• October 1, 2021

From Functional Coffee to Healthy Snacking: Expo East Trends

From Functional Coffee to Healthy Snacking: Expo East Trends

From Functional Coffee to Healthy Snacking: Expo East Trends 700 500 Michelle Breyer

Expo East ’21

As the first industry trade show to return since the start of pandemic, Informa Markets’ Expo East 2021 provided a valuable peek at top trends in organic and natural foods. Held in Philadelphia, a number of brands and retailers attended the show, which had strict COVID protocols in place to give attendees peace of mind.

According to New Hope Network’s Nutrition Business Journal, it’s a great time to be a part of the natural and organic industry. The industry is forecast to surpass $300 billion in sales by 2023 and $400 billion by 2030, driven by conscious consumers who place a premium on ensuring their health and well being while increasingly looking toward social responsibility and sustainability.

A number of our SKU brands and mentors were at the show, providing us with intel on the hottest trends.


As more consumers seek non-alcoholic alternatives – a group nicknamed the “sober curious” – a growing number of brands are providing interesting options. They include brands like Mingle and Ritual Zero Proof, and SKU Dallas brand Hella Cocktail.

Healthy Snacking

These products aren’t just easy to prepare or consume; but they are packed with nutritional benefit that goes beyond natural or organic. That can take the form of functional products like Pan’s Mushroom Jerky, Lesser Evil Power Curls and Blissfully Better Toffee Thins.

Staples with a Twist

From breakfast foods to condiments, there were brands offering innovation in the form of clean, better-for-you options and clean ingredients. These included products like Carrington Farms Chickpea Flower and Yishi’s Taro Bubble Tea Oatmeal – functional oatmeal combines black tea, taro chia, blueberry, coconut milk and flaxseed for focus.

International Flavor

Unexpected spices and flavorings from around the world are driving a spice and condiment boom. Standouts include brands like Fila Manila Filipino American Kitchen Coconut & Ube Purple Yam Jam and Truff Hot Sauce, a combo of chili peppers, organic agave nectar, black truffle, and savory spices.

Plant-based Everything

From bacon to mayonnaise there were a growing number of brands offering vegan, dairy-free takes on favorite foods. These included products like Oddly Good oat yogurts and Teva Deli seitan-based Shawarma.

Functional Beverages

Beverages continue to pioneer innovation with botanical ingredients, functional add-ins and little-to-no sugar – products like Rowdy Mermaid Ashwagandha Blackberry Sparkling Adaptonic sparkling immunity tonics and Celsius Sparkling Tropical Vibe, a better-for-you, no-sugar energy drink. One of the hottest segments of this category – no pun intended – is a better-for-you coffees, products like Laird Superfood Coffee and Super Coffee.

Good for your Gut

It seems everybody is coming out with products designed to help improve the health of our guts – a trend that has only increased during the pandemic. And there are a growing number of supplements, foods and drinks on the market to provide the pre- and probiotics – for kids and adults. They include functional beverages like Lifeway Probugs, a kid-friendly kefir with microbes and For the Biome Gut-Lung Therapy supplements.