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A couple of decades ago, veganism was limited solely to the biggest health nuts, with animal-free products being hard to find and often difficult to enjoy.
Now, veganism is on the rise, and thankfully, healthy and tasty plant-based products are now widely available for those who want them.
Even if you’re not a vegan, many people simply want to enjoy more plant-forward foods, reaping the benefits that veggies have to offer.
Whether it’s a brand looking to emulate the texture and taste of meat from veggies—like NotCo—or those that highlight the natural flavors of fruits and vegetables, like RIND, Remedy, and Fody Foods, these brands we met at Expo East 2022 are sure to impress even the most carnivorous among us.
If you’re a vegan, you know just how important sauces, dressings, and condiments are.
But what if you can’t digest the main ingredients in many of these products—namely, garlic, onions, and tomatoes?
That’s where Fody Foods comes in, the leading producer of low-FODMAP pasta sauces, ketchup, salsas, salad dressings, seasonings, and more.
FODMAP stands for fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (got that all?), which are types of carbohydrates that can be poorly digested in some people, causing unpleasant and uncomfortable gut symptoms, like IBS.
Luckily, Fody Foods came to the rescue—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—the one exception being their Chicken Soup Base.
This innovative brand scored not one, but two, wins at Expo East’s NEXTY Awards, snagging the gold for Best New Product Supporting a Plant-Based Lifestyle with their Vegan Bolognese Plant-Based Pasta Sauce, as well as their Salsa Verde winning Best New Special Diet Food.
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, COO at Fody Foods
Fody Foods marks every bottle with their “Easy to Digest, Easy to Love” tagline, and we know that the growing masses of vegans and IBS sufferers out there will undoubtedly agree.
NotCo is taking the science of plant-based cooking to a whole new level, utilizing the power of artificial intelligence (say hello to NotCo’s proprietary AI Chef, Giuseppe) to craft vegan not-milk, not-burgers, and more.
Giuseppe takes the molecular composition of animal-based ingredients and searches the database of over 300,000 plants to find similar components to fool our tastebuds.
For example, pineapple, cabbage, and coconut have molecules equivalent to those in dairy milk, and cocoa and spinach are added to their not-burger to emulate meat.
But Giuseppe doesn’t always get it right, as seen when he added dill to one of their first iterations of not-milk that turned green—right flavor molecule, wrong color!
At the NotCo booth at Expo East, we sampled not-chocolate milk (no, it didn’t taste like cabbage), not-burgers, and not-chicken tenders, all of which were tasty alternatives to the real thing—although the burger didn’t fool the most meat-loving members of our bunch.
After learning more about NotCo’s algorithm-based processes from Joel Brink, we’re sure that Giuseppe and his AI vegan masterpieces will reinvent the food industry—one pineapple-loaded glass of not-milk at a time.
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.
The crux of RIND products is their skin-on dried fruit snacks, using everything from peaches and pears to pineapples and persimmons—all with skins, rinds, or peels intact.
But not to worry, even though RIND does include the rind or peel of all their dried fruit snacks, the outcome is surprisingly soft—however, they also have a line of “chips and crisps” for those who like their snacks to have a little crunch.
Founder Matt Weiss created RIND with his great-grandmother in mind, a passionate health food pioneer in the 1920s who insisted on utilizing every part of the fruits and veggies she ate—roots, rinds, seeds, stems, and all.
Not only does eating the rind help fight the ever-growing issue of food waste—in 2021 alone, RIND helped save over 340,000 pounds of otherwise-wasted produce—but it turns out that the fruits’ outer layers are actually where most of the nutrition lies.
Edible peels and rinds contain more micronutrients, fiber, and antioxidants than any other part of the fruit.
For example, citrus peels have higher levels of vitamins A and C than the fruit’s flesh, plus the added benefit of the minerals magnesium, copper, and calcium, making RIND snacks a delicious, sustainable, and nutritious option for vegans and non-vegans alike.
With Remedy’s plant-based Wellness Shakes, you can enjoy a tasty meal replacement or snack on the go, knowing you’re fueling your body with nutrient-dense ingredients and vegan protein.
Founder Cindy Kasindorf was clear on her commitment to never compromise on ingredient quality or taste.
This was evident with the boldly flavorful samples we tried—even their traditional strawberry shake had excellent ingredients, including dragon fruit, prebiotics, adaptogenic herbs, botanicals, and mushrooms.
The inspiration to start all this began in my home kitchen—I’m a big believer in using food as medicine and natural remedies for healing and prevention, so everything you see in this is my innovation.Cindy Kasindorf, Founder of Remedy Organics
Remedy’s Wellness Shakes also boast unique flavors, like the Blue Essentials, which gets its vibrant blue hue from nutrient-loaded spirulina.
With her background as a holistic nutritionist, Cindy tells us that her “inspiration to start all this began in my home kitchen—I’m a big believer in using food as medicine and natural remedies for healing and prevention, so everything you see in this is my innovation.”
All Remedy Organics products are organic, dairy-free, gluten-free, non-GMO, vegan, and kosher—and they also have a line of plant-based Keto Wellness Shakes in cold brew and chocolate varieties.
Plus, Remedy’s latest offerings are their potent wellness shots—we’d recommend the “Digest Me” for a bold kick of ginger or the “Protect Me” shot, an elderberry-loaded shot containing vitamin C, vitamin D, and zinc to support your immune system all year long.
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