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Our Take on Natural Products Expo West 2015: Five Products to Watch

Why products tapping into the new value around health and wellness resonate with the modern consumer

commutersConsumers are redefining what value means to them. Value is no longer centered on savings alone; it involves quality, relevance and experience more now than before. Consumers have transitioned to a more purposeful and emotional perspective on value that reflects an increasing desire for differentiated, higher-quality foods and beverages that cue discovery, health and wellness and perfect sizing/portions. 

Relevance and experience play a significant role around new value in relation to health and wellness. Convenience has become a critical part of the experience and isn’t limited to the same traditional formats or preparations present at your local convenience store.  

New product releases are showing the innovative ways upstart food companies are tackling new consumer demand for products that are not only convenient but also in line with their health and wellness aspirations. After trekking the tradeshow floor at the recent Natural Products Expo West, here are five key products we believe highlight this increasingly significant intersection of what were once battling consumer drivers in food culture. 

  1. lassiDahlicious Lassi (debuting a sexy rebranding at Expo West 2015) is made with grass-fed, non-homogenized, organic whole milk and a touch of sugar. Cues: transparency from humane treatment of animals, a convenient way to get healthy fat from whole milk, rich in probiotics and global flavors (anti-inflammatory golden turmeric, chocolate garam masala and cinnamon toasted basmati!), all available in both single-serve and multi-serve packaging. 
  2. pumpkin seedsSeeds are top of mind for many progressive consumers, and we spotted a number of nutrient-dense seed-based products at the show. CB’s offers a convenient source of plant-based protein with culinary-forward and global flavors, such as umami and harissa (launching July 2015). Nutrient-rich and no added sugar cues quality and great value for this handy shelf-stable snack that goes beyond peanuts or almonds. The brand also speaks to emerging health and wellness nutrients like potassium and magnesium, a far cry from the moderation and absence of negative callouts of products past. 
  3. love beetsWe loved (!) Love Beets’ new snack pack for reflecting the increasing consumer desire for on-the-go, fresh, nutrient-dense snacking. The compartmentalized beet, cheese and cracker combo is highly representative of this new value around health and wellness. Compartmentalized formats aren’t just for kids or the c-store: upmarket health-conscious consumers are demanding the same convenience, albeit with elevated quality markers (presence in the chilled case, short panel, etc.). The format also speaks to the upmarket consumer’s desire for an added sense of play in their convenience products. Just because it’s healthy doesn’t mean it needs to be clinical! 
  4. Temple Turmeric’s (another rebrand showcased at Expo West 2015; formerly known as Tumeric – Elixir of Life) inflammation-fighting properties in a ready-to-drink format taps into the consumer willingness to imbibe healthy botanicals rather than having to eat another curry. The brand is also expanding past turmeric-infused cold-pressed juices and now includes a line of “super blend” including a matcha latte (made with organic hemp milk) and two globally inspired energizing drinks that combine sweet and spicy (Mexican Chocolate) and bitter (Turkish Coffee) flavors. temples turmeric
  5. meet the packOloves’ on-the-go, perfectly portioned olives represent the growing demand for savory rather than sweet snacks that contain good fats. Culinary-forward flavors (lemon and rosemary, chili and oregano) tick yet another box for this old-world snack’s high value in modern packaging. The “lunchbox-friendly” product (with only 50 calories per package) also satisfies the moderation-focused consumer. The product is also a great example of how more and more companies are reaching their consumers in nontraditional channels – Oloves are showcased on many international airlines, including Air Tahiti Nui, Iceland Air, Finnair and Qatar Airlines.


Consumer Package Goods Trends


As leaders in the study of American food culture, The Hartman Group has been tracking how Americans shop for food since the 1990s. From one-stop shopping to multichannel shopping to online markets and click-and-collect, we continue to track consumers’ evolving perceptions, needs, habits and relationships with food retailers. New to the 2017 report is a special section on the expansion of the discount grocery channel, the emerging fresh-format channel and smaller-footprint retail formats.


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