Top 10 Expo West Finds (2018)
Expo West 2018 is a wrap! Each year I am blown away by new companies, new products and all of the thousands of people that take over the Anaheim Convention Center. I also love seeing all my friends in the Natural Products Industry -- many who are like family now.
This was my 5th Natural Products Expo (I have now been to 3 Expo Wests and 2 Expo Easts), and it’s seriously the coolest experience!
I have compiled a list of my Top 10 Favorite Finds from the show down below.
This year, I even got to be a part of the Official Expo West Blogging Team and was featured on NewHope.com! I am so honored!
Of course, just like last year (read about Expo West 2017), we had to hit up Disneyland with Christine and Lauren again, because it’s just what we do! We had a blast, met a few characters and literally brought a duffle bag of our favorite foods into the parks to eat a nice buffet of our own.
Something a bit different this year:
I brought my Krysten's Kitchen Official Taste Tester (my hubby) to the show. He had a great time! He finally got to meet all these wonderful people that I have talked about for the last few years. He got to put a face to the name (or brand) which was sweet!
So many people already knew him, because I talk about him endlessly! Or it's because they have seen him all over my blog or Instagram, so it was fun.
It’s hard to see in this photo of us, but I got some way cool shirts made for him that say #OfficialTasteTester on them, as that’s what he did all weekend. He tasted new foods, some that aren’t even out yet, aren't on the market, or are still hush hush.
We did notice 4 very common trends at Expo West: Turmeric, CBD, Collagen and the act of changing a product to make it vegan. Everything was either turmeric flavor (I’m not mad about it, it’s just an observation) or companies were launching a CBD line (or hemp line). We also saw a lot of companies switch out an ingredient (lard, whey protein or butter) to make their product vegan-friendly. I am sure there was probably even a Vegan Turmeric flavored CBD on the show floor, at this point. HAH!
Expo West is no joke. We walked 81,000 steps all over the show floor, which totalled about 35 miles. We ate all kinds of different foods, slept about 5 hours each night (or less) and got up super early every morning to not miss a second of Expo. Even with achey feet, sore sleepy bodies and lots of overstimulation, I can honestly say that I loved every second of it!
One of my favorite highlights over the weekend was having a character breakfast with Erica (CeliacAndTheBeast.com), Cindy (VegetarianMamma.com) and Alex (from Schaer.com) and, of course, Chip, Dale, Pluto, and Brother Bear. We rocked our Minnie Mouse ears, too!
Okay, so let’s get down to it… this was pretty hard for me to do this year as I complied a list of about 15 things that were totally qualified to be in the top 10, but I finally narrowed it down so as to be fair and keep it at 10. I even tried to put a few-in-one category so that I could get it all in this blog, but instead have given you my Top 10 Favs!
Here are some past show recaps:
And now for 2018's Top 10 Favorite Finds in no particular order...
1. Siete Foods
Grain Free, Paleo, Non GMO, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Soy Free, Vegan
In our house we are big Siete Foods lovers! We take their chips to restaurants, in the car for long trips or literally anywhere. Their tortillas are the best, too! I love that they use real ingredients and also that I can eat them with my allergens. You might want to sit down for what I am about to tell you, because they are launching 3 new chip flavors (Sal Y Limon, Fuego, and Ranch) as well as 2 new tortillas (Chickpea Flour and Cashew Flour). Mind blown!
Siete continues to blow me away! I tasted both tortillas and 2 of the 3 new chips (only because I am a wimp and I can’t do spicy), and I just immediately knew this would be on my top 10 list! I think we can expect a summertime release of the new flavors, so make sure you follow Siete Foods for the latest news. www.SieteFoods.com
2. Cave Shake
Keto, Paleo, Vegan, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Cane Sugar Free, Low Carb
Okay, I have been wanting to try Cave Shake for awhile now, but sometimes coconut things can be too coconutty (that’s a word, right?) for me. So when I saw that they were going to be at Expo, I was totally pumped to give them a try and... you know what? One word: OBSESSED! I love the taste, texture, ingredients, and flavors so much.
They even have a new Strawberry flavor that I wasn’t sure was going to tickle my fancy, but this fancy is tickled for sure! I loved every flavor! It’s like drinking a milkshake made with the yummiest ice cream ever, except there is no ice cream in it or bad stuff or ungodly amounts of sugar! Amen to that!
Can I also just say that the Cave Shake team was super cool, so friendly, fun to chat with and I love them. You can find Cave Shake at Whole Foods or peep at their website/store locator. www.CaveShake.com
3. Spindrift’s Half Tea & Half Lemon Sparkling Water
Paleo, Dairy Free, Whole 30, nonGMO, Cane Sugar free, Kosher,
Let me start by saying that there are literally 3 ingredients in this. They are as follows: carbonated water, fresh lemon juice and brewed black tea. Enough said! I don’t know about you, but “Arnold Palmers” were my fav growing up! I actually got the amazing opportunity to try this new Spindrift flavor at a party the day before it launched, and I just couldn’t believe my taste buds.
I hadn’t really tried their drinks before Expo West, and I must say that after trying their other flavors, they sure know how to make a great bubble water! I still think that their new Half Tea & Half Lemon Sparkling Water is my favorite. It takes me back to my childhood!
You must give it a try. It’s available on their website right now, and there is free shipping for a limited time. I already ordered some! www.spindriftfresh.com
4. Primal Kitchen’s Lemon Turmeric Vinaigrette & Marinade
Cane Sugar Free, Soy & Canola Free, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Whole30, Vegan, Keto, Dairy Free, Whey Free, Paleo
I am a big fan of Primal Kitchen. Last year (Expo West 2017) their brand new Green Goddess Dressing made my top 10 fav finds. They are on a roll! This brand new dressing is made with avocado oil (love) and just a handful of real ingredients. We tasted it with a piece of carrot and then drank the rest. It was so good, we literally want to drink it! It would be fabulous as a marinade, on salad, or in a shot glass — I am not kidding! It was THAT tasty! You can order it on their website, here.
Another cool thing that happened (and I am still giddy over) was meeting Mark Sisson! He signed a book for me, and I cannot wait to make some delicious recipes from it. You can order his book, here.
Super thankful for this company, their incredible line of products and the lovely people at their booth. You could also say that I am a part of their fam since one of my recipes is on their website — peep at it here. www.PrimalKitchen.com
5. Made In Nature: Veggie Pops Broccoli 'Chedda' Supersnacks & Dragon Fruit Sweet & Snappy Supersnacks
Gluten Free (not certified), Dairy Free, nonGMO, Organic, Cane Sugar Free
I met Made In Nature at ShiftCon (if you don’t know what ShiftCon is, read here), and they provided all kinds of snacks for us for the conference, plus threw us an awesome happy hour and sent us home with all kinds of goodies. Well, now we’re hooked on Figgy Pops and their Espresso Coconut Chips (I KNOW!), and they launched a few brand new products at Expo West and I am so in love with them.
Their brand new Broccoli 'Chedda' Veggie Pops are so incredible. The ingredients are super legit —> sunflower seeds, broccoli, white beans, lemon juice, almonds, kale, pepita seeds, nutritional yeast, potato flour, sesame seeds, sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder and mustard powder. They are a savory snack with a great crunch (that isn’t too crunchy), the texture is on point and the flavor is as good as broccoli cheddar soup. No joke! They also have 2 other flavors launching: Sour Cream & Onion and Salt & Pepper. All delish!
A second favorite find from them this year is their new Dragon Fruit Sweet & Snappy Supersnacks. There is only one ingredient in this: Dragon Fruit! These snacks are so good, have a great crunch and I have so many ideas on how I want to use this. I haven't met a Made in Nature product that I have not liked!
You will have to follow Made In Nature to see when they will officially launch. There is no timeframe right now, but if you follow them on social media then you will know as soon as everyone else knows! For now, check out their other incredible products: kale chips, figgy pops, dried fruit and so much more! www.MadeInNature.com
6. Sejoyia Cookie Thins
NonGMO, Gluten Free, Paleo, Cane Sugar Free, Grain Free, Kosher & Vegan
First of all, if you saw my Instagram stories during Expo West then you saw that I was at Sejoyia’s booth when they won the NEXTY Award for these awesome cookies! It was a well deserved win for these cookies, let me tell you!
Oh my lanta — there are 4 flavors : Vanilla, Chocolate, Salted Caramel and Lemon Zest. I actually got to taste them before Expo because they sent some to me in the mail and my taste buds were stoked. Also the team at their booth was way cool, super warm and friendly, and that just makes me love them even more.
These cookies are are made with coconut, cashews coconut sugar, cassava flour, sea salt, natural vanilla and natural almond flavors. They are absolutely one of my favorite finds at Expo West. You will have to try them. www.Sejoyia.com
7. Four Sigmatic Golden Latte Mushroom Mix
Organic, Cane Sugar Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, nonGMO,
You already know that I am ON SHROOMS daily. We take our Four Stigmatic Mushrooms in
our coffee, smoothies, or hot cacao every single day. It’s become a part of our daily life, and we feel better all around. You can read more about the Mushrooms that we take and their amazing benefits HERE. Let’s talk about what’s new at Four Sigmatic — Golden Latte Mushroom Mix. Turmeric has so many health benefits! It’s a great anti-inflammatory, it can improve brain function, helps with arthritis pain, and so much more. Add in the benefits of mushrooms (see this post), and this new drink mix is like all kinds of beneficial.
We love turmeric drinks. They are so cozy, remind me of fall and taste delicious. This new drink is all of those things and more. I love that, once again, they come in easy 1 serving packets that are ready for you to mix with water or your favorite dairy-free milk (see number 9 down below).
Sometimes turmeric drinks can be super earthy tasting (which I don’t mind, but I realize that is not everybody’s thang), but this tastes so perfect! They added in the perfect amount of coconut sugar to sweeten it (without cane sugar, YAY). It should be available pretty soon on their website.
Check back for more or peep at my Instagram to see when it’s available. You can also use code “Krystenskitchen” to save 10% on your orders at www.FourSigmatic.com.
8. Mud: Coconut Mousse
Organic, Paleo, Vegan, Dairy Free, Cane Sugar Free