Trends & Cool Products from EXPO West 2016

March 29, 2016
Sara with Boiron Guy
Categories: Uncategorized


I recently spent a day walking the show floor at the Natural Products EXPO West 2016 – where  natural food, supplement & personal care companies showcase their top sellers, and introduce new products.  That is me pictured with the Boiron homeopathic “guy” on the show floor.  I was there wandering the EXPO for almost 6 hours, and I still didn’t see it all!  But I did find some cool new products and noticed some trends.

Mushroom Collage: Boletus badius, Parasol, Yellow Foot, shaggy ink cap, Boletus edulis, Reishi, fly agaric, Chanterelle

Mushroom Collage: Boletus badius, Parasol, Yellow Foot, shaggy ink cap, Boletus edulis, Reishi, fly agaric, Chanterelle


One of the hot new superfood trends at EXPO were mushrooms!  Not the psychedelic kind, the super-food adaptogenic kind.  Mushrooms are amazing superfoods that can support the immune system, provide energy, improve focus, and more. There were several brands displaying mushroom products – these are a couple of my favorites:

  • Four Sigmatic Foods – these ‘fun guys’ make mushroom coffee.  I love their mushroom coffee, and also their mushroom hot chocolate –  the only hot chocolate that I have found that it not too sweet for my taste.  Use 1 packet of the hot chocolate and 1 packet of the mushroom coffee – add hot water – and you have a mushroom mocha!!
  • OM Mushroomsformerly known as Mushroom Matrix, Om launched their beautiful new brand at EXPO West.  They offer organically grown mushroom powders – you can choose the kind you want – single powder or a blend, and add it to whatever you want – smoothies, soups, I have added it to this Golden Milk tea recipe – and you would never know it was there! You really can’t taste them at all.  OM Mushroom’s Fit blend was one of 6 brands to win the NEXT award at EXPO West.

Fresh turmeric root and turmeric powder on wood background- shallow depth of field

Fresh turmeric root and turmeric powder on wood background- shallow depth of field


Another trend that has been going strong is turmeric.  A powerful anti-inflammatory, turmeric can help to reduce swelling, pain, and even has potential to fight cancer and arthritis.  I like to make Golden Milk Tea at home, but that takes some time – so it is nice to see some faster and easier options:

  • Gaia Golden MilkGaia Golden Milk Tea mix has inflammation -lowering turmeric, as well as blood sugar regulating cinnamon, vanilla, dates and ashwaganda – an adaptogenic herb that supports brain function, immune systems, the thyroid and more.
  • Temple Turmeric offers delicious turmeric drinks – they launched a new flavor White Turmeric Dark Cherry – I had never heard of white turmeric before – it is apparently rare and tastes a bit like a green mango.  This new drink also has probiotics (another trend that is growing), ginger and apple cider vinegar – which all support healthy digestion.  Another new flavor called Pure Mega – in which the pineapple, and mango flavors are paired with black pepper and coconut to boost absorption.
  • Organic India Turmeric Ginger tea – Tulsi is an adaptogenic herb also called Holy Basil and sometimes referred to as “the Queen of herbs” – it helps boost the immune system and the body’s response to stress. Adding ginger and turmeric helps to reduce inflammation, and the cinnamon supports healthy blood sugar.


Close up Soft Green Top Moringa leaves

Close up Soft Green Top Moringa leaves

MoringaSunfood Moringa

Poised to be one of the hot new superfoods – moringa has an impressive array of benefits including 9 amino acids, antioxidants, B vitamins, and minerals – which can support energy, detoxification, brain function, immune system, and more.  Add it to smoothies or put a couple teaspoons into a tea bag and brew up a cup of moringa tea – for a natural energy boost!

  • Sunfood Moringa – a brand that I trust, Sunfood products undergo rigorous testing to ensure that all products are of the highest quality and purity – so you know that you are getting the very best and safest product.

Farmhouse Culture Gut Shots

Gut Health/Probiotics/Fermented Foods:  

With more and more people suffering with digestive issues – expect to see the probiotic and digestive health category continue to grow.  Companies are adding proRegular Girlbiotics into everything – from broccoli bite snacks to granola, coffee and fresh pressed juices.  Pre-biotic fibers are also becoming more popular – which is the food for the good gut bacteria.  But for those with SIBO (small intestinal bacteria overgrowth) – proceed with caution with pre-biotics – as they can cause digestive distress in some.

  • Regular Girl – part of what I loved about this product is the name/brand – it has a cute name and logo – to make something that is not always easy to talk about – more approachable!  I also like that it is has no added flavors or sweeteners anything else.  Just add it to water, a smoothie or your favorite non-carbonated drink to – “get regular!”
  • Suja – not one to sit on the sidelines of trends, fresh pressed juice giant Suja has an Probiotic Water with just 10 calories and 2 billion CFUs of probiotics.Suja Probiotic Waters
  • Farmhouse Culture debuted their “Gut Shots” – which is the liquid that comes from fermenting.  They also carry fermented cabbage in a variety of different options.  Expect cultured and fermented foods to be a growing category.


The allergy-free trend is only going to get bigger (read this article why). If you had to give up gluten, dairy, soy, or nuts a decade ago – it would have been way more difficult. But with companies like Daiya and Mary’s Gone Crackers, being allergy-free is easier and more delicious.

  • Daiya – With all the gut health issues out there – there are a lot of people still looking for gluten, dairy and soy free products.  And with allergies on the rise – more Daiya Dressingspeople are going to be looking for nut free solutions too.  If you avoid dairy, gluten, nuts, soy, or are a vegan – then you would have been in heaven at the Daiya booth – I pretty much had dinner walking around sampling at that booth!  They make a delicious dairy free cheese (yes, I promise it is good), gluten & dairy free frozen pizzas, and they launched some new dairy free creamy salad dressings – Ranch, Blue Cheese, and Caeser.  I also  have never really found a dairy free yogurt I liked – but I actually liked the Daiya dairy free yogurt!
  • Mary’s Gone Crackers – I have always liked their gluten free crackers – they have chia seeds in them, and their Super Seed crackers have flax seeds, sunflower and poppy seeds – and are also soy free.  They debuted some new graham crackers at EXPO west and snack bars too.

woman athlete takes a break, she drinking water, out on a run o

Sports Hydration: 

I recommend avoiding any sports nutrition products that contain artificial colors, preservatives, additives, artificial flavorings, GMO soy, high fructose corn syrup or lots of sugar (which cuts out a lot of them).  Fortunately there are a growing number of high quality sports nutrition products that don’t have any of that stuff – and several were showing at EXPO West!

  • Oxylent – a delicious fizzy drink with vitamins, minerals, electrolytes, enzymes, amino acids – it is made with natural colors and flavors and is free of sugar, gluten, Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 11.59.17 AMdairy, soy and also is GMO-free.  Delicious too!
  • Electrolyte Stamina Power packet – Trace Minerals Research has an electrolyte replenisher that has trace minerals, vitamins, and electrolytes.  Throw a couple packets in your gym bag and you can just pop it into your water bottle.

Coconut Oil


The coconut trend is still going as strong as ever – people are still cuckoo for coconut oil, water, and flesh. There were some cool new coconut products at EXPO West this year.

  • Nutiva butter flavored coconut oil – this organic coconut has a “buttery flavor” that is vegan and comes from pure certified organic non -GMO plants including sunflower, Nutiva Buttery coconut oilcoconut and mint.
  • Natures Way flavored coconut oils – I tried the spicy sriracha flavor on top of popcorn, and it was so good. They also have raspberry – which I think would be a great base for a salad dressing; jalapeño – which would be delicious added to quacamole, and lemon and garlic – which would be great in hummus and just about everything!  Nature's Way Coconut Oils

Nutiva Chocolate Hazelnut

Superfood Snacking:

Companies know that convenience is important – but just because it is in a package – does not mean it can’t be healthy!  I loved these snacks that have been upgraded and made healthier with superfoods!!

  • Nutiva Organic Halzenut Spread – Move over Nutella – there is a new chocolate hazelnut spread in town – and this one has 40% less sugar, and 450 mg. of omega 3s!!  Nutella has taken a beating on the Internet in the past few weeks (read this article that says it is poisoning our kids – I think “poisoning” might be a bit dramatic, but it definitely is not “healthy.”) This new Nutiva product offers a upgraded alternative – I loved the dark version best – but the ‘classic’ is probably closest to Nutella. Not sure when it will be in stores – but keep you eyes peeled!Sprouted Watermelon Seeds
  • Himalania Chocolate covered hemp seeds – high in omegas and magnesium.  These are a good portable & nutritious treat.
  • Go Raw Sprouted Watermelon seeds – with 10 grams of protein per serving, these are a delicious snack or addition to a salad or soup.

Non GMO Verified


Non GMO.  

People want to know what is in their food, and they are voting with their wallets.  There were a large number of companies proudly displaying signs to let us know that their products are non-GMO. These companies know that transparency is good for business.  And Whole Foods knows it too – they announced their commitment to GMO transparency at EXPO West –  all products that they carry in their stores will need to be labeled for GMOs by 2018.




Sara Vance Article written by Nutritionist Sara Vance, author of the book
The Perfect Metabolism Plan A regular guest on Fox 5 San Diego, you can see many of Sara’s segments on her media page. She also offers corporate nutrition, school programs, consultations, and affordable online eCourses. Download her free 40+ page Metabolism Jumpstart eBook here.

*This article is for educational purposes only. The content contained in this article is not to be construed as providing medical advice. All information provided is general and not specific to individuals. Persons with questions about the above content as how it relates to them, should contact their medical professional. Persons already taking prescription medications should consult a doctor before making any changes to their supplements or medications.

©2015, all rights reserved. Sara Vance.

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