It Happened! The Return of Expo East

Sep 27, 2021

LBB Headed to Expo East 2021 to Take in the Latest Drinks, Eats and Trends in the Natural Products Space

Little Big Brands just returned from Expo East and while it wasn’t the most earth-shattering Expo we’ve ever been to, it was certainly nice to get back to some business normalcy. Big Props to New Hope Network, for creating an atmosphere that felt both safe and welcoming. And loving the new home base in the city of Brotherly Love.

Now let’s get to it. The good, the bad, and yes, there was some ugly.

Diagonal Stripes Everywhere!

It became very apparent from the moment we stepped on the show floor that diagonal stripes are having a moment. Safe to say that if you are working on bringing a new product to market, you might want to avoid stripes, they’re taken. The pastel Pantone books are likely out of stock too. 

Dates, who knew?

This fruit hasn’t traditionally gotten a lot of love in the United States but it was popping up everywhere at Expo – from raw dates to sugar to chocolate, syrup and beyond. It’s definitely the fruit to watch but could someone (besides #Joolies) give the date some design love? It wasn’t very consumer-motivating out there folks. #Chickpeas and #Sunflowerseeds, we see you, and we predict a big Expo West for you.

Covid-busting products.

Stressed out after sitting at home for 18 months and working and living with your spouse and kids 24/7. Wait, is that just me? I didn’t think so. Plenty of folks at Expo are ready to help with a host of wellness powders, supplements, drinks and food that will help you feel better, less stressed and promise a great night’s sleep despite covid insanity. I’ll take a case. #Sunfood

Alcohol-free booze

I’m probably not the target for this, but I love that there are so many great options popping up to appeal to non-drinkers. Whether you indulged too much during Covid, don’t indulge at all for various reasons, or are on a temporary alcohol standoff (hey pregnant gals), the options are many and they look and sound delicious. Cheers! #Ritualzeroproof

Ugly’s the new pretty. 

Upcycled everything, from fruit rinds to brewer’s yeast. We’re digging this trend of using everything, repurposing ingredients and eliminating food waste. Let’s keep this one going! #Solely #brewersbakedchips

Things that make you go hmmmmmm.

We had several moments that made us take pause. Mostly around naming. We get it, it’s a tough category for trademarkable names, but some of the new products we saw had us scratching our heads. Outer Aisle…doesn’t really roll off the tongue or make you want to try these cauliflower crackers. Kind of feels like ‘internal speak’. How about Uncut (plant-based) meat. We’ll leave that one right there. Bio juice….anyone, anyone? Chillax CBD – I mean Chillax hasn’t been cool for at least 5 years right? Direct Access coffee – great story, but that name. It feels like I should be calling them for shipping quotes. And I can’t even talk about the Marukome Miso dressing structure…I’m not the only one who sees it right? 

File This Under ‘Wish we’d thought of that!’ 

If you’re like us, it’s hard to be compliant with daily vitamins when half of them are horse pills. Enter sprayable vitamins. We often walk away from these shows disappointed that we didn’t see more true innovation. We were not disappointed #Spectraspray. Super cool stuff.

And before we go, a quick shoutout to #TheLove, our best meal, @thedandelionpub, the most charming bar, and the over-the-top bar at @Thefourseasons for the best view of the city!

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