As day two of Natural Products Expo East 2022 officially comes to a close, our sore but grateful review team looks back on another successful day of shooting, sampling, and of course, connecting with awesome brands.
Some of our favorite moments from the day included an alcohol-free margarita tasting at Ritual Beverage Company, munching on delicious protein-packed Wilde chips, and even a Terry Crews sighting!
Oh, and there was also a procession of bagpipers—it was nuts.
Here’s a recap of all the brands we connected with today, who were all pumped to get the word out—except the Truff team, who were about as engaged as the booth they leaned against (just sayin’).
1. Dr. Bronner’s
“Don’t you guys make soap? What’s the deal with the chocolate?”
What seems like a bit of a leap between the two was reconciled skillfully by Dr. Bronner’s President, Michael Bronner, who explained to us that both soap and chocolate are made better by premium, ethically sourced ingredients.
He did concede that they should have seen the demand for peppermint chocolate from the start—considering Dr. Bronner’s soap leans heavily on it—but it didn’t take long for them to deliver.
In addition to soap and chocolate, Dr. Bronner’s also makes organic hand sanitizer, shaving soaps, lotions, hair products, toothpaste, and much more.
2. Death Wish Coffee Company
Boldly claiming the mantle of the strongest cup of Joe in the world, Death Wish Coffee is more than just a super-charged shot of caffeine.
Their fair-trade coffees are made with no artificial ingredients, proving that below the edgy exterior, they’re really softies on the inside who care about their customers.
And for all you pumpkin fans out there—yes, Death Wish is “embracing the basic” for a limited time.
3. Remedy Organics
Elbowing their way into grocery store coolers and fridges across the country is Remedy Organics, which makes plant-based wellness shakes and immunity shots loaded with organic, herbal ingredients.
Founder Cindy Kasindorf was clear on her commitment to never compromise on ingredient quality, and the samples we tried were boldly flavorful.
All Remedy Organics products are organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher, and if you can handle the burn, we highly recommend their “ginger-forward” Digest Me Shot.
4. Wilde Chips
Undoubtedly one of our favorite exhibitors out of the entire event is Wilde Chips, who use chicken breast, egg whites, and bone broth to make high-protein, low-carb chips in a variety of flavors.
The reason we’re especially fond of Wilde, beyond the friendlier macronutrient profile, is that they legitimately taste better than standard, less healthy chips.
VP of Sales Mike Senn and Director of Sales John Culver were all too happy to describe to our team how and why Wilde Chips are the best, and as people who have tried all kinds of chips, we agree.
5. Dr. Kellyann’s Bone Broth
Short on cow knuckles, are ya?
Never fear, because Dr. Kellyann and her selection of highly nutritious, ready-to-drink bone broth products are here to bring all the nutrition benefits to you without the hassle.
More than bone broth, Dr. Kellyann also offers collagen bars, shakes, super smoothies, and more.
6. Serenity Kids
“Catharsis at last,” thought the only parent among our team as he perused the ingredient lists of Serenity Kids baby foods products.
It’s amazing how supposedly high-end and even organic baby food products sneak preservatives and added sugar in, as if we parents won’t see or care.
But as the passionate founders—Joe and Serenity Carr—explained, all of their baby food products are actually clean and free of:
- Added sugar
In seriousness, Chris and Serenity, we strongly appreciate what you do—but we do have to apologize for not sampling your baby food purees on the spot.
7. Kevin’s Natural Foods
Ready-made entrees as a category are definitely in need of some love, both nutritionally and taste-ally, and Kevin’s Natural Foods is leading the charge.
As Sr. Sales Manager Jesse Isaacs explained to us while a procession of bagpipers marched by (it just happened—we don’t know), Kevin’s sides, sauces, and entrees are keto, clean, and delicious.
8. Ritual Zero Proof
We won’t claim expertise as margarita reviewers, but even our (mostly) untrained palates were duly impressed with the alcohol-free selection at Ritual Zero Proof.
As Director of Sales Tom Halaska and crew informed us, Ritual Zero Proof’s tequila alternative has zero calories and absolutely zero alcohol, offering a keto-friendly, gluten-free option you can drink whenever.
Thanks for the drinks, gentlemen!
9. Fody Foods
Even in today’s increasingly inclusive nutrition product industry, low-FODMAP folks still seem to get left in the corner.
However, thanks to Fody Foods and their low-FODMAP (fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols) sauces, salsas, snacks, and more, this underserved audience can now indulge without regret.
Fody Foods Partner and COO Sean Surkis gave us a rundown of Fody’s bloat-free, vegan, and non-GMO products, and the pasta sauce was indeed delicious!
10. Miracle Noodle
Ever since Dr. Jonathan Carp discovered konjac-derived shirataki noodles in Japan, he made it his mission to make the low-carb pasta alternative a dinner staple in the USA.
Save for just a little extra squishiness, Dr. Carp makes good on Miracle Noodles’ claims of near-identical taste and texture.
And with all those calories and carbs saved by this grain-free, 97% water pasta alternative, who says you can’t go straight-up buck wild with the sauce?
We have officially met the world’s most passionate garlic enthusiast in Kyolic Director of Sales Jay Levy, who touted Kyolic’s aged garlic extract products as a research-backed heart health promoter.
Levy generously provided us with a ton of amazing insights into both the health benefits of garlic (not just for cardiovascular health) and how Kyolic brings those benefits forward.
Namely, aging the garlic for 20 months allows it to undergo a bioconversion process that enhances its nutritional value, so that’s a thing.
We walked away from our brief meeting with Jay with the clear impression that this brand’s products are among the most well-researched in the industry.
One of our writers had a particularly long layover on the way to Philly, during which a friendly MBA student sparked up a conversation about NotCo and their plant-based milk, burgers, and more.
We were planning to stop at the booth anyway, but with our new friend in mind, we sauntered up to the booth expecting to be blown away by the creations of their AI Chef, “Guiseppe.”
Indeed, the “chicken” tenders and “not burger” were both delicious (though the burger was noticeably less accurate of a mimic), and learning about the AI Chef from Joel Brink revealed it not to be a gimmick.
Why else would they put cocoa and spinach powder in a burger if they were not being directed by a super-intelligence akin to “HAL” of 2001: A Space Oddysey?
“Just what do you think you’re doing, Dave?”
13. Honey Mama’s
With a wide array of uniquely flavored cocoa truffle bars ranging from carrot cake to pumpkin to lavender rose, which one team member told us tastes like a “spa day in your mouth”—and we agree—Honey Mama’s encourages indulging in delicious chocolate treats without making any compromises when it comes to health.
As Angela Lukic, Vice President of Marketing, and Founder Christy Goldsby, told us, all of their bars are made with only five whole food, nutrient-rich ingredients—plus, they are free from refined sugar, soy, eggs, dairy, gluten, and grains, so you can feel good about eating Honey Mama’s chocolate at any time.
Over a thousand years ago, a group of Buddhist monks in remote Asian highlands discovered a unique fruit that increased their chi and well-being, nicknaming it “The Immortal Fruit.”
Today, Lakanto harvests this sacred fruit that we know now as monk fruit—based on the enlightened people who discovered it—from the same region, spreading the knowledge about this natural sugar substitute with zero calories.
As Joel Patrick, the Chief Revenue Officer, relayed to us, Lakanto is an increasingly popular sugar-free sweetener for the keto or low-carb crowd, with products including baking mixes, syrups, granola, or simply a healthier sweetener to replace that years-old bag of cane sugar taking up space in your pantry.
15. Watkins 1868
After chowing down on several sweet treats from several booths in a row, Watkins 1868 was a welcome respite offering freshly popped popcorn with the self-serve option to shake on one (or two, or three) of their tasty seasonings.
Sales Manager Chuck Kosel gave us the scoop on Watkins 1868, where we learned that they’ve been producing in the same Minnesota factory for 152 years—hence the “1868”—and pumping out not only popcorn seasonings but also newer grilling spices, soup bases, salad dressings, herbs, aromatic bitters, and more.
If you’re around for Expo East Day 3, don’t hesitate to pop on over there to join the fun.
16. RIND Snacks
With the fun and memorable slogan of “Keep It Real, Eat the Peel,” RIND Snacks is fighting food waste while maximizing taste at the same time.
But not to worry, even though RIND does include the rind or peel of all the fruit that makes up their dried fruit snacks, the outcome is surprisingly soft—however, they also have a line of “chips and crisps” if you want to go the crunchy route.
After a long day of walking and chatting while carrying increasingly heavy and sample-loaded bags, the hydrating electrolytes tablets from Nuun were necessary and welcomed.
We spoke to Katie Flad, Regional Manager for Northern California and Pacific Northwest, who enthusiastically told us about how Nuun is a company dedicated to keeping you as hydrated as humanly possible.
And with the ease of adding these fizzy and tasty tablets to your water—kind of like an up-leveled electrolyte version of Alka-Seltzer—we aren’t surprised that this company is taking off, and we’re along for the ride.
18. Dan-O’s Seasoning
When using Dan-O’s, you can feel free to sprinkle generously, as their broad range of seasoning powders are low-sodium, gluten-free, sugar-free, and flavor-filled with entirely natural ingredients.
With tasty samples of their seasoning atop bites of grilled chicken—plus a possible light-hearted dig at the many meat-free alternatives we saw at Expo East, as one team member at Dan-O’s jokingly stated that “yes, that’s real chicken”—we get the hype surrounding these low-sodium seasonings.
And, as Tyler Watson relayed to us, one of their newest products is their Everything Bagel seasoning—perfect for topping a trendy avocado toast or just about anything…as they put it, “It’s Dan-Good.”
As a world leader in homeopathic medicines, Boiron is dedicated to providing your family with natural treatments made from over 1,000 botanical ingredients you can feel good about putting in your body.
Deborah Kelly, Director of Public Relations, extolled the benefits of Boiron, with the French-founded company providing everything from pain relief to cold and flu treatment to sleep support—safe to say, we’re on board with Boiron.
20. MaryRuth’s Organics
Although we didn’t get to speak to the woman behind the brand, Marketing Director Sarah Weiner gave us the scoop about MaryRuth’s Organics, which provides a wide array of vitamin, mineral, herbal, and wellness supplements for infants, older adults, and everyone in between.
With an impressive resume including Certified Health Educator, Nutritional Consultant, and Culinary Chef, CEO and founder MaryRuth Ghiyam began her empire of vegan and non-GMO supplements as a passion project to formulate wholesome vitamins for her family—and with retail channels and an online platform with over 130 products, it’s safe to say she’s taken off.
21. Trace Minerals
Since 1972, Trace Minerals has been providing the world with, well, trace minerals—a subset of micronutrients that many people forget about.
Dr. Darrin Starkey, Manager of Education and Training—plus board-certified naturopathic physician—was quick to remind us just how essential these trace minerals are, complete with a riveting presentation about how modern-day soil is depleting fruits and vegetables of their otherwise-natural minerals.
With products that include tasty electrolyte gummies (one of us even had to ask the Trace Minerals team, “how many gummies is too many to eat?”), hydration powders, topical magnesium, and dozens more mineral-based supplements, we certainly appreciated the mini-dose of electrolytes that kept us on our feet for the last stretch of the day.
HighKey is a leader in the keto cookie, cracker, and chocolate game—as they put it, they’ve got “low carb snacks that taste real fudgin’ good.”
Chief Sales Officer Efrain Cardenas was friendly and eager to tell us more about their best-selling products that are gluten-free, sugar-free, grain-free—essentially everything “free” except flavor.
We were lucky enough to try one of their newest products that tastes exactly like a nostalgic cookie we all know and love (hint: it rhymes with “smoreo.”)
All in all, there’s nothing lowkey about these keto snacks—in fact, we high-key love them.