At this year's Natural Products Expo West, the biggest expo and conference in the natural products industry, Delicious Living editors helped pick the best new natural products in 19 categories to win New Hope Network's NEXTY Awards, which honor the most innovative and inspiring products in the industry.
More than 500 natural and organic products were nominated! We diligently whittled down the nominees to three finalists in each category until we arrived at the products that we believed best represented "what's next" in the industry and will help shape a healthy future. From there, our team of judges tasted, scrutinized and debated the products to choose the winners.
Congratulations to our 19 winners, who were bestowed with their awards at Expo West this past Saturday, March 12. Keep a look out for these products at your local natural products store. We know you'll love them!
(To see all of the outstanding nominees, click here.)
Pouch packages are hugely popular—but they’re not recyclable, meaning they go straight to the landfill. Alter Eco has taken a step in the right direction by making one from compostable materials. The patent-pending packaging is made from birch and eucalyptus wood pulp, non-GMO corn and non-toxic ink.
These wild-caught Ocean-Bright Coho Salmon Bites offer a fresh (and fresh-tasting) take on jerky. The small and chewy shreds satisfy a snack attack or two, as the package reseals for later. They could just as easily add flavor to rice, salads or other dishes to boost protein. Sustainably caught in the glacial waters of Alaska, Dear North’s Coho Salmon is infused with decisively Alaskan flavors such as fireweed honey, rhubarb and raspberries, sea kelp and spruce.
Dear North focuses on sustainability and traceability, including following the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute’s Traceability Standard. But it is Dear North’s local economy focus that impresses. Alaskan natives own the company and focus on building skills, jobs and a future for their people.
EatPops puts the juicing trend on a stick. Developed by law student Sophie Milrom, EatPops makes fresh juices more accessible to the masses because of the extended shelf life and lower cost of freezing the nutritious juices. We loved this better-for-you frozen dessert, which comes in flavors like Green Detox (featuring kale, spinach, apple, pineapple, lemon, ginger and cayenne), or Activate (with beet, apple and carrot). We also love the simple packaging that displays the ingredients right on the front of the box.
This functional liquid treat—sold in dehydrated form—couldn’t be simpler or more appealing. Beef bone broth, parsley, pumpkin and turmeric extract combine with warm water to make a tasty, nourishing drink that you can offer on its own, or pour over kibble for extra moisture. The turmeric isn’t just added spice, either: With 95 percent curcuminoids, it’s potent enough to pack a welcome anti-inflammatory punch.
New to EPIC’s line of animal fats is cage-free duck fat—a versatile, flavorful cooking fat that’s stable at high temperatures and rich in saturated and monounsaturated fats. In addition to making an ingredient used often in commercial kitchens more accessible to everyday consumers, it also demonstrates EPIC’s noteworthy nose-to-tail commitment of using and appreciating all parts of an animal, thus minimizing waste.
This once-daily blend of potent herbal extracts and plant-sourced vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, calcium and vitamin D3 helps women maintain the foundations of optimal vitality. Four unique herbal combinations—inflammatory response, immune support, stress management and women’s health—deliver support in key areas of wellness. The Gaia “Meet Your Herbs” program allows consumers to find out everything about the plant, from where it was grown to lab tests validating its authenticity.
These little chocolates are remarkable in their simplicity (all flavors contain four or fewer ingredients) but offer a creamy bite of goodness owing to their high-quality, organic and sustainably-farmed ingredients. Those ingredients (like 100 percent cocoa and organic raw white honey) are produced by a cooperative of hundreds of organic farms in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains and throughout northern and central India.
The company works to preserve the traditional lifestyle of these small family-owned farms that work according to ancient, natural methods that preserve the rich fertile soil and ensure the maximum health-promoting qualities of the food they produce. Plus, they use raw honey to ensure that all the delicate enzymes and health-promoting qualities are preserved.
You've had cashews, but have you had wrapped cashews? Karma’s new product delivers tasty, salty cashews that are wrapped in their tawny-brown natural skin. The result is a robust, fiber-boosted snack that satiates. Our chronic cashew-overeating testers said just a handful of these interesting nuts quelled their 3 p.m. hunger pangs. Plus, Karma says the skins are chock-full of antioxidants, which makes the cashews more nutritious, too.
Gaia Herbs is a true leader in transparency. Many of the herbs it sells are grown on its own farms. The supply chain on every other product is entirely transparent, too, but maca is a special product with special challenges. Since its popularity has exploded, brokers have begun cutting corners; maca grown in China is often passed off as maca from the plant’s original growing areas in South America. With so much confusion in the maca trade, Gaia’s transparency and unassailable reputation are a boon not just for you, but for the whole herbs and botanicals community.
This company doesn’t lie when it says this is the first non-dairy butter that rivals the finest European cultured butter. One judge proclaimed that this rich, melt-in-your-mouth alternative was "to die for!" Inspired by the desire to create a realistic butter substitute without palm oil (which leads to deforestation of rain forests), Miyoko’s Kitchen uses organic coconut oil and cashews, and a process using traditional cultures, creating a sustainable product that is kinder for the planet, health and animals.
The idea of bacteria as friend rather than a foe is hot in the health community, with more food and supplement companies using prebiotics and probiotics to address our microbiomes and support overall wellness. But Mother Dirt is the first beauty brand of its kind to look at the skin biome and the important role bacteria may play in combating our overly “clean” approach to skin care. Kudos to a company investing in research (AOBiome is the name of its research partner) and helping us rethink healthy skin in a way that connects to macro industry forces.
Essential oils have made their way to the kids’ category with a therapeutic twist, introducing a natural way to treat stuffy noses, coughs, poor sleep or itchy skin. The concentrated blends of 100 percent pure essential oils are formulated and safely diluted for little ones and they’re delivered in an easy-to-apply, mess-free roll-on applicator.
Restless nights? Moms can soothe their child’s sleeplessness with a blend of lavender, bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, jojoba and castor oils that are free of dyes, fragrances, sulfates, parabens and mineral oils. The oils are rubbed into the skin and inhaled through the senses for multiple pathways into the body.
Moms-to-be who are tired of swallowing horse pills will no doubt jump at the opportunity to take their prenatals using Premama’s dissolvable drink packets, which blend seamlessly with water, beverages and soft foods. The Fertility Reproductive Support SKU is formulated with myo-inositol for healthy ovulatory function and egg quality, along with folic acid to support prenatal health. Premama keeps their drink mixes gluten free, non-GMO and vegetarian, with formulations for every step of the pregnancy journey—from preconception to postpartum.
DDW, The Color House brings new possibilities to product formulators in search of a non-GMO vibrant red color with its new Purple Corn Color Concentrate. With a neutral flavor and a novel color, Purple Corn Concentrate is gently produced without the use of solvents. Domestically grown using traditional practices and controlled from seed to sale, DDW’s supply chain is abundant, transparent and vertically integrated.
Anybody following natural products and nutrition knows that turmeric is a blockbuster, showing up in foods and supplements and offering countless benefits. With such ubiquity focused on the utility, it’s nice to see it in a product that’s so delicious. Add in ginger, an ingredient that’s being increasingly recognized for new health benefits, and you have a product that could make you feel as good as it tastes.
Sherpa Power's trio of teas feature Nepalese green or black tea sweetened with yacon—a high mountain tuber cooked down into a low-glycemic syrup—and boosted with the ayurvedic herbs amla and ashwagandha. Sherpa Power hits key trends in the beverage category, such as ancient wisdom, use of whole leaf brewed tea, alternative sweeteners and adaptogenic herbs, but it's also driven by a worthy mission: Sherpa supports a Nepalese women’s group and local sustainable farming co-ops.
Back to the Roots awakens the sleepy cereal category with an ultra-clean product made with just three USDA Organic ingredients: locally grown corn, cane sugar and sea salt. Our judges loved how BTTR is dedicated to educating kids on the importance of knowing where food comes from and eating simply. The brand accomplishes this by including playful sourcing information on the back of package, and even a recipe to make the flakes in your home kitchen. The lesson: Eating well doesn’t have to be hard.
The Back to the Roots Water Garden is a tiny, educational (and functional!) aquaponics system. Just add water, fish (and fish food) and let the symbiosis begin as the fish poop feeds the plants above. The harvests are small—no protein harvest from this aquaponics system—but educational opportunities are big.
Whole food, sustainable and bioenergetic (roughly, the chi of food) supplements are quite the winning combination. Many of the nutrients are grown on Natural Factors’ certified organic farms, then gently processed. The Whole Earth & Sea line includes age- and gender-specific multis, protein bars, aquaceuticals, mushrooms and more. The Star Trek crew wishes it had food delivered like this.
#NEXTY winners! The best new natural products at #ExpoWest 2016 (via @deliciousliving)
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