MBD had the privilege of virtually attending Natural Products Expo East 2021! We missed seeing many of our clients, trying tasty samples, and experiencing the vibrant energy of being on the show floor; however, we were very impressed with the virtual experience that New Hope provided.

In a record year, US natural and organic products industry sales grew 12.7% to $259B in 2020. Consumers started shopping for more health-oriented products when COVID hit, and this trend is still going strong. COVID-influenced sales growth in N&O is expected to continue over the next 3 years. We were excited to learn from SPINS Research that natural outpaced conventional growth in early pandemic days and it continues to grow over a year later. At MBD, we are passionate about this industry and excited to hear about the growth in this category.

Through the daily Expo East recaps from the show floor, we felt like we were right there, trying new products and learning about the hottest new trends. Sleep and relaxation aids are quite popular right now, especially among millennials. CBD is still a hot trend – including the CBD sparkling water at the show!

Plant based everything – another growing trend that we continue to hear about! It seems that each year there is more innovation in this category. This year we even saw plant-based shawarma and plant based bacon. Consumers are interested in products that are both good for their health as well as good for the world!

As far as other diets go, KETO is still the most prominent diet trend and we are seeing many products geared toward KETO consumers. Because of KETO, we noticed a lot of products that are highlighting no sugar and low carb. We saw plenty of grain free cookies and bars!

And for one of the most interesting products at the show…Ritual came out with a Zero Proof Booze. They have whisky, tequila, vodka, etc. but with no alcohol in it. You can use their products in mocktails and experience the taste without the alcohol or the calories! It seems some consumers are perhaps trying to cut down on alcohol consumption post-quarantine.

The show was inspiring overall – a definite reminder that regardless of dietary preferences, consumers are seeking brands that take social and political stances. We all want to invest in causes greater than ourselves. And retailers were reminded to be shopper-centric, and to ensure that every single aisle reflects all customers! Thanks to all involved for making it a great event!