A few weeks ago, I was a first-timer heading to my first Natural Products Expo East with a good friend of mine Becky from Crafty Garden Mama. She had been there before and so I decided to follow her lead!
As we arrived at The Baltimore Convention Center, I was glad I made the choice to follow because the feeling of being overwhelmed consumed me. Immediately I was set back in reality as Becky informed me that the Expo West was 3 times the size. Say WHAT?
We started on Thursday, stayed overnight and walked the floor on Friday too. It was a good thing Ben told me to wear some comfy shoes instead of the “too-small but SUPER cute” flats I was planning on;) With over 1200 vendors there, we hustled, but we got to chat with some of our favorite brands and find new ones that I am sure will become our favorites in the very near future!
Becky and I both have a little one with a peanut allergy so we were the ones asking every.single.vendor whether or not their product was produced in a facility containing nuts. I may have said it 300 times:) Vendors were super patient and most of them answered our question immediately!
There were SO many products that I became introduced to and others that I got to see again and check out what is new but here are some of my favorite products at the Natural Products Expo East (in no particular order):
Udi’s Gluten Free Foods
Now Udi’s has long been a favorite brand of mine, but they featured a new product at the expo, their Ginger Cookies. I love having these containers on deck at our house and in our car as treats for H because in addition to being gluten free, they are also nut free. H was a happy boy when I brought them home but not so happy when C realized she likes these cookies too;)
Wink Frozen Desserts
Another nut free (among many other things) option, this delicious dessert is one that Becky and I may or may not have sampled more than once;) Stay tuned because I have a review for this product coming up!
These plant based nutrition bars were delicious. I am not usually a huge fan of the so-called energy bars because of the texture, but these were not at all that and the texture (and taste was wonderful)! I loved the Apricot-Strawberry. And..nut-free:)
Ahhhhhhh….angels singing! This pizza crust was Ah-mazing! I can’t even imagine the bread. I am hoping to do a review on this nut-free and gluten-free option in the near future. Seriously in love!
This family run Greek company produces olive oils, olives, and other Greek specialties. We dove into the sample bottle of Balsamico that they gave me. Mixed with a bit of quinoa and feta. OMG to die for. Based in Suko Maine, I better be able to find it close to hear otherwise New England here we come:)
Already one of my favorite brands, Happy Family didn’t cease to amaze me with their gorgeous display and friendly greeters at the booth. We stopped and chatted and of course Sunny came up with a fabulous idea of freezing their pouches just a few minutes before serving for a refreshing treat. Lovely! Oh and did I mention that I am a Happy Blogger? Stay tuned for lots more info on Happy Family!
Located in North Carolina, this company makes old-fashioned fresh stoneground grits, oats, and cornmeal among many other “old-fashioned” products! They had a biscuit mix that I have my eye on!
I get it, everyone is in love with Bob’s Red Mill. But this company is new(er) to me and I was so appreciative of all the information they had at their booth. And, people were going WILD over this new gluten free pie crust mix! They do a good job of labeling for allergies too:)
I had (key word had) a bone to pick with them so I went right up and started explaining my woes of Bigelow no longer producing Decaf Raspberry Royale tea ( my favorite variety in the whole wide world). I was mad. And then…James made my day by explaining how to make (almost) decaf tea from their regular Raspberry Royale. Bone picked and problem solved. I heart Bigelow again!
Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates
As a mom of a child with a peanut allergy, this company is AWESOME! Nut free hot cocoa, nut free melting wafers, AND NUT FREE ADVENT CALENDARS! YAY for Vermont Nut-Free Chocolates!
Do you see this new Quinoa and Rice blend that they have coming out? Enough said:)
Good Boy Organics
Aside from the most eye appealing colors and logo, their product is delicious too! I was in love with these baked organicasaurus cheddar cheese snacks. Can’t wait to try more varieties of their product too. Perfect for a school snack! And, they are sold at our local Kimberton so I don’t have to go far:)
Shady Maple Farms
Now, the product was delicious, but can you see right away why this one is one of my favorites? Check out that container! No more sticky pantry shelves! Woot!
Ahhhh, honestly, the list goes on and on…Lucky Duck Organics with their compostable packaging!!! Sustainable Susty Party Goods, Decomposition Books, ADK Packs, Hopscotch Kids, SoapBox, and The Orange Owl!
One of my favorite themes of the expo was compostable packaging! Lucky Duck and The Orange Owl have it going on!
I am already looking forward to next year AND can’t wait to share more info about these products as I get it…stay tuned!