The word “trend” is difficult. It implies not just what’s happening now – what trends are driving consumers and where they’re putting their money – but also what the market should be considering for the future of manufacturing, storage, marketing and more.
At New Hope Network, we believe that exploring the “why” behind trends is crucial. (Yes, we, too, have been guilty of the occasional trend-detection weakness over the years: spirulina lavender cricket bars, anyone?) The why, or “macro forces,” are most relevant to shaping the future of natural products and originated in We identify three paradigm-shifting “cultural forces” as “purpose-driven commerce,” “holistic health and well-being,” and “modern living.” Zoom in even further and within these macro forces there are more nuanced trends that show how the industry is innovating.
The In the Aisle section of the Expo East 2022 edition of Natural food retailer features expert analysis from the New Hope editors, providing in-depth commentary on 10 newer emerging trends and their market manifestations from Natural Products Expo East exhibitors. These trends give an insight into where the market is headed and which trends we believe will continue to shape it in the future. – Adrienne Smith
Competition is evolving into collaboration in the natural products industry, where new partnerships are fueled by a myriad of goals that drive innovation, increased brand awareness, shared values and missions, and more recently, sustainability goals.
The ability to reach new audiences through partnerships is an obvious benefit. A great example of this is the recent collaboration between 4505 Meats and Mexican spice brand Tajín, which is opening both brands to new audiences from different backgrounds. At the same time, the brands enhance each other through taste, recognition and bilingual marketing campaigns.
For brands that focus on greater sustainability, upcycling partnerships are a win-win-win. A new product is created for one brand, the other brand reduces or eliminates waste from leftover materials/products and the impact is positive for the environment.
In addition to partnering to reduce waste, brands are involved in a variety of initiatives that support farmers. One example is Gaia Herbs, which has partnered with Green Heffa Farms — a BIPOC organic farm owned by a BIPOC-certified B Corporation — to develop the Gaia Herbs Equity Partnership Program to help BIPOC farmers and herbalists.
Regenerative agriculture is another place where partnerships between brands and farmers are helping to make a measurable impact. Almond-heavy brands Simple Mills, Cappello’s and Daily Harvest recently announced a partnership with Treehouse California Almonds called The Almond Project. This farmer-led initiative was founded with the long-term goal of creating regenerative farming systems to make almond farming more sustainable. His five-year plan calls for converting 80 acres of farmland to regenerative agriculture while reducing financial risks for farmers.
These are just a few examples from the growing list of brands coming together to achieve common goals and create real solutions to sustainability challenges.
4505 Meat Chile Limón Chicharrones This collaboration with Tajín combines light and fluffy pork rinds made from sustainably sourced pork from small family farmers with the taste of hearty chili peppers and lime. MSRP: $4.99 As of 1956
Simple Mills Honey Cinnamon Seed and Nut Flour Sweet Thins Made from a blend of watermelon seeds, cashew, sunflower and flax flour and sweetened with coconut sugar, this product is in line with the brand’s goal of improving soil health and protecting biodiversity. MSRP: $5.39 Stand: 2606
LesserEvil and Beef Snacks Organic Cherry Lime Popcorn For this inventive upcycled popcorn collaboration, LesserEvil’s USDA organic popcorn is tossed in upcycled coconut oil and powdered cherry and lime fruit from Rind Snacks. MSRP: $6.00/2-pack Stands: 4183 and 1810