Natural Products Expo West 2018 was this past week, and Mercer was there to sample our new products, Truth in Snacks and AquaFruit. Every year, Expo West brings together the best in organic and natural foods, and 2018 was no different!

Between the exhibitors, guest speakers, and attendees, the convention was full of energy and optimism about the future of natural food in the United States. Here are our six key takeaways to keep in mind through the rest of 2018.

1. Probiotics

Gut health is always important, but this year we saw a rise in the variety of probiotic products offered at Expo West. Probiotics are live bacteria and yeasts that are beneficial for the digestive system. Whether they’re in the form of supplements, yogurt, or kombucha, more probiotic products are available now than ever before. Give them a try, and reap the digestive benefits.

2. Plant-based proteins

Just like in 2017, the plant-based protein market is continuing to grow. As vegan and vegetarian diets gain popularity, people are looking for alternative sources of protein and nutrition. At Expo West, plant-based proteins from beans and vegetables were a major focus for many brands, reflecting the increasing popularity of non-meat diets.

3. New flavor profiles

Every year, new flavors take Expo West by storm. For 2018, it was all about ginger and spice! Consumers have many choices, so brands looking to differentiate themselves should strive for unique and exciting flavor profiles. Keep an eye out for ginger flavored products, and consider experimenting with new flavors in your own offerings.

4. Gluten-free

The gluten-free trend has been big for a while, and that’s not changing any time soon! While Mercer’s products are gluten-free, we’re definitely not alone out there. Many brands at Expo West were going grain-free and steering away from classic foods like bread, so keep an eye out for even more gluten-free options that taste like their yeasty counterparts in 2018.

5. Bright packaging

Bright colors were grabbing attention everywhere at Expo West! Eye-catching packaging, including that of Truth in Snacks and AquaFruit, made up a sea of color at the convention. Muted colors and understated designs are out. If you haven’t jumped on the bright color trend, it may be time to consider redesigning your packaging so your product jumps off the shelf at the next generation.

6. Organic baked goods

Organic products have never been more popular, and that includes baked goods. With more focus being put on transparency and sustainability, customers want products they can trust. Organic baked goods are the next iteration of that.  

Mercer Foods is committed to keeping you informed about the latest trends in the food industry. If you’re looking for more information about Mercer Foods and our commitment to innovation, get in touch with us on Twitter or Facebook, or use our contact form.