Honey was a hit in Anaheim, Calif., last weekend as thousands of distributors, inventors and media members came together for the Natural Products Expo West. Honey, hemp, Kombucha and gluten-free topped the list of overall trends. Many vendors who don’t currently use honey said they were on the verge of adding the natural sweetener to their arsenal of products for next year. Companies who did use honey in their products loved that it is a natural sweetener and the “beautiful” flavor that it exhibits.
Baking with Honey
Unique items emerged at this year’s Expo, with McCann’s Irish Oatmeal Madagascar Vanilla Bean with Honey and Kodiak Cakes’ flapjack and waffle mix adding the sweet taste of honey to their arsenals, with both whole wheat oat and honey mixes and buttermilk and honey mixes. Wheat Montana stayed on trend by including honey in some of their breads (wheat and honey) and bagels (honey whole wheat).
Snacking with Honey
The cookie/cracker trend continued with Salem Baking Co.’s flatbread and Moravian cookie pairings. Energy bars including honey made a huge showing at Expo West, with celebrities such as the Amazing Race’s Phil Keoghan making appearances to showcase new bars. Keoghan is a big supporter of Manuka honey, using it not only in his No Opportunity Wasted bar, but as a new “Road Rash” first aid ointment. Bonk Breaker was possibly the biggest energy bar honey supporter, having the ingredient in its entire bar line.
Dairy with Honey
With Olympian Jennie Finch on hand at the Chobani display, to Karoun Dairies, Inc., debuting their new yogurt offering, Greek yogurt was hot, hot, hot at this year’s Expo. California-based dairy companies didn’t have to travel far, and it showed with Straus Family Creamery, Wallaby Yogurt Company and Voskos leading the pack with the most Golden State dairy representatives using honey at the Expo.
Candy with Honey
It wasn’t difficult to satisfy a sweet tooth in the Anaheim Convention Center; chocolates and confections filled with honey were around almost every corner. Xan Confections, Hammon’s Candies and Droga Chocolates were just a few of the companies that traveled to show off their latest creations with honey.
Beverages with Honey
Coconut water, tea including honey and Kombucha topped this year’s Expo beverage trends. Unique flavor pairings, hydrators and thirst quenchers were big on the Expo floor and if the popularity of each booth/display is an indication, companies like Celestial Seasonings, Argo Tea and Twinings (all with honey-infused offerings) will continue strong for the rest of 2013.