Natural Products Expo West 2012

I spent all day at the Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim. It is the biggest trade show of natural, organic and healthy products out today.

Natural Products Expo West 2012IMG_7333 (800x533)

There were over 3,000 exhibits and the place was packed!

Natural Products Expo West 2012

Most of the attendees are vendors or work for vendors. So there are tons of samples and information on new health products and food. The booths are hoping vendors will like what they see/smell/taste and sell it at their store.

My store is right here on ol’ RER so I’m going to share with you the

“Best in Show from the Natural Products Expo”…

I tried so many different things I lost track and didn’t take pictures of everything. But I did make sure to note the important things.

We should start with drinks (just like in real life!)…

I’m excited about this whey protein powder made from milk of grass fed cows. It tasted smooth, but was made with almond milk not water. I think the true test is when it’s made with water. IMG_7095 (800x533)

Natural Products Expo West 2012 Natural Products Expo West 2012

I spotted my FAVORITE protein powder, Spirutein and had a long heart to heart with a lady there (ah, forgot her name!). Anyways, I told her my dilemma that I am trying to get away from soy and she reassured me that it’s only 1/3 soy and non-GMO. So I feel a little better about it AND she gave me a sample of my fave flavor in whey. This might fix everything!

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There were several milk replacement options – hemp milk, soy milk, almond milk, grain milk… from different companies.

I tried the sunflower seed milk. Eh, it might have to grow on me.IMG_7239 (800x533)IMG_7236 (800x533)

Not a fan of the grain milk. Yes a fan of hemp though.IMG_7233 (800x533)

The winner of the Best Milk Replacement at the Show Award goes to this new Almond Milk with Protein! I’m excited about this since I love almond milk, but often still buy regular milk for the protein content.

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The show had a lot of same products made by different companies. Tons of granola, yogurt, protein bars and chips or salty snack options.

I tried more bars than Snooki back in her party days and here are the ones I’m most excited about (read taste like dessert, but I don’t have to sneak buying a Snickers)…

Zing’s Dark Chocolate Hazelnut barIMG_7106 (800x533)

Best New Concept bar goes to Dr. Praegers for this Froat bar. Doesn’t the name sound like something a blogger would call their homemade granola bar? Anyways, you keep them in the freezer and the girl told me to eat it while it’s still cold.IMG_7203 (800x533)IMG_7205 (533x800)IMG_7204 (533x800)

Best bar made out of a bean (chickpeas!!!) goes to The Good Bean. You know my chickpea obsession muscle is going crazy for this one!IMG_7305 (800x533)

They also make chickpea snacks!IMG_7300 (800x533)

Protein Bar that tastes most like a Rice Krispy Award:IMG_7296 (800x533)

Favorite Gel Maker Award – Honey Stinger Dark Chocolate Almond (delicious!!)IMG_7288 (800x533)

Best Body in Show goes to this guy who was demonstrating how sweet he looks when he sweats Winking smileIMG_7108 (800x533)

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Oooh, this is some good chocolate…

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You guys know I love big drinks and I cannot lie. Luckily, there were tons of drink options including a Zevia booth that I may have visited 3 or 4 times…IMG_7120 (533x800)

I came across the NuNaturals booth that will soon offer an option to flavor your water or sparkling water!IMG_7215 (533x800)IMG_7219 (533x800)

I also chugged an all natural energy drink.IMG_7258 (533x800)

As if that weren’t enough, I attended a lunch put on my Nature’s Path. The CEO and founder of the company Arran Stephens spoke a little about being committed to non-GMO food. And encouraged everyone to support California’s Right To Know initiative. We’ll discuss this on Monday, but it’s very important!IMG_7143 (800x533)IMG_7141 (800x533)

Lunch spread…IMG_7125 (533x800)

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Panini’s made with Nature’s Path waffles – good idea, right?!IMG_7129 (800x533)

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Then, I spotted my college crush – whom I still mess around with every now and then…IMG_7149 (800x533)

And that brings us to dessert…

There were a lot of ice cream options but here are the top 2:IMG_7152 (800x533)IMG_7154 (800x533)

So Delicious Coconut Milk ice creamIMG_7276 (800x533)IMG_7275 (800x533)

Best Celebrity Spotting at Expo West – Chef Cat Cora! cat cora

Here Lady Tourta Cake was ridiculously delicious.IMG_7227 (800x533)chef cat cora

Another HUGE part of the show were all the gluten free options. Everything is available gluten free. I’m surprised they didn’t have gluten free gluten!

I tried a lot of the gluten free snacks and breads out of curiosity and think you just have to get used to the different textures and tastes. But, it’s nice to know people with g-free peeps have options.

I have wanted to try these gluten free donuts (in the frozen section) for the longest time. They are often near the Vitatops so I’m familiar. Yeah, glad I have never bought them. Not a fan.IMG_7211 (533x800)

But, I was a fan of their multi-grain bread.IMG_7212 (800x533)IMG_7201 (800x533)IMG_7198 (800x533)

Best friend spotting of the show: Annelies from Attune!IMG_7192 (800x533)

Best Salty Snack – Tie between Popcorners White Cheddar and Popcorn Indiana

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Best Vegenaise Flavor… drumroll please because I took this one very seriouslyIMG_7175 (800x533)

Chipotle! IMG_7177 (800x533)

I even voted on this one…IMG_7179 (800x533)IMG_7170 (800x533)IMG_7164 (800x533)IMG_7163 (800x533)

Best Tidbit of Info I Learned… the brown boxed Boca burgers (say that 5 times fast!) are made from non-gmo soy. The OG red boxes are made from gmo soy. IMG_7161 (800x533)

I just liked this sign…IMG_7331 (800x533)

Weirdest thing I tasted Award : Vegan TunaIMG_7326 (800x533)IMG_7324 (800x533)

Award for Product I think my readers will be most excited about…

Chocolate Peanut Butter Kettle CornIMG_7316 (800x533)IMG_7315 (533x800)

Best sign I saw on the back of a bathroom stall door Award:IMG_7294 (800x533)

New Products – these Ezekial Waffles won’t be hitting stores until MayIMG_7281 (800x533)IMG_7280 (800x533)IMG_7261 (800x533)

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There were also a few yogurt bars where you could pick toppings for your yogurt (not frozen though)IMG_7244 (800x533)IMG_7242 (800x533)IMG_7241 (800x533)

When I walked out of the convention center I was dragging a massive bag of samples and the sun was going down. It was a long, very fun, very delicious day!IMG_7348 (800x533)

I’m tired. See ya tomorrow Smile


  1. says

    What a fun event! Do you have advice for me about eating less processed foods? I’ve really worked on intuitive eating & am now ready to move to gentle nutrition. The problem is, I don’t cook. I get so overwhelmed by the shopping, preparing, organizing and before/after clearning. I don’t even boil water. HELP!!!

  2. lorin says

    Oh man, I wish I could’ve gone to that! I’m in school up in San LUis Obispo but I would’ve loved that expo!! Too bad finals week is coming and couldn’t get away. Looks delicous though. I hope some of these new products will be available soon! The peanut butter chocolate popcorn looks delish as well as the zing bars..

  3. says

    I left a comment on Facebook, but thought I would leave one here as well. I’m totally jealous! I live just a couple of miles from the convention center and would love to go to the Expo. Thanks for the tip about the brown Boca boxes, too! I didn’t know that.

    • says

      I gave up frozen yogurt for Lent, but have been trying to avoid eating so much sugar in general (I may have said sweets in the comments, but I think I mostly eat fro-yo as my sweets anyways).
      I’ve turned down fro-yo three times already (one time was at the blogger meet up last week), but don’t write about that because I’m just trying to do my thing and keep it discreet. I tasted each of those ice creams because I wanted to be able to say if they were good or bad, but passed most cookies and cakes and 15 other ice creams. So, yeah I had two bites of each of the ice creams shown.

      • Jessica says

        Oh frozen yogurt.. I was so confused because I swear I have seen you say its sweets in general you gave up in a few different posts.

        I STILL have not tried the self serve frozen yogurt places that recently came to my city. I cannot wait!!!

  4. ida says

    Looks like a fun event, though I have to say it seems odd to call it a natural product expo when everything is so processed and packaged.

  5. says

    Wow…what a cool event to see, although I’m pretty sure I’d quickly lose track of the tastes of these things. I’m a huge fan of almond milk, so the added protein would be a huge plus to an already favorite drink!

  6. says

    haha…so, that guy got paid to stand around all day exercising at this booth? And you took a picture just like those with the vita top box and annelies. hehehe….At least you got a real meal this year unlike last where all we did was snack! Good times! wish I could have been there!

  7. Hillary says

    I’m new to your blog, but this is the first time one makes me want to visit daily.

    Great write-up! I can’t wait for the Good Bean stuff to make it to stores near me because I have a chickpeas obsession too!

  8. says

    That looks like a blast! I love fun expos like that. Zing bars are absolutely delicious. Freaking expensive. But delicious.

    The major bummer about all of the gluten-free options is how few are xanthan gum-free. Most of the people I know that have to be gluten-free also have to be xanthan gum-free and it’s in EVERYTHING. So annoying. I haven’t eaten anything bready in over a year. Sad, but true. And proof that a low-carb diet doesn’t make me lose weight!

  9. says

    I have to defend those gluten-free donuts by saying that they are really good when you haven’t had a donut in 3 years. They aren’t exactly Krispy Kreme, but I thought they were a very good substitute!

  10. says

    I love this!!! I think my head might have exploded from excitement at this Expo :) I love expos anyway, but there are so many awesome products. It’s frustrating living where I live (a fairly small place in Nova Scotia, Canada) – we can’t get ANY of this sort of products here, you have to order things online.

    What a great post – I almost feel like I was there :) Thanks for sharing! I now have a dozen cooking inspired ideas just from the photos!!

  11. Alanna says

    Chipotle Vegenaise?? PLEASE tell me that is real! I googled and couldn’t find anything. I need that in my life.

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