Expo West 2022: What’s New in the Food & Beverage World

It has been three years since the last in-person Natural Products Expo West, presented by the New Hope Network. Typically, Expo West is the biggest week of the year for the food & beverage industry. Brands from across the world come together in Anaheim, California to network, collaborate, and explore how brands are innovating within the food & beverage space. For the past two years, Expo West pivoted to a virtual format but has returned this year with quite a bang! With many food & beverage brand managers, marketers, owners, and collaborators meeting once again, it’s no surprise that many brands brought their A-game.

Expo West is our favorite time of the year because it gives us a glimpse into the future of the industry. Brands announcing new products, partnerships, and new technologies give us an idea of where the food & beverage industry is moving, and what trends we should keep an eye on.

Striving to Build a Better World

Shoppers want to feel good about the products they purchase. They want to know that their money is supporting companies that benefit their community and/or give back in a meaningful and actionable way. One of the biggest trends we saw at this year’s Expo West was the rise of brands that are showcasing their sustainability and environmental benefits front and center. Brands such as Airly Foods and Moonshot Snacks highlight their climate-friendly and transparency initiatives directly on-pack. Their ethos is built directly into their branding and is used as not only a selling point but also as a means to inform consumers about how making changes to the food industry can help the world.

Function. Function. Function.

Functional food & beverage products have been a hot topic for several years now – in fact, we included it in our predictions for 2022’s biggest trends. So it’s no surprise that many functional products made quite a stir at this year’s Expo West. According to Food-Navigator, brands such as Culture Pop, Recess, Brainiac Foods, and more, all made quite an impact with their functional products. From prebiotics and probiotics to CBD and keto-friendly ingredients, many brands are striving for products that don’t just taste great but offer consumers additional nutritional benefits.

In fact, what we saw a lot of this year is traditionally indulgent products with a functional flare. Shoppers are not willing to compromise on taste or quality but want products that offer additional benefits. Although we in the food & beverage industry know it isn’t true, there’s still a long-standing stereotype that natural/”healthy” foods equal less tasty or indulgent. This year, we saw brands confront that assumption head-on by announcing many products that offer the best of both worlds.

Here at ChefsBest, we know a few things about taste. Our proprietary Sensory Attribute Quality Analysis (SAQA) process allows us to objectively measure a product’s taste using science-backed data. Our food & beverage awards are given to brands that meet specific quality measures as determined by our panel of distinguished Certified Master Tasters. To learn more about our process, and how a ChefsBest Excellence Award can help your product stand out on shelves, please contact us today.

To stay up-to-date with trends and news in the food & beverage industry please follow us on social media: FacebookTwitterInstagram, and LinkedIn – and check out our previous blogs.