Natural Products Expo West 2016: Healthiest Place on Earth

From “supply to shelf,” natural products are making an impact with mainstream consumers. At the 2016 Natural Products Expo West, hoards of visitors headed over to the Anaheim Convention Center for a 3-day epic event. Located across the street from Disneyland, 77,000 attendees packed the Convention Center to experience this edible extravaganza.

Representatives from 7 innovative natural food companies were asked these 2 questions:

  1. What makes your products healthy?
  2. What are some creative uses or pairing ideas for your products?

Quite a Spread with Barney Butter

Dawn Kelley, CEO and CCO (Chief Creative Officer) of Barney Butter took a gamble when she left her lucrative technology job. With her prior career wagering on horse racing, Dawn made a promise to herself to find a new career that would leave the world a better place. That path led her and her husband, Steve to Fresno, CA where they invested in a new almond butter company called Barney Butter.

Health Benefits:

  • It is the only almond butter company to remove almond skins. The skins have phytic acid which blocks absorption of valuable vitamins. By removing the skins, it eliminates the bitterness and has a sweeter taste.
  • Their almond butter is full of micronutrients such as zinc, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamin E.
  • The products are self-manufactured in a certified peanut-free facility.

Suggested or Creative Uses:

Bonafide Provisions a Souperfood

Founders of Bonafide Provisions have all the credentials to impress any consumer with their backgrounds in nutrition, health, and even the culinary field. This family-run business all started with active and frequent requests from patients for their highly coveted bone broth. Their “souperfood” chicken broth simmers for 24 hours while their beef broth lingers on the stove for 48 hours. The chickens are pasture raised, the cows are 100% grass fed/finished, and the water is triple filtered.

bonafide bone broth

Health Benefits:

  • Rich in collagen which heals the gut lining for joints and tendons
  • 12 grams of protein for every 8 ounces
  • An excellent source of nutrients for athletes’ recovery
  • Great way to wean yourself off coffee

Suggested or Creative Uses

  • Bone broth waffles with coconut flour, chopped bacon, and maple syrup
  • Bone broth Bloody Mary
  • In April 2016, they are releasing a cookbook with more creative recipes

Got Hooked on Safe Catch

“From catch to can,” founders, Bryan and Sean developed a proprietary technology to test every fish for its mercury levels. Conventional brands pre-cook their tuna, dry it on racks, and cook it again; as a result, the tuna tastes bland and has little nutritional value. Although they wanted to partner up with larger commercial tuna companies, none were interested in this innovative process, so Bryan and Sean created Safe Catch to fill the void in the market. Their process is called “raw packing,” where they take the sashimi steaks and place them in cans. This retains the nutritional value and pure flavor.

safe catch

Health Benefits:

  • Very low mercury levels that are safe for pregnant women, children, and athletes
  • Good source of protein
  • Healthy source of omega3s, vitamins, minerals which are good for skin, nail, and eyes

Suggested or Creative Uses:

  • Coconut crusted tuna cake (roll in coconut on a pan with ghee butter and mango aioli sauce)
  • Recommend eating tuna with liquid in the can because it’s that safe

Sir Kensington’s First-Class Condiments

5 years after graduating college, Scott Norton and Mark Ramadan were astonished by the plethora of innovative, natural, organic products filling up grocery shelves. They noticed that the condiment section seemed to be “frozen in time.” Farm to table dining was taking seed in the foodie world, yet for 70+ years, ketchup lovers were slathering their burgers and fries with high fructose corn syrup and tomato concentrate. The time seemed to be ripe for producing a ketchup using real ingredients and true flavor. Once their ketchup caught on, they added mayonnaise (including more recently a vegan option), and mustard to the condiment shelves of grocery stores.

sir kensington2

Health Benefits:

  • Their product tastes so good it fills you up with dopamine (as described by Scott)
  • Their new vegan mayonnaise (Fabanaise) is cholesterol free, soy free & egg free, made with sunflower oil, a heart healthy oil

Suggested or Creative Uses:

  • Try using their ketchup in a Bloody Mary, Pad Thai, and Chili
  • Mix their Fabanaise with yogurt and mint to make tzatziki sauce, then place on top of a broiled portobello mushroom for a plant-based Gyro.

La Tortilla Factory, The Family Keeps it Rolling

It all started in 1977 when Jenny Tomayo’s grandparents (Jose and Mary Tamayo) opened a Mexican restaurant in Santa Rosa, CA. Her grandmother ran the front of the restaurant and her grandfather was making fresh corn tortillas in the back. For Jose and Mary, living the American Dream meant that they could send all 5 sons to college. The tortilla tradition lives on with the third generation.

la tortilla factory

Health Benefits:

  • Uses high quality ingredients
  • Have instilled a quality assurance team
  • There are no hydrogenated oils
  • Their Sprouted Tortillas are high in fiber

Suggested or Creative Uses:

  • Replace a pizza crust with a tortilla
  • Cut into strips as a salad topping

Big Tree Farms gets Raw in Indonesia

While Ben Ripple was working with small farmers in Bali, he was impressed by the vast biodiversity of the land. He connected with Frederick Schilling, one of the founders of Dagoba Chocolate and together they formed Big Tree Farms. They have developed a network of 1,500 local farmers to package and sell their products direct to market. Their supply chain is dedicated to transparency, traceability, and sustainability, as well as providing fair wages to their farmers. Their products include all-natural, fair trade raw coconut and cacao.

big tree farms2

Health Benefits:

  • Their coco-amino product is organic, gluten free, soy free, and has less sodium

Suggested or Creative Uses:

  • Because the coco-amino has a similar flavor profile to soy sauce (sweet yet savory), they recommend using it with stir fry, salad or even on popcorn

Homegrown Organics, From Farm Fresh to Freeze-Dried

Homegrown Organics is a farmer-owned company in the rich, fertile region of Central Valley, CA. Looking to maximize their freshly-picked fruit, they created an organic freeze-dried line of grapes, blueberries, and apples that can be eaten on and off season. We gobbled up a bag of freeze-dried blueberries which tasted like natural, healthy “Cocoa-Puffs.”

homegrown organics freeze dried blueberries

Health Benefits:

  • Freeze-drying retains 96% of nutritional value of fresh blueberries (air drying you lose 40-50%).
  • Blueberries are a superfood.

Suggested or Creative Uses:

  • Add blueberries to your morning yogurt
  • Convert into a fruit leather
  • Instead of eating chips, eat their freeze-dried fruit

If Disneyland “is the happiest place on earth,” then Natural Products Expo West has got to be the “healthiest place on earth.” Check out more healthy and tasty food pinspirations on the 2016 Natural Products Expo West Pinterest Board.

Written by Ariel & Debbie Sultan, Photos by Ariel Sultan.

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