Trendspotting at Natural Products Expo West — it’s not your mother’s pantry anymore!

Perhaps you had the chance to attend one of the largest trade shows in North America – with more than 85,000 attendees and 3,000 exhibitors. However, if you missed Natural Products Expo West, here’s a look at the next wave of product innovations that will soon appear at a grocery store near you.

Launching a food product in Canada

Natural, organic and functional food and beverage sales are growing at a much faster pace than conventional products, with the current sales estimate set at approximately $150 billion US. With the focus on less sugar, clean ingredients and the incorporation of more veggies and protein,  there are lots of opportunities for brands to update stale categories and new brands to engage consumers.

So what’s driving the next wave of new products?

  • Plant-based foods –With 43% of Canadians looking to add more plant-based foods it’s not surprising that food manufacturers have gone way beyond chickpeas and plant-based burgers and chicken strips to mushroom coffee, whipped “butter” and nacho “cheese”.
  • Oatmilk – this beverage is on fire! New products that leverage this trend are bound to attract consumer interest and not just those who are looking for an alternative to dairy-based beverages. Baristas are loving the way this product foams!
  • Refrigerated fruit and veggie bars– Health Canada recently came out with new guidelines recommending Canadians fill half their plate with fruits and veggies. If you’re on the go, with no time for a salad or a stir-fry, this trend will help you reach your daily quota.
  • Keto Craze – With greater consumer interest in healthy fats and a desire to reduce sugar and other carbs, sales of keto products are steadily growing.
  • Protein foods – Snack bars are still extremely popular with convenience-seeking Canadians, even protein-fueled baby food pouches are now available
  • Gut health foods – Probiotic and Kombucha drinks along with kimchi-based condiments are soaring in popularity and will soon be common ingredients in Canadians’ fridges and pantries.
  • Savory snacks – With 65% of Canadians consuming 5 to 6 snacks a day, this category continues to evolve and grow. Chickpea puffs, quinoa crisps, taro and other root vegetable chips continue to spark consumers’ desire for new savory snacks.

So if you have a new product you are about to launch, or an established brand that needs a spark, why not give us a call or send us an email? We’d love to share some of our experience and discuss ways to help grow your sales, so that before you know it your product becomes the next hot pantry staple!

Harbinger is a Toronto-based North American marketing agency with expertise in product launches. We help brands get noticed and purchased.

Photo credit: Simone Hogan /


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