The Vanilla From Tahiti team recently traveled to Anaheim, California to attend the largest expo in the natural food and beverage industry, Natural Products Expo West. Each year, this show gives us a chance to showcase the properties of our Tahitian vanilla extract to chocolatiers, gelato makers, pastry chefs, passionate cooks and natural food vendors who understand and appreciate the nuances that subtle flavors and delicate spices bring to their foods.
The 2013 EXPO WEST event had record numbers of both exhibitors and attendees this year, drawing more than 63,000 industry members and 2,428 exhibiting companies at the Anaheim Convention Center, March 7-10, 2013 in Anaheim, CA.
We embrace Expo West as our perfect opportunity to shine in front of thousands of like-minded brands, members of the press, distributors, and retail buyers. It is a place where connections are made, partnerships are forged, and brands are launched.
Trends prominent at Natural Products Expo West included gluten- and allergen-free products, sprouted foods, healthy snacks, non-dairy alternatives, vegan and paleo offerings, and healthier, cleaner kids' products.
As we walked around the show and sampled our neighbor’s products, a conversation we kept hearing at the event was the Whole Foods Market announcement that by 2018 all products in their stores must be labeled to indicate whether they contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs).
There were so many amazing products at the event. Deciding upon which ones to list in our review was not an easy task. Below are a few products that really stood out to us at the event as remarkable in one way or another.
DF Mavens Dairy Free Ice Cream - DF Mavens Dairy Free Ice Cream, the is a delicious, healthy, non dairy ice cream. NewHope360 named DF Mavens one of T H E Top 5 most delicious and innovative products at Natural Products Expo West 2013. The market for dairy-free products has grown enormously over the last decade, as customers who are health-minded, allergy-restricted and/or lactose-intolerant search for desserts they can eat and enjoy. Check them out on Facebook.
One Degree Organic Foods - this company is redefining "organic", they are taking natural food to a whole different level. This is a family-owned company dedicated to producing simple, sustainable and transparent foods. They won the Nexty Award, a title bestowed annually upon new products that best represent the future of healthy, natural food. Check them out on Facebook.
La Panzanella® - They get our vote for the most tasty healthy crackers at the event. La Panzanella®, known for its hearty peasant bread and homey cafe, quickly grew into one of the most popular bakeries in Seattle's Capital Hill area. Although the master bakers at La Panzanella® created all kinds of artisanal breads, their greatest success came in 1997, with the creation of the first Croccantini® cracker. Uniquely crunchy and delicious, Croccantini® (or "Crunchy Little Bite" in Italian) crackers soon became La Panzanella's® most popular product. Check them out on Facebook.
Sweet Loren's - These ready-to-bake cookies and brownies use whole grains and cut artificial ingredients. We absolutely loved these cookies! They were delicious, and it is amazing how they can make something so healthy taste so good! Check them out on Facebook.
Pacari Chocolate is a line of premium organic chocolate, and the first single-origin organic chocolate made in entirely in Ecuador. They carefully select the finest ingredients and work in small batches in order to bring you an unforgettable chocolate experience. For all you discerning chocolate lovers out there, Pacari is known for developing a rare and complex flavor profile based on the Arriba Nacionalcacao bean. One of a kind! Become one of their 17,000 Facebook Followers here.
Dave’s Midnight Bakery uses only Fair Trade Certified Organic Chocolate. Why is this so important? Because thousands of children are forced to labor in the production of cocoa, chocolate’s primary ingredient. Dave’s Midnight Bakery is committed to helping put an end this atrocity. To learn more about what you can do to help click here Check Dave out on his Facebook Page.
Sjaak's Organic Chocolates aims to create the highest quality gourmet organic chocolates possible while simultaneously supporting a positive work environment, fair trade practices and encouraging sustainable agriculture through the use of organic, non-GMO ingredients. It is also the goal of Sjaak's Organic Chocolates to build a socially responsible, profitable business that can be carried on for generations to come. They are on Facebook = follow them for specials.
Love With Food is the easiest way to discover what's tasty, delivered to your door! Every month, Love With Food members receive a curated box of unique, hard-to-find tasty bites which varies based on seasonal themes. Say goodbye to boring grocery selections and HELLO to a monthly tasty surprise! We admire that they are helping the more than 16 million children in America who are at risk of hunger. For every box sold, they donate a meal to several food banks such as the Feeding America Network and Share Our Strength - No Kid Hungry. Like them on Facebook.
Silver Hills Bakery has two simple goals: bake wholesome, great tasting bread and inspire healthier living through healthier choices. Silver Hills breads and bagels are loaded with fiber, protein and fantastic flavor. They use pure, natural ingredients and keep out anything they can’t pronounce. Like them on Facebook.
Back at our table, attendees seemed genuinely excited about our 100% Tahitian Vanilla extract. Surprisingly, they were particularly interested in the allergen-free aspects of our Vanilla products. This seemed to be a recurring talking point at our table. Based on the feedback that we received, we think our presence will make people think twice about using artificial vanilla products containing allergens.
The Medaille D'Or Award we received for our Tahitian vanilla beans in 2012 was another buzz-worthy topic at our table. We were pleasantly surprised to learn the large number of people familiar with the Medaille D'Or Award or "Gold Medal CGA Paris" (Concours General Agricole) at the show.
Tahitian vanilla products continue to be a hot topic in celebrity food circles, chocolatiers, gelato makers, pastry chefs, and discerning cooks. Our drive for excellence in vanilla bean products continues to expand year after year. We are so grateful to everyone for helping make us a success story.
Everyone on our team felt the show was a success given the great education and new connections made at the event. We are planning on exhibiting at the 2014 EXPO WEST event and hope to see some old faces there from the year prior.
That wraps up our summary of Natural Products Expo West 2013. As always, we’ll be sure to keep our loyal foodies informed with our latest news and moves with the business. Thank you for your support!
About Vanilla From Tahiti: Known as the premier source for vanilla bean powder, Tahitian vanilla extract, and Tahitian vanilla coffee made from the finest Tahitian vanilla beans, Vanilla From Tahiti is represented in the U.S. by NUI Enterprises, 501 Chapala Street, Suite A in Santa Barbara, CA. Further information may be found by visiting the website at www.vanillafromtahiti.com, calling 805-965-5153, or following the company on Facebook.