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Expo West 2024 to Address Plant-Based, Personalized Nutrition and More

The annual Natural Products Expo West 2024 event, set to be held next week in Anaheim, California starting March 12, serves as the leading trade show for the natural, organic, and healthy products industry.

And this year’s event is expected to unveil groundbreaking innovations in food and beverages. Here’s a look at what attendees can expect to see:

Plant-Based Evolution Takes Center Stage

Plant-based alternatives remain a closely scrutinized segment of the industry. NielsenIQ’s recent Plant-Based Foods Report (January 2024) indicated that 40% of U.S. consumers are actively reducing their meat intake, creating a fertile ground for new plant-based options.

At Expo West, Impossible Foods is expected to showcase its newest plant-based chicken product. Additionally, companies like Beyond Meat and MycoTechnology will highlight their innovative solutions in pea protein and mushroom-based protein sources, respectively.

The Expo West 2024 agenda and vendor booth list can be found by clicking here.

Tailoring Products to Individual Needs

The rise of functional foods and beverages offering health benefits beyond basic nutrition is another significant trend. A recent report by Food Business News predicted that the functional food and beverage market will reach a staggering $1.4 trillion by 2027.

Expo West is expected to be a platform for showcasing a variety of functional food and beverage innovation. An educational section titled ” Exploring Prebiotics, Probiotics, and Postbiotics” will explore the future of gut health. Cargill’s booth will showcase its new line of nutrient-fortified plant-based milks.

Expo West will showcase innovation in gut-health drinks, in addition to immunity-supporting beverages, plus options promoting energy and focus with natural ingredients like L-theanine.

Technological Advancements

A recent study by the World Economic Forum highlighted the potential of artificial intelligence in optimizing food production and reducing waste. It stands to reason, of course, that Expo West will showcase various tech advancements that are propelling the industry forward.

Event attendees could take in a panel discussion titled “AI in Food: Revolutionizing Production, Packaging, and Consumer Experience,” for example. Another must-see workshop will be “Blockchain for Food Transparency,” led by IBM Food Trust.

Chowbotics’ booth will showcase intriguing innovation, as well – in the form of its robotic salad-making tech.

Sustainable Solutions

Consumer interest in sustainable food production and consumption is at an all-time high. According to a recent survey by The Hartman Group, 72% of consumers are willing to pay more for sustainable products.

As a result, at Expo West attendees can take in panels like “Regenerative Agriculture: The Future of Food Production,” featuring experts from Patagonia Provisions and Rodale Institute. Additionally, the “Food Waste Reduction Solutions Showcase” will feature companies like Apeel Sciences and Too Good To Go, showcasing their innovative solutions to minimize food waste.

Upcycled ingredients are gaining traction, too, and ReGrained will be showcasing their upcycled snack bars made from brewers’ spent grain at their booth.

Celebrating Women in CPG

In a historic first, Expo West 2024 will coincide with the launch of The Well, a new professional network dedicated to supporting women in the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) industry. This initiative, coinciding with Women’s History Month, and co-founded by Brian Choi, CEO of The Food Institute, celebrates the contributions of female leaders and fosters a network for collaboration and growth.

You can learn more about this event, featuring Rachel Larsen and Ozlem Akturk, creators of The Tiny Chef Show on Nickelodeon, along with special guests, here.

Ultimately, Expo West 2024 will offer a glimpse into the future of food and beverages, as the industry gathers to share ideas and push boundaries.

Editor’s note: Ivonne Kinser serves as the innovation advisor at The Food Institute. Kinser previously served as the head of marketing and innovation for Avocados From Mexico for nearly a decade, and in 2023 founded Vantage Creative, a marketing innovation lab.

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