The Natural Products Expo West 2016 lived up to all of its hype, with over 77,000 attendees this year. Everywhere you turned, there were gluten-free, USDA organic, certified non-GMO, FDA registered, recyclable, environmentally friendly, yeast-free and allergen-free products of all varieties. Glossaries like natural, trusted, zero waste, and holistic were also prominent at the show. The food venue was by far the largest portion of the show, intersecting with specialty products. Another large section was also dedicated to supplements and health and beauty.
In the last several years, gummies have become a desired product form, now ranging from children’s vitamins to adult probiotics. Hero Nutritionals has expanded its children’s line of gummies, while RenewLife added a probiotic gummy to its line of Ultimate Flora, making digestion that much easier.
The supplements section also featured predominant vendors, such as Gaia Herbs, whose new adrenal supplements claim to reboot your adrenal system through a three-step program. Many other booths, such as Garden of Life, were teeming with attendees seeking samples of raw, organic super foods and organic plant protein drinks.
Digestion remains a hot category, with probiotics showing up in an array of functional foods, as well as in supplement formulations. Condition-specific formulas continue to enter the market with probiotics targeted to women. At the show, Jarrow Formulations introduced Shelf Stable Fem-Dophilus, a probiotic that contains two patented and clinically documented probiotic strains for women, and Flora presented a shelf-stable Women’s Care probiotic. Supplements from Symbiotics containing bovine colostrum were also introduced at the show. The ingredient is thought to support normal GI tract health in humans, as well as other mammals. Symbiotics showcased a full line of products, including dietary supplements for children.
Nordic Naturals, a huge player in the fish oil segment, introduced Ultimate Omega, a “high-intensity” ultra-concentrated fish oil supplement that delivers maximum benefits in just one soft gel. Consumers can get pill fatigue when taking omega-3 supplements, an important consideration in a category that is experiencing slower growth from its double-digit gains from a few years ago. Nordic Naturals’ positioning as a chemical-free, low heat processing manufacturer of high quality products is notable in an industry where companies connect with consumers and positon themselves based on their manufacturing, sourcing, and quality control.
Many U.S.-made sleep aids were notably more scarce this year. There were several companies from Asia featuring “all natural” sleep aids, but this category seems to have declined in recent years.
In the health and beauty category, chewable and powdered collagens were readily available from companies like Reserveage, creating beauty from within to combat aging naturally. The company also had a line of chewable collagen, making it easier for consumers to take their daily supplement. Youtheory had both an Advanced Collagen line and a men’s collagen. External skin care with natural ingredients from companies like Derma E and Nubian Heritage were also happy to provide attendees with samples of natural lotions and skin tightening products.
Several other special natural personal care brands were also present at the show. Alaffia, which harvests raw ingredients using traditional methods in Togo and Ghana and reinvests the funds generated from sales of its body care products into the West African communities, had women making shea butter from ground shea nuts right at the booth. Eco Lips showcased various lines of organic, fair trade lip balms, such as Eco Lips Bee Free Vegan Superfruit Lip Balm, among others.
Many awards were given out to both new and current vendors for innovation, new products, and best in class. Kline’s research teams are working on in-depth assessments of both natural OTCs and natural personal care products in its upcoming studies Natural OTCs: Impact of Non-drug Products on the U.S. OTC Market and Natural Personal Care Global Series: Market Analysis and Opportunities.