New Trends at Natural Products West Expo 2011
I Imagine Studio attended the Natural Products West Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center in California during a warm weekend in March. There were hundreds upon hundreds of companies there displaying their products. Taste testing food and beverage products and sampling beauty products was a great way to learn more about a company and their product. There were also a great number of samples available to take home to try. There were a lot of great new products that we were able to try, and here are some of our favorites:
- Coconut Water: Coconut Water, although not a new product, is experiencing an increase in popularity in the United States, and there were many vendors selling coconut water in various flavors. Our favorite was O.N.E. (One Natural Experience), because of the taste and green packaging. Sold in a carton, this naturally sweet drink is used to replace lost electrolytes, serving as a healthier option for sports drinks. With only 43 calories in each drink, it is a much healthier alternative for anyone looking for a sweet drink to replace juices, sodas, or sports drinks. Vita Coco, another brand, comes in 5 different flavors, and is 100% natural with no fat or cholesterol, and has more potassium than 2 bananas. It also contains 5 essential electrolytes and acts as an immunity booster. CocoWater, another brand, also produces Aloe Water, serves as a detox drink that can aid digestion, improve circulation, detoxify the body, and cleanse your colon.
- Water with added Vitamins: There were many different brands of water available with flavor and vitamins added in a healthy way. Two of our favorite brands, Activate and Hint, provide tasty water with fun flavors and cool packaging. Activate has 10 flavors in 2 categories of Core and Workout. The vitamins are stored in the cap of the bottle, so you twist the cap and the vitamins spill into the drink and then you shake the bottle to mix the drink. Pink Grapefruit is a delicious flavor that is good to drink before, during, and after your workouts. Exotic Berry and Blueberry Pomegranate are two flavors that provide you with antioxidants (48 mg of Polyphenols). Hint Water, water that is unsweetened with no calories, is cleverly named because you can just barely taste the flavor. It is very refreshing, and a great alternative when you are looking for something just a bit more than water but still satisfies your sweet tooth. Another one of our favorite new brands, blk. beverages, produces water that is black, so you can enjoy “the dark side of water”. Packed with Fulvic Acid that naturally turns the water black, along with 77 other trace minerals and electrolytes, gives this flavorless water a nutritional component. If you can get over drinking dark water, than this is the drink for you. Our favorite part of this beverage is the people behind it. As a Bravo TV fan, I instantly recognized two of the people working the blk. beverages booth, Al Manzo and Chris Laurita from The Real Housewives of New Jersey. I was lucky enough to get a picture!
- Vibrancy Drinks: You are probably wondering what a vibrancy drink is right about now. Well, we had no idea either until we tried Vio, the world’s first vibrancy drink. With a effervescent fruit taste sensation in four different flavors, Vio fizzes in your mouth. Almost like drinking Pop Rocks, which may sound quite strange, it somehow works. With natural cane sugar, , calcium, antioxidants, and Vitamin C, and no artificial flavors, this drink is not only tasty and fun, but healthy.
- Lifeway Frozen Kefir: This frozen treat contains 10 live and active probiotic cultures, as well as tons of protein and calcium, plus it’s low calorie, gluten free and 99% lactose free. You can find frozen kefir in four fun, tasty flavors: original, mango, pomegranate and strawberry.
- Bars: Power Bar came out with a new energy bar, Iron Girl, which is geared towards female athletes. The bars have 160 nutritious calories, 3g of protein, 2g of fiber, iron, calcium, and Vitamin B to strengthen your body and give it energy. As a women-owned agency that stresses a healthy and active lifestyle, these Iron Girl bars are just what we need.
- Gummies: Clif Shot Bloks, which come in a package of four large squared gummies, are great for on-the-go energy that taste great and are easy to eat. Many companies were also promoting sports gummies, which are fruit snacks geared towards athletes and children. Our favorite company was Tasty, whose colorful and music-playing booth caught our attention right away. The organic sport fruit snacks were delicious and nutritional because they do not have high-fructose corn syrup or artificial colors or flavors.
- Protein Shake: There are various companies that produce protein shakes in many different flavors and styles, but none like CLICK All- Natural Protein Powders. Combining coffee and protein in one, these espresso flavored drinks are the perfect way to start your morning. They can be served thick like a shake or as an iced coffee, so they can be a healthy substitute for your daily coffee routine with the added benefits of protein.
Health and Beauty:
- Makeup Removers: LA Fresh produces 6 different wipes that are 100% biodegradable with natural ingredients that are good for your body. There are waterproof makeup removers, oil-free face cleansers, instant body soothers, healthy hand sanitizer, and acetone-free nail polish remover wipes that come in catchy packaging, making this company one of our favorites.
- Soaps: With a vast array of companies that produce variations of soaps, our favorite was the Spring 2011 line of European Soaps, LLC. There were a variety of scented soaps, but after using the frost wrapped soaps, they not only cleaned, but also nourished our hands.
Jewelry: Unique and colorful beads made from ZuluGrass are part of The Leaky Collection. With bright and natural colors that are strung together that can be worn as a bracelet, necklace, or hair-tie raise money for teachers in Kenya. Whether you wear one or ten, these versatile bracelets look great with any outfit, and you are supporting a great cause.
- Skin Care: Derma E, one of the leaders in all-natural skin care, has a great product called Very Clear Cleansing Scrub. This scrub softly removes dead skin and unclogs pores to act as an exfoliator. The natural ingredients make you feel good about what you are putting on your skin while removing impurities.
- Makeup Tools: EcoTools, and earth-friendly cosmetic company, has many products that are made with natural ingredients to help you put your makeup on the right way. Their Bamboo brush set is their most popular kit, and it is obvious why this is true. You can define your eyebrows, add a rosy glow to your cheeks, and highlight your eyes with 5 different brushes that all come in a soft kit holder. Applying makeup will never feel better!
- Reusable Water Bottles: Vapur has a product called “The Anti-Bottle” which is a foldable, reusable water bottle designed for easy and convenient on-the-go use. It is flexible, so when filled up with water the pouch stands up on its own, and when it is empty it can be rolled, folded, or flattened. It takes up almost no room, so you don’t have to worry about lugging around an empty plastic bottle that just takes up space. Its fun colors and catchy design will definitely make this water bottle a conversation piece.
- Food Products: Not only have companies that sell liquids looked to package their products in more environmentally friendly ways, but food companies are as well. Honey Bunny, a company that produces organic liquid honey, packages their honey in squeezable pouch packs. Easy to use for children too, it eliminates mess because the package cannot break and is easily resealed. Honey Bunny also produces BBQ sauces and Ketchup in the same packaging, sweetened with their signature honey.
- Water Bottles: Glacia Icebox, which packages their water in a bottle that is more like a box or juice carton, uses environmentally friendly, sustainable, and non-toxic packaging. The biodegradable recyclable cardboard significantly lowers their carbon footprint. The top screws back on, so you do not have to worry about finishing your drink in one sitting like you would with a cardboard juice box. Their 1L unit replaces 22,500 PET bottles, removes 1,228 lbs. of plastic from the manufacturing process, saves 425 gallons of oil, and saves 348-kilowatt hours of energy. The Icebox is a great alternative to buying those plastic bottles that are oh-so convenient, yet terrible for our environment. For this product, you definitely want to think inside the box.
The Natural Products Expo West gives hope to all of us out there who want to make our world a better place. By not only promising our bodies healthier ingredients, the companies present at the expo are also promising the environment healthier ingredients. With recent innovations in packaging, we can not only consume food and use products, but also know that once we are done with them, we are not hurting our environment as much as we have in the past. Natural food and products are the future, and at I Imagine Studio, we are committed to making our future better.