Mar 22, 2022
March Merch Madness y’all! We’ve returned home from our West Coast jaunt and are taking you along with us as we unpack our swag bags from ExpoWest. It’s hard to believe it’s been two whole years since we were last in the same (giant) halls as our fellow branders celebrating the Natural Products that line the floors of this iconic Expo. There’s just nothing like the adrenaline rush that three full days of discovery, inspiration, tastings and hugging our friends and clients provides. Our bellies, hearts and bags are full – so, let’s unpack the week with a fresh ExpoWest x LBB take on What’s In My Bag? Our Totes!
As the leading event for Natural Products from food to beauty, ExpoWest offers an incredible opportunity to discover emerging categories, brands looking to disrupt existing categories, new product innovations, and more. We left with our bags filled to the brim with some of our favorite products and even more samples from new-to-us brands. One of us may have even had to buy a last minute piece of luggage just to get it all home… thanks Target!
So let’s get into it…here is our list of top 10 takeaways that made it back to our studio on the East Coast.
- If you plant it, they will buy: overwhelmingly plant-based options are leading the way forward – i.e. bacon, jerky, seafood, cheese, eggs, baking mixes, cookies, snacks…
- You name it, they sprout it: from breads to nuts to snacks – i.e. Lil Bucks, Crunchsters
Notyour average naming project: the most straightforward naming i.e. UnMeat, Nuts for Cheese, No Cow
- @ the new holy trinity: Dates, Chickpeas and Cauliflower oh my! – chocolate covered dates, on the go date syrups, RTE bagged figs, Hippea snacks, Caulipower
GotNot milk? Alternative milks aren’t going anywhere anytime soon! i.e. Sproud (pea milk)
- Brain food: functional products for productivity and brain heath i.e. Brainiac, Cerebelly
- Pop [up] products: “pop”py products galore! i.e. Culture Pop, Ka-Pop!
- K-cups: delivering everything from cocktails to vitamins – i.e. Cask & Kettle, VitaCup
- New format, who dis? Tried and true favorites exploring new ways to deliver their products i.e. Vital Protein Gummies, Oats Overnight Shake, Solely Fruit Jerky
- No cooks in the kitchen: Pre-ready foods/Convenience: pouch based products for a quick tear off and throw in a skillet – i.e. Somos, Two Dozen Cousins
While pastel colors still reign across categories, bold, bright, clean, modern designs are infusing brands with more personality than ever before – a move that is sure to stop retailers in their tracks…and as was the case for many of the brands at ExpoWest, land them a spot on our shelves and in our stomachs.
No surprise, the booths with strong brand presence and impactful design caught the eyes of all that walked the halls of ExpoWest, proving that the most attractive brands are the ones whose ethos’ shine through every touchpoint. The power of design knows no bounds, and continues to play a crucial role in showcasing who brands are and what they stand for.
‘Til next time!