Our Favorite Natural Food Trends from Expo West

March 13, 2018

Last week, our team had the pleasure of attending Expo West in Anaheim, California (yes, all 26 of us!). We spread brightness & simplicity at three separate booths, met with new and old industry friends, hosted a happy hour, tasted countless delicious (and nutritious) products and launched our new soft baked cookies! In between all of that, we discovered the newest, up-and-coming trends for 2018 and beyond. Want to see what the future of natural food looks like? Keep reading to find out.

Simple Mills team at Expo West 2018 in Anaheim, California where they launched the best Soft Baked Cookies


Disclaimer: Our ingredient trends report on current consumer trends. With any supplements we recommend reading the label thoroughly to determine how best consumed or if there are any restrictions of consumption.

Packed with Protein

Foods with added protein were everywhere this year. We loved to see companies using whole food protein sources like eggs, collagen, peanuts, seeds, and other plants to add protein to products we already love like nut butters, bars and other snacks.

Going Grain Free

With the rise of more research and specialty diets, many companies are going grain free. Although some people enjoy eating grains, there are others who find grains disrupting to their system. (But, remember, everybody and every body is different ). Be on the lookout for even more grain free foods and snacks this year. 

CBD Everything

Cannabidiol, more commonly referred to as CBD, was another big trend at Expo West. Derived from the stalks and seeds of hemp plants, CBD oil is perfectly legal and doesn’t create any psychoactive effects for users. It's a natural botanical concentrate added to oils and teas that the natural industry is loving for its potential to reduce stress, anxiety and inflammation. 

Plant-Based Nutrition

As plant-based diets gain popularity, companies are creating new and innovative products for the growing number of vegetarian and vegan consumers. Gone are the days when plant-based eating means sacrifice. We are big fans of plant-based living and the phytonutrients that come with eating plants, vegetables and fruits, so we were delighted to see this trend is catching on!

Honey as a Natural Sweetener

A natural and unrefined sweetener, honey added a touch of sweetness to a growing number of products at Expo West, including our new Soft Baked Cookies! Companies (including ourselves) are focusing on transparency when it comes to honey, because it has been found in the past few years that many honeys might actually have hidden ingredients in them. To learn more about this, we recommend checking out the first episode of the Netflix series, “Rotten.”

Soft Baked Chocolate Chip Cookies are sweetened with honey, nothing artificial ever, the best cookies

Gut Health

Gut health has recently become a larger trend in the health and wellness community. From collagen, to bone broth to prebiotics and probiotics, foods promoting gut health were a major trend at Expo West. We especially loved seeing (and trying) all of the fun new bone broth flavors from companies like Bonafide Provisions as well as some new and upcoming companies who are making it their mission to avoid perceived inflammatory ingredients in their products.


MCT Oil (Medium Chain Triglycerides) oil is the saturated fat found in coconut. Many consumers find that MCT oil is easily digestible making it an easy favorite. This year, Expo West featured a host of companies making MCT oil as well as beverages mixed with MCT oil like coffee and tea. We were excited to see new butter coffee products from our friends over at Picnik.


There are countless products popping up that are made with sprouted ingredients: grains, beans and, chickpeas among many others. We are such big fans that we used sprouted sunflower seeds and flax seeds in our sprouted seed crackers.

Simple Mills  Sprouted Seed Crackers are made with sprouted sunflower seeds and flax seeds

Movers, Makers & Shakers

The maker movement is all about DIY. From pre-made mixes for smoothies, energy bites and balls, protein bars and baking mixes, do it yourself is a trend that is especially near and dear to us at Simple Mills.

What are some of the health and wellness trends that you’ve seen popping up lately? Comment below or drop us a line on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.

Eat Good, Feel Good. If you don’t recognize an ingredient your body won't either. Expo West 2018



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