Trends in kids foods?
What we saw at Natural Foods Expo East
This week Foublie was at Natural Foods Expo East with over 2000 companies! These companies are awesome, on a mission to improve what we eat, reduce our impact on the planet, source better, label more clearly and so much more. Melissa rounds up her favorite food trends. Let us know which ones are you excited about seeing on the store shelves?!
Better baby food
Overall- not many companies were in this space. We saw cool lines with fun flavors to help parents keep variety and flavor into first bites. Some that were meat based, some were fresh and needed to be refrigerated.
Jerky and the protein train
Jerky hit it big at the conference. Same with added protein! Consumers are looking for more protein and snacks like jerky are perfect for many of today’s hottest eating trends (hello Keto). We saw every meat in jerky form from classic beef to more novel varieties like buffalo, turkey, and chicken. Jerky is a great snack for older kids, but for kids 3 and up make sure you find a brand that is soft.
Here come the plants: Mushroom Jerky edition
Yup! More jerky. For me, this one was hit and miss, and I love mushrooms! The brand I liked the most had the same texture as beef jerky and tasted like it too. If you see this give it a try!
Chicken fingers that taste like chicken but are not chicken
At the show I took a bite of a chicken finger and was shocked when the lady told me it was plant based. Bottomline: Get excited! If you want to eat more of plant based diet, it’s getting easier. Lots of options are out there moving the fan favorites into this category. I loved this fake chicken! I also tried one that was gross. You really need to try a few kinds to figure out which ones you like the most (and then remember which one that is!). Taste tests are so fun!
Other new stuff: Puffed Waterlily Seeds
If you haven’t tried it, puffed waterlily seeds are pretty similar to popcorn. They taste airy, but unlike popcorn there is no kernel. There were at least 8 companies selling this, which I hope means more brands will be on the store shelves soon. We think this could be the new puffs! For your little ones start with sea salt. Because of their origin in India, expect to see some pretty cool flavors in addition to the standard ones like white cheddar cheese.
Kids still make this naturally, so not needed for kids. But for mom and dad? Maybe? Maybe not. Collagen in water and snacks supposedly strengthens nails and our hair. It also is to make our old joints feel better. Watch for the source of collagen, there are animal care practices here. Be wary of any product that claims it is the fountain of youth.
Better labeling for food allergy families
Lots of brands are top 8 allergen free and are labeling other allergens voluntarily. Lots of vendors told me they want parents to know what’s in there, with full transparency. No more calling manufacturers. We hope this is a trend that goes beyond natural foods and becomes mainstream.
Lots of gluten-free options
Gluten-free was everywhere! This included products where we expect to see gluten like breads and granolas but also to other foods like chicken fingers and more! Again, the key here is to find a brand that tastes good for your family.
Our takeaway? Food products are catching up. Foublie loves to see more transparent labels, better ingredients, less added crap. We’re moving in the right direction!
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