The WeStock team kicked off the month with a visit to Expo West 2023, one of the largest natural and organic food and beverage trade shows in the country. In addition to connecting with our fabulous brands, we discovered a plethora of new brands. After the event, we identified several prominent industry trends that are currently shaping the market. Check out the top trends we uncovered from Expo West 2023 below!
As plant-based foods continue to gain popularity, new brands are seen honing in on the quality and nutritional aspects of these products. Many companies are launching plant-based versions of popular foods such as burgers, sausages, dairy, and the star of the show being plant-based chicken (in my opinion). The plant based food industry has boomed over the past few years, this we know, but what we are finding is that brands are now looking to avoid unnecessary artificial ingredients and ultra-processing when creating these products, which is certainly a positive.
Consumers are increasingly concerned about the environment, and Expo West 2023 showcased several companies that are committed to sustainability. From biodegradable packaging to reducing food waste, companies are adopting sustainable practices to minimize their environmental impact. The sustainable packaging market is expected to reach $440.3 billion by 2025, according to a report by MarketsandMarkets.
Gut health has been gaining lots of attention in recent years, so it is to no one's surprise that products aimed at supporting gut health landed in the top trends at Expo West 2023. From probiotics sodas to fermented foods, brands are working to create a variety of options for people interested in healing their gut.
CBD Infused Products
CBD-infused products continue to be popular, as we've seen in the past so it was expected that we'd see several brands incorporating CBD into their products at Expo West 2023. From CBD-infused coffee to protein bars, brands continue to tap into these unique wellness benefits. The global CBD market is expected to reach $13.4 billion by 2028, according to a report by Grand View Research.
Another huge trend we saw at Expo West 2023 were brands making an effort to provide convenient or easy-to-prepare meals and snacks. Especially in this day and age, consumers are always looking for convenient options that fit their busy lifestyles. From meal kits to ready-to-eat options, brands are making it easier for consumers to eat healthy, even when they are short on time. A couple memorable brands in this category include, Sweet Nothings, a spoonable and pre-blended smoothie cup and brekki's ready-to-eat Overnight Oats.
Clean Label Products
Consumers, now more than ever, expect full transparency when it comes to ingredient lists and marketed health benefits on products they wish to buy. This has led to the increased popularity of Clean Label Products. Consumers are looking for products that are free from artificial ingredients and preservatives, as a result of the shift toward healthier eating that we've been seeing for quite some time now.
Functional beverages, which offer health benefits beyond just flavor and hydration, are an extremely prominent trend. As certain buzz words like "adaptogens" and "nootropics" make their marks on labels, consumers are more motivated to purchase these products. From beverages that support immune health to those that promote relaxation, companies are tapping into the consumer demand, and it seems to be working.
Lastly, one of the biggest, if not, most important trends of the year we have non-alc beverages. From your favorite IPA to a classic brut champagne, brands have found a way to replicate those guilty pleasure drinks without any of the guilt. With this newer rise in the sober-curious crowd, the trending desire and value of non-alcoholic beverages grows, as a result. Here, are some of our favorites from the show:
From plant-based foods to sustainable practices, companies are responding to consumer demand for healthy, convenient, and sustainable options. As these trends continue to gain momentum, it will be interesting to see how they shape the industry in the coming years.
MarketsandMarkets. Sustainable packaging market by material (paper, plastic, metal, glass), process (recyclable, reusable, biodegradable), function (protect, transport), application (food & beverage, healthcare), and region - global forecast to 2025.
Grand View Research. Cannabidiol (CBD) market size, share & trends analysis report by source type, by distribution channel, by product type, by end-use, by region, and segment forecasts, 2021-2028.