WHERE DO I EVEN BEGIN!? I thought I had an idea of what this could be like, but boy was I wrong. This thing was HUUUUUUGE! Let me paint you a picture: over 1.5k brands brands exhibited and over 29k people attended! MIND. BLOWN. MUCH? Apparently this isn’t even comparable in size to Expo West (LORD HAVE MERCY)!
Okay, but for real, I’m still a bit “Expo” hungover and missing it! Yes, you read right, missing it! It was so much fun meeting new brands, putting faces to names for brands I’ve worked with or converse with on social AND it was so fun attending the expo with some of my favourite influencers in the natural beauty/lifestyle/wellness space!
Speaking of which, New Hope Network put together the most amazing little Influencer Summit day and it was so good. Motivational speaking and awesome panels that ranged from evolving with your brand, knowing what a brand wants and looks for, diversity and inclusion and so much more! There was a tasty lunch, lots of learning and meeting other awesome people in the biz. It was such a fun day! Here are some photos from it!
I’m pretty sure I walked miles upon miles–I have a blister on my foot to prove it (I’ll spare you photos though haha)! I talked so much that I thought I was getting sick cus my throat was hurting and sore. I literally went to bed one night and was like, why do I feel like I have a cold coming on or something? Thankfully, no cold and I curbed any further sore throat with a lot of immunity boosting products such as Elderberry Syrup, wellness tinctures and herbal supplements etc. Most of them coming from Expo East itself!
But enough about me, you came here to hear/see all about Expo East!
WHAT IS NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO?
If you’re not familiar with Natural Products Expo East, it happens once a year and as I mentioned above, there’s one on the west coast, and then one here on the east coast! This is a place for natural product brands/companies display their full line of products (newcomers and best-sellers), ingredients, connect with press (influencers such as myself for example), retailers, and buyers. There are also sessions and educational classes for brands/buyers/press. This year, New Hope Network put together an incredible day for influencers called the Influencer Summit! It was awesome. We had lunch served in a super cool room (see pic below! It was such a vibe, very boho chic!), we listened to a great lineup of speakers and entrepreneurs on panels and then we were able to all connect with one another. I LOVED IT and discovered some amazing women and men in the natural/wellness space!
WHAT DID YOU FIND AT NATURAL PRODUCTS EXPO?
I’m so stoked to be able to share my favourite finds from some amazing brands (new and old) and more! You ready? (I don’t know if you are…there is A LOT!)
Okay, so as you can imagine, there were A LOT of CBD products. That was definitely a big trend, heck it’s a big trend everywhere now! I’m glad, just overwhelmed sometimes haha! I mean, there was a whole Hemp Pavillion! YES, that existed and it was massive. I won’t really be delving into that much because I have CBD products and brands I use and love. So, I wasn’t really interested that much in this area! (Side-note, be on the lookout soon for a favourite CBD products blog post!) I will say though, I got some great CBD Tinctures from a brand called RA Hemp and I’m really diggin’ their Sativa Tincture! I’ll most likely add it to my future CBD post soon!
Holy moly there were A LOT of beverage companies! Some familiar faces, such as Brew Dr. Kombuchas and my personal favourite, Wild Tonic Jun Kombuchas! If you didn’t know, Wild Tonic now has hard kombuchas that are TO DIE FOR TASTY. Dannnngerous!
Some new and exciting finds for me in the beverage department were a sparkling maple water/soda brand from Vermont by the name of Sap! and then a tea company from Canada called OTEAS!
Sap!‘s products are plant-based superfood sparkling beverages made from 100% pure maple and birch sap straight from the forests of Vermont. I mean, did you think this Canadian could miss a maple water drink? Haha! HEART EYES! They sustainably harvest the sap to create their nutrient-rich, antioxidant-packed products that help boost immunity, fight fatigue and inflammation, and detoxify the body. MORE HEART EYES. Super stoked about them!
OTEAS is committed to using high quality, organic (bio) hand blended ingredients, and 100% plant based packaging. They are 100% plastic free, biodegradable and a true zero waste consumer product. AND THEIR TEAS TASTE AMAZING! Be on the lookout for the new tea boxes (photo to the bottom right) coming very soon!
Oof, here’s a big one! SO many amazing wellness brands. Here are a couple that stood out to me!
FLORA Health! You may know them for their bestseller Floradix Iron + Herbs Liquid Supplement, but daaaang Flora has some amazing ACV Tonics! I was especially impressed with the Turmeric + Cinnamon one! Though all of them were delicious!
Bucklebury! Such a cool company that create all-natural supplements for your cough, cold, and other ailments. They’re passionate herbalists dedicated to helping others feel healthy (and get better)! Their Soothing Syrups (one’s got Brandy in it, the other is alcohol-free) were delicious with Raw Honey as the feature ingredient! They also have Soothing Silver Lozenges that provide throat, oral, and immune support and contain triple strength alkaline structured Silver 30ppm! AMAZING!
Roots & Leaves! FOUR WORDS: Elderberry & Honey Tonic. OH MY GOSH, this elderberry syrup is bomb! Organic ingredients, lots of roots (surprise lol) and herbs! Very unique, VERY good. Super stoked to know they’re in SC, so close-by! Yipeeeeee! (Sorry, not sorry.)
There were some awesome sustainable home/lifestyle brands there that are plastic-free and eco-friendly! Here were a few faves!
JOCO Cups! Totally new to me, I couldn’t believe how amazing their cups were/are! They’re 100% plastic-free, right down to the lids on their flasks which are sustainably sourced wood and silicone. OBSESSED.
Klean Kanteen! Definitely not new to me, but totally a fave! They boast completely plastic-free, steel cups, bottles, straws and more! They’re a family-owned company on a mission who introduced the first stainless steel, BPA-free, reusable water bottle in 2004 because they wanted a non-toxic solution to single-use plastic water bottles. BRAVO for paving the way!
Patch Strips! I had seen them before when I visit The Package Free shop in Brooklyn, NY, so I was stoked to see them at Expo East! They’re the only eco-friendly bandages that completely biodegrade! You don’t even have to ask me twice. They had a really cool display about how fast these biodegrade…and I got a photo with their Panda mascot. So, there’s that.
Saalt Co! THESE MENSTRUAL CUPS HAVE CHANGED MY LIFE! Haha, that’s quite the statement coming from someone, who two years ago, thought it was gnarly. No more waste with tampons or pads! This silicone cup was the first time I ever started using a period cup and I got the hang of it (*snaps*) like that! There’s definitely still a learning curve, but I PROMISE…if I can do it, you can too! They also now offer a softer sensitive version of their original cup and it’s SO great.
Okay, here’s where Expo East really shines! ALL THE FOOOOOODS! From veggie burgers to grass-fed ghee, natural fruit rolls, cookies and more…HERE WE GO!
Pure Batch! They’re a super new brand that’s expanding and gosh am I ever looking forward to it! They have this one cookie, Almond Pignoli that is one of the first gf cookies I’ve tried that reminded me of my nonna’s (grandma’s) Italian cookies growing up! Pure Batch crafts treats that are vegan, grain-free, low sugar and super nutritious. I AM SO HERE FOR IT.
Van Leeuwen‘s! Oh boy, oh boy! Some of my favourite ice-cream to get when I’m in NYC! I remember the first time I had their vegan ice-cream with their vegan fudge sauce. It was love at first taste! I specifically searched for their booth after they reached out through e-mail to let me know they had some new rad flavours comin’ out! Along with one that’s vegan and gluten-free (yeah, you’re welcome.), so keep your eyes peeled! ;)
Unbun Foods! OMG. GLUTEN-FREE BREAD THAT IS SO GOOD. I’m just gonna leave these photos here of the ingredients. AND THEY ARE CANADIAN. ‘Nuff said. Good, good stuff.
Miyoko’s, my love for you knows no bounds! See that plate of vegan cheese? That’s a new product comin’ soon and OH MY LAWD. Who needs real cheese when you have Miyoko’s? But really, they’re my favourite butter, and cheese, dairy-free alternative.
No Bull (veggie burger) is CHANGING the game when it comes to veggie burgers. Usually it’s hard (especially for me) to find a veggie burger that 1. tastes good, 2. is gluten-free and 3. has good ingredients! No Bull covers all those bases for me, AND they have some incredibly delicious variations of their burgers: Savory Mushroom, Madras Curry, Spicy Italian, Sun-Dried Tomato and Original. ALL. SO. GOOD.
Hu Kitchen! You KNOW I couldn’t cover Expo East without a long stop at my pals Hu Kitchen! BEST. CHOCOLATE. EVER. Best products ever, to be honest. Everything they make is my favourite! If you don’t know about their chocolates, I’d be RUNNING to your nearest Whole Foods, or check their locations online cus your life’s about to be changed. Annnnnd surprise, new goodies coming soon too from them! (They’re B O M B!)
Brodo! I just LOVE this Bone Broth company! They make incredible bone broth “lattes”, basically they add amazing organic ingredients into the organic bone broth base and then blend it up real good! The result is this almost creamy/frothy like bone broth. If you don’t know why bone broth is so amazing for us, you can read it here! (They also make a vegan/vegetarian broth!) Their broths are seriously UNREAL. There’s nothing like it, and I wish I lived in NYC so I could wake up and have a bone broth latte from them every morning. A girl can dream…
I know, this is a lot…so I’ll leave you with more photos of more amazing brands that we all either know and love or I’ve just discovered and dug their vibe/products/ingredients! AND a photo of my some of my favourite gals/friends (credit to @chooseloveart‘s husband @bumpgoose for the shot!)
Natural Products Expo is not for the faint of heart, and I seriously loved every minute of it! I look forward to 2020 and all the natural products that will come with it when Nat. Product Expo hits Philly next year! Thanks again to New Hope Network for allowing me to experience this amazing expo and have the opportunity to grow and learn! See you in Philly, 2020 Expo East!!
This trip was sponsored. As always, these are companies I personally believe in and support. **These photos are not open for free distribution or for repurposing without my pre-approval/permission. Thank you!**