After a whirlwind week, I spent this past weekend in recovery mode from The Natural Products Expo, also known as Expo East. As a part of the health and wellness industry for the past 10 years, I know all about this conference, but this year I finally took the plunge and experienced it. I was invited to attend as an Influencer with the New Hope Blogger Network. If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen a few of my favorites that I shared, but consider this the full highlight reel and the items that made my tastebuds do back flips.
The show kicked off for Influencers on Wednesday with the New Hope Influencer Summit – a full day of programming related to working with brands and crafting clear, concise messages. Right away I met Erica from Erica Finds who had read my book! She’s a pro at the Expo and took me under her wing to show me the ropes.
After the Influencer Summit, we caught the tail end of the Harvest Festival, a smaller, festival-style event one day before the show floor opens. There I met the guys from Mary’s Gone Crackers, a long-time favorite in our house for gluten-free crackers. I also had my socks knocked off when I tasted Betsy’s Best nut butter, I fell in love with the cashew butter which includes chia seeds for crunch and cardamom for a unique flavor profile.
Thursday morning started with a Morning Run Clinic sponsored by SOS Hydration. Olympian Nick Willis was there to give us some tips on stretching and form and show us his gold medal from Rio. The group was super small so we got to take pictures and create some real connections with Nick and the SOS team. The morning ended with a 4.5 mile run through Oriole Park and around M&T Stadium.
I spent the rest of the day attending sessions and getting a start on walking the show floor. I decided to start on the top floor and work my way down.
A few of my favorites from Day 1:
BrewDr Kombucha for their refreshing flavors and friendly booth staff
U Gottabe Nutz for making snacking on nuts exciting
Siete Foods for their gluten-free tortillas and chips that taste better than the real thing
Milkadamia for their macadamia nut milk – and the outstanding lattes they served
Yumami for their award-winning Go-Dip Snacks
Loving Earth for their smooth and flavorful raw, organic Vegan chocolate and the kind founder
Friday was my last day at the show and I had a lot of ground to cover so I kicked it into high gear to walk the main show floor.
These are the products I loved from Day 2:
Graze, because they are bringing some of the most popular snack combos from their subscription snack box service into retail
Wedderspoon for their Manuka honey
Miyoko’s Kitchen because she makes the best vegan cheese I’ve ever tasted
Sambazon for their frozen acai packs
Boom Chicka Pop because I love their packaging
Pukka for their delicious teas and gorgeous branding
Oatly for their creamy oat milk
Anita’s Coconut Yogurt because she makes the most decadent coconut yogurt without any additives or sugar
Evolution Fresh for their new flavors coming out this fall.
I wrapped up my last day with a Vital Proteins Matcha Latte for my ride back to the train – the perfect ending to a busy three days of tasting, walking and meeting.
Nothing beats real, unprocessed food, but the products featured here both passed my taste test and have cleaner ingredients.
Looking forward to next year!