March 1, 2024

Brij’s Top Takeaways from ExpoWest 2024

Arely Escandon

ExpoWest is the ‘superbowl’ event for brands, buyers and tech in the retail space. 

From incredible booths, learning about emerging brands and walking 16 (!) miles a day, it’s the trade show of the year. 

Expo this year surpassed expectations per usual. Here’s the top takeaways from the Brij team: 

Mushroom Mania:

Mushrooms are trending as functional ingredients touted for their benefits for concentration, sleep and even snacking, as demonstrated by innovative brands such as Melting Forest.

Women's Wellness Wave: 

From fertility aids to menopausal support, there's a noticeable surge in products tailored specifically for women's health needs, ej the big  range from RenewLife Holistic products.

Kid-Friendly Innovation:

Children's products are evolving, focusing on higher protein and lower sugar options that cater to busy parents, such as Once Upon A Farm and Serenity Kids snacks.

Nostalgic Revival: 

Nostalgia is not just a feeling, it is a trend that is being reflected in the branding of brands such as DEUX and Oatly, achieving a special bonding with its audience.

The Rise of Non-Alcoholic Beverages:

From artisanal creations like De Soi Sparkling Non-Alcoholic Apéritif to established brands like Guiness showcasing their alcohol-free options, the non-alcoholic sector is booming.

Functional Beverages:

Brands like Hiyo and Recess are pioneering a new category of beverages designed to impart feelings of well-being and relaxation without alcohol, presenting a new experience for both brands and consumers alike.

Celebrity Endorsements:

Creator and celebrity-backed brands, such as CALIWATER (endorsed by Vanessa Hudgens) and The Absorption Company (supported by Ian Somerhalder), are making waves.

Soda Reinvented:

Innovations in the soda category, exemplified by brands like Poppi and Health-Ade's Sun-Sip line, are reshaping perceptions of traditional carbonated drinks.

QR Code Integration:

Brands are leveraging QR codes on packaging and at point-of-sale to facilitate recipe sharing, gather customer feedback, and deliver exclusive offers, as How to Cook and Harmless Harvest are doing.

The Mac & Cheese Evolution:

GOODLES emerges as a frontrunner in the better-for-you mac and cheese market, with their inventive flavors and engaging marketing tactics.

Coffee On-The-Go:

Canned coffee and low-sugar lattes are adapting to consumers' new lifestyles, with brands such as RISE Brewing Co. and La Colombe de Chobani.

Nut Alternatives:

The demand for nut alternatives is on the rise, with innovative offerings like those from Kokada meeting the needs of health-conscious consumers.

Sugar-Free Indulgence:

Satisfying sweet cravings without the guilt is now possible by brands like JOYRIDE and BEHAVE, with their delicious sugar-free candy options. 

Condiment Craze:

From Haven's Kitchen's new aiolis to Primal Kitchen's tasty condiments, there's a surge in flavorful accompaniments that elevate any dish.

Asian Flavor:

Asian sauces are bringing an explosion of flavor to the market, with brands such as Momofuku and FLY BY JING bringing delicious products.

Healthier Snacking:

Brands like Catalina Crunch and From the Ground Up are redefining snacking with products that are not only delicious but also better for you.

Retail Velocity Tactics:

Brands are employing innovative strategies like sweepstakes, sampling, and digital rebates to drive in-store sales, emphasizing the importance of retail velocity in today's competitive landscape.

It was amazing to reconnect with familiar faces and also make new connections, all while tasting new products.

It's always fun to interact with the food and beverage industry, especially at this event where everything was innovative with the label of natural, organic, and healthy products.

Remember that you too can make the most of this industry with the right tools.

Whether you want to make your first appearance next year or maximize your product, Brij is here to support you. You can try our demo here.

See you next year, Expo West!

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