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ConferenceCPGExpo WestStartupsMarch 7, 20220Expo West Kicks off This Week

by Brooke Bender

It has been three years since the last Expo West show in Anaheim, California, and a lot of excitement surrounds the first in-person event that will kick off tomorrow and run through March 12th.  Ahead of the event, New Hope Network indicated that innovation was not stalled by the years-long pandemic and released a list of trends to expect at the show. 


As expected, plant-based products will represent 10% of exhibitors at the show.  We know from our client work that investors will want to see new protein sources, better-tasting products, and flavor as close as possible to the real thing, particularly as it relates to meat and dairy alternatives.  Key sustainability initiatives like waste reduction, responsible sourcing, and others will be represented as well.   



2022 NEXTY Awards Announced 

Additionally, New Hope Network released the 2022 NEXTY Award Winners ahead of the show.  Winners were chosen from 21 categories: 

  • Best New Beverage: The Spare Food Co. 
  • Best New Condiment, Sauce, and/or Dip: Big Tree Farms 
  • Best New Condition-Specific Supplement: Sun Good Medicinals 
  • Best New Functional Food or Beverage: Four Sigmatic 
  • Best New Meat or Dairy Alternative: Crafty Counter 
  • Best New Meat, Dairy, or Animal-Based: Force of Nature Meats 
  • Best New Natural Living Product: Reel Paper 
  • Best New Organic or Regenerative Organic Certified Product: Navitas Organics 
  • Best New Pantry Food: Fila Manila Filipino American Kitchen 
  • Best New People-Forward Product: Ziba Foods 
  • Best New Personal Care or Beauty Product: NAVEEN 
  • Best New Planet-Forward Product: Renewal Mill 
  • Best New Product Supporting a Plant-Based Lifestyle: Miyoko’s Creamery 
  • Best New Savory or Salty Snack: Pulp Pantry 
  • Best New Special Diet Food: Big Mountain Foods 
  • Best New Supplement: True Grace 
  • Best New Sweet Snack or Dessert: TCHO Chocolate 
  • Editor’s Choice, Most Crave-Worthy Product: Pop Art Snacks 
  • Editor’s Choice, Household Must-Have: 1908 Brands-Boulder Clean 
  • Editor’s Choice, Household Must-Have: The Republic of Tea 
  • Editor’s Choice, Most Buzzworthy Exhibitor: Gooder Foods 


Out of the group, our favorites were: 

Best New Beverage:  


Spare Tonic’s Probiotic Sparkling Tonic hits a key trend of food waste by being made from 85%–95% upcycled fresh whey that would have otherwise been discarded from the production of strained yogurt.  It is offered in 4 flavors: Blueberry & Ginger, Lemon & Ginger, Cucumber & Lime, and Peach & Turmeric and is packaged in a 12 ounce can.   




Best New Frozen Product: 

The Plant Based Seafood Co is run entirely by women and is family owned.  Their Mind Blown product line includes plant-based Dusted Scallops (the Award-winning product), Coconut Shrimp, Dusted Shrimp, and Lobster Crab Cakes.  The products are made from konjac powder and root vegetable starch. 



Best New Meat or Dairy Alternative: 

Wundereggs offers plant-based and vegan hard-boiled eggs that contain 6g of protein, no cholesterol, and are gluten-, grain-, soy-, and dairy-free.  The company claims they taste exactly like a chicken egg would.  Wundereggs are a product of Crafty Counter, a brand with a mission to innovate plant-based foods.  Crafty Counter also offers “Wunder Bites” – a frozen plant-based snack in flavors like Mediterranean Falafel and Indian Tikka.



Editor’s Choice, Most Buzzworthy Exhibitor: Gooder Foods 

Goodles offers “reinvented” the noodle to offer a range of 4 flavors of mac and cheese that have 14g of protein, 6g of fiber, 21 nutrients from plants, and no artificial ingredients.  Flavors include Cheddy Mac, Mover & Shaker (cacio e pepe inspired), Shella Good (aged white cheddar), and Twist My Parm.  The 6-ounce boxes are sold in 4-, 12-, or 24-packs.  A 4-pack retails for $20 on their website.   







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