feel that welcomes consumers to “snack into wellness.”
Fresh, refrigerated "do Anything sauce" brand Haven Row is setting the category on fire after their recent Expo West debut. With unique vegetable-based flavor profiles like Kale Pesto and Cauliflower Alfredo, they aim to be a healthy, easily accessible sauce for increasingly on-the-go consumers. The packaging system celebrates the brands' incredibly simplistic vegetable bases while also boasting the powerful versatility and vibrant nature of the sauces and it's consumer.
When a company names their brand Roar, they're bound to shake up the cliche-filled sports drink market, particularly when each flavor is imbued with its own eclectic personality. With its pop art meets graffiti-style aesthetic, each product's hero ingredients are represented by loud colors, bold patterns, and just the right touch of rebel-like irreverence.
Fat is coming back in a new way, and buttered-coffee is one of the hottest trends. For those unfamiliar with the trend, dropping a dollop of ghee or grass-fed butter in your morning coffee is said to suppress hunger cravings and give you a much-needed mental boost. Right now, Bulletproof is the brand to beat, but Picnik is joining the fight. Vibrant and inviting, the pattern on display gives just the right amount of hipster savoir fare, while creating easy differentiation from flavor to flavor. Overall, it cuts through coffee shelf-clutter while branching out into new territory.
Don’t let the gluten-free trend fool you—grains are where it’s at. Frozen food purveyors Grainful unveiled a brand new look inspired by their tagline “powering everyday adventures.” Each package has an illustration highlighting a unique activity that incorporates one of their grain bowls. Colorful and dynamic, it’s a much-welcomed challenge to the consistent and stale frozen food category.
Fred Hart is a Partner and Creative Director at Interact Boulder – a spirited branding agency obsessed with the food and beverage industry that's fueled by a steady, 24-hour diet of tastemakers, entrepreneurs, grocery stores, farmers markets, restaurants and more.