Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, low-sodium, gluten-free, low-carb, or low-FODMAP, millions of people require a bit of special treatment with what they eat.
Fortunately, having a dietary restriction is commonplace in this day and age—and so are brands that cater to these needs.
At Expo East 2022, we came across a handful of companies that are doing it right when it comes to dietary restrictions, like Fody Foods, NotCo, Dan-O’s, and Ritual Zero Proof.
No matter what your dietary restrictions are, rest assured that you won’t be left starving (or thirsty).
Fody Foods: Freedom for Low-FODMAPers
While vegan, gluten-free, and paleo foods have definitely been having a moment, people requiring a low-FODMAP diet have been left in the dust—until now, with Fody Foods.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols, which are types of carbohydrates that can be poorly digested in some people, causing unpleasant and uncomfortable gut symptoms like IBS.
Unfortunately, FODMAPs are found in many favorite sauces, condiments, and dressings—especially those made with garlic and onions.
We make products for those who can’t digest properly … we take away the triggers so people can eat their favorite sauces and salsas and not have symptoms that they usually face.
Sean Surkis, Partner and COO at Fody Foods
That’s where Fody Foods comes in, the leading producer of low-FODMAP pasta sauces, ketchup, salsas, salad dressings, seasonings, and more.
As Fody Foods Partner and COO Sean Surkis tells us, “We make products for those who can’t digest properly … we take away the triggers so people can eat their favorite sauces and salsas and not have symptoms that they usually face.”
Not only are these products safe for those of us with gut issues, but they are also (almost entirely) vegan, with the one exception being their Chicken Soup Base—so, vegans, skip this one and choose any of their dozen other products.
This innovative brand scored not one, but two wins at Expo East’s NEXTY Awards, snagging the gold for Best New Special Diet Food with their Salsa Verde and Best New Product Supporting a Plant-Based Lifestyle for their Vegan Bolognese Plant-Based Pasta Sauce.
Fody Foods marks every bottle with their “Easy to Digest, Easy to Love” tagline, and we know that the growing masses of people with FODMAP-related dietary restrictions out there will undoubtedly agree—no more scouring ingredient lists, you know it’s safe with Fody Foods.
NotCo: No Meat, No Problem
If you’re a vegan who is tired of tofu and watery non-dairy milk, NotCo is for you.
Veganism is one of the fastest growing segments of dietary restrictions, and NotCo is changing the game with their vegan not-milk, not-burgers, and not-chicken—all engineered utilizing the power of artificial intelligence (say hello…or maybe “010101”…to NotCo’s proprietary AI Chef, Giuseppe).
Giuseppe takes the molecular composition of animal-based ingredients and searches a database of over 300,000 plants to find similar components to fool our tastebuds.
For example, pineapple, cabbage, and coconut contain molecules equivalent to those in dairy milk, and cocoa and spinach are added to their not-burger to emulate meat.
At the NotCo booth at Expo East, we sampled not-chocolate milk (no, it didn’t taste like cabbage—but it did taste good), not-burgers, and not-chicken tenders, all of which were tasty alternatives to the real thing.
Although the not-burger didn’t fool the most meat-loving members of our team, we’d bet that any vegan who misses a classic beef-filled burger would be impressed.
Dan-O’s Seasoning: Low in Sodium, High in Flavor
Whether you have high blood pressure, kidney issues, or simply want to lead a less salty life, Dan-O’s has got you covered with a wide range of low-sodium seasonings to spice things up.
When using Dan-O’s, you can feel free to sprinkle generously, as their seasoning powders are all low-sodium, gluten-free, sugar-free, and flavor-filled with entirely natural ingredients.
With punchy flavors like Hot Chipotle and Spicy Seasoning to top your grilled chicken, fish, or barbeque, you won’t even miss the salt.
Even Dan-O’s Original Seasoning sounds mouthwatering, containing rosemary, garlic, onion, lemon peel, orange peel, and only 50mg of sodium per serving from natural sea salt.
Not only are Dan-O’s seasonings perfect for low-sodium folks, but they are also gluten-free, vegan, and suitable for people on keto or paleo diets.
After we tried tasty samples of their seasoning atop grilled chicken bites, we get the hype surrounding these low-sodium seasonings.
As Tyler Watson, Vice President of Sales, 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.”
Ritual Zero Proof: For a Happy Hour Without Compromises
We might be skirting the edges of the term “dietary restriction” with the inclusion of Ritual Zero Proof on this list, but we’d argue that people wanting to eliminate or reduce their alcohol intake fit the bill.
[This is about] being able to live a healthy lifestyle and crush the next day … this gets you both—this gets you both your happy hour and your happy next day.
Tom Halaska, Director of Sales at Ritual Zero Proof
With the rapidly growing amount of people who are sober, “sober curious,” or just looking to cut back, companies like Ritual Zero Proof are here for those days when you want a drink but not a drink.
Carrying a wide array of non-alcoholic spirits that you could fill an entire (mocktail) bar cart with, Ritual Zero Proof is changing the game when it comes to living an alcohol-free life.
We were lucky enough to sample a zero-proof Ritual margarita at Expo East, where the crew informed us that their tequila alternative has zero calories and absolutely zero alcohol, offering a keto-friendly, gluten-free option you can drink whenever—margaritas for breakfast, anyone?
In addition to non-alcoholic tequila, Ritual also offers gin, whiskey, and rum alternatives—all with zero alcohol but loads of flavor.
The Ritual team took their craft seriously, creating their tasty alcohol alternatives with intricate processes like extracting the essence of blue agave, comparing Madagascar vanilla to that from China, and elevating the scent of pine, to name a few.
We heard more details from Director of Sales Tom Halaska, who told us, “We started in our founders’ kitchen just wanting the ritual of holding a drink with ice and the heavy glass in the hand, but needing to cut back on alcohol.”
He continues, “This came out of a need of wanting to feel part of the drinking experience but not just drinking a sparkling water. [This is about] being able to live a healthy lifestyle and crush the next day…this gets you both—this gets you both your happy hour and your happy next day.”
Cheers to that!