In mid-March, the 2012 edition of Natural Products Expo West played host to the latest products from natural and organic manufacturers. The show has served as the launchpad for numerous trends over the years, from gluten-free, natural and organic, to this year’s efforts at promoting non-GMO foods and sprouted grains. Below are some of the highlights from the 2012 Natural Products Expo West, which again saw a sizable number of gluten-free introductions, as well as a number of notable introductions focusing on other trends.



Amy’s Kitchen added several frozen entrees, including a Gluten-Free Tofu Scramble Breakfast Wrap, Gluten-Free Indian Aloo Mattar Wrap, Gluten-Free Teriyaki Wrap, Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Vegetable Lasagna, and Gluten-Free Sandwich Rounds.

Divine Organics expanded its coconut-based products and introduced a new familyof “butters,” including Butter Coconut (a nut and coconut blend), Nutra-tella (pine nuts meet coconuts), Cashew Butter with Mulberries, and Pistachio Mulberry Halva .

Dr. Praeger’s All-Natural Froat Bars merge fruit and oats and markin the company’s first breakfast category foray. The bars are made withoats, crisp rice, and honey, but also feature chia seeds, flax seeds, dark chocolate, green tea and berries.

Earth Balance says rich coconut oil and a touch of sweet agave nectar giveits new Coconut & Peanut Spread peanut butter a creamy, frosting-like upgrade. It’s available in creamy and crunchy varieties.

Building on its snacks launched at the 2011 Expo West, Enjoy Life Foods came backwith Plentils, a lentil-based chip available in four flavors: Light Sea Salt, Margherita Pizza, Garlic & Parmesan, and Dill & Sour Cream. As with all Enjoy Life products, they are made in the company’s dedicated nut- and certified gluten-free facility and are free of the top eight allergens, including eggs, fish, milk, peanuts, soy, shellfish, tree nuts and wheat

Follow Your Heart extendedits Vegenaise condiments and spreads line withfour new Gourmet Vegenaise flavors: barbecue, roasted garlic, chipotle, and pesto.

Hilary’s Eat Well Veggie Burgers are made without gluten or soy and utilize a combination of quinoa, millet and sweet potato. Two new varieties are Adzuki Bean and Regular Veggie.

Larabar released über, a line of sweet and salty food bars made with fruits, nuts and sweeteners  such asbrown rice syrup and honey. These barsare gluten-free, non-GMO, and made without soy and dairy.

Pamela's Products introduced severalgluten-free products including anArtisan Flour Blend, Biscuit & Scone Mix, Oatmeal Cookie Mix, Pizza Crust Mix, and Sugar Cookie Roll & Cut Mix.

Qrunch Quinoa Burgers are free of gluten, dairy, nuts, soy, eggs and corn. They are, in fact, millet- and quinoa-based burgers.

New Rice Bliss Creamy Brown Rice comesin three varieties -- corn, sweet peas, and cocoa. It is a kettle-cooked brown rice porridge to be enjoyed hot or cold. The company uses natural and organic ingredients that are gluten-free, non-GMO and dairy-free.

So Delicious added several almond-based, dairy-free ice cream offerings. The ice creams are available in five flavors (vanilla, butter pecan, cherry amaretto, chocolate, and mocha almond fudge), and the line’s chocolate-covered ice cream bars can be found in vanilla and mocha almond fudge. The company also introduced Almond Plus Milk, which promises an extra boost of protein and comesin two flavors: original and vanilla.

Turbana Corp. said newTurbana Plantain Chips are a high-fiber, potassium-rich alternative to ordinary potato chips. They also arelower in fat, and virtually allergen-free with just a few non-GMO ingredients.

Udi’s Gluten Free Foods made its name in bread and bakery items. Now, however, thecompany is entering new territories with vanilla cupcakes, French dinner rolls, whole grain seeded dinner rolls (including chia, sunflower and flax seeds), muffin tops (blueberry oat and chocolate chip varieties) and frozen pizza (with flavors including pepperoni, margherita and three-cheese).

Ziggy Marley’s Coco’Mon Flavored Coconut Oils are USDA-certified organic coconut oils that arecold-pressed, unrefined and non-deodorized.  Four new flavors are Lemon Ginger, Curry, Orange Almond, and Original. Each oil iscertified kosher parve and dairy-free, gluten-free and vegan. The company also launched a line of seasoned hempseeds, available in Caribbean Crunch and Sea Salt & Pepper, certified organic with none of the top allergens.

Wild Squirrel’s new Flavored Nut Butters include such varieties as Chocolate Sun-Sation Almond Butter, Joyful Java Almond Butter, Curious Cocoa-Nut Peanut Butter, Pretzel Pizazz Peanut Butter, and Sneaky Cinnamon Peanut Butter.


NOW Foods’ new Cranberry Mannose + Probiotics drink mix power targets urinary tract health. It comes in packs of 24 sticks.

UAS Laboratories introduced DDS Plus 3, a product containing four probiotic strains, including the extensively researched Lactobacillus acidophilus DDS-1. Other probiotics in the new product include: Bifidobacterium longum, Bifidobacterium bifidum, and Bifidobacterium lactis. DDS Plus 3 also contains the prebiotic, fructooligosaccharide (FOS), that ensures the probiotics optimize their colonization in the GI tract.

Nancy’s Organic Probiotic Greek Yogurt claims to provide 26 billion live probiotic cultures per serving. The company saysstrains of probiotics included in this Greek yogurt have been shown to improve oral health by discouraging the growth of cariogenic bacteria; immune function and/or resistance to infection in infants and adults; antioxidant status, blood sugar control and lipid profiles in diabetics and pregnant women; gastrointestinal symptoms in patients living with irritable bowel syndrome; and neurocognitive function in adults with chronic fatigue syndrome.


Sprouted Grains
Proponents say sprouting can increase vitamin content and aid grain digestion, allowing the body to betterabsorb nutrients. Food for Life’s new Ezekiel 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Waffles are made from sprouted grains to maximize nutrition while retaining important natural fiber and bran.

Hain Celestial added sprouted grains to its productmix, but that was just a hint of this company’s Expo West efforts. Its Arrowhead Mills brand introduced two new cereals -- Organic Gluten Free Sprouted Corn Flakes made with sprouted corn, brown rice and sorghum;and Gluten Free Quinoa Rice & Shine Hot Cereal with a combination of quinoa flakes blended with organic brown rice grits.  Arrowhead Mills’ Sweet Potato Pancake & Waffle Mix featured organic sweet potato flour and a good source of Vitamin A, calcium, thiamin, riboflavin and phosphorus.

Hain’sEarth's Best Organic brand added Fruit & Grain Puree Pouches, each with 2g of fiber and made with organic fruit and whole grains to support a baby's well-being. The Pear Apricot Barley, Apple Peach Oatmeal, Banana Raspberry Brown Rice and Plum Apple Kamut varieties contain vitamins A, C, E and zinc. In Greek yogurt, Earth's Best added an Organic Greek Yogurt Smoothie in banana, cherry and apple flavors and fortified with vitamins C, D and calcium. 

Hain’s Health Valley Gluten Free Cafe lineadded three new soup additions: Beef Noodle, Vegetable Quinoa and Creamy Chicken Orzo, while Hain Celestial’s MaraNatha brand expanded its product offerings to include All Natural Coconut Butter, made from whole coconut pulp blended into a buttery texture. 

These were just a few products introduced at this year’s Natural Products Expo West  Prepared Foods will feature more in the magazine’s“Hitting the Shelves” and “Market Watch” columns.

 From the April 16, 2012, Prepared Foods E-dition.