I recently returned from a fantastic few days at Natural Products Expo East in Baltimore and thought it was the best Expo East I have been to in many years.
The products were “cleaner” than ever, and I was very impressed by the overall innovation.
Three specific trends stood out:
1) Never before has there been so much energy around regenerative agriculture. Leaders in the industry are beginning to make this a priority, and action is being taken. In fact, Annie’s entire trade show booth was centered around this issue.
At the Dr. Bronner’s booth, in conjunction with Rodale Institute, Patagonia, and others, the Regenerative Organic Certification was officially introduced.
In last week’s Organic Insider, I mentioned the Regenerative Organic Certification and plan to discuss it in greater depth in future newsletters. Not only is this a vitally important step in the right direction, but it raises the bar for what organic should be. The standard is now available to view and for public comment HERE.
The excellent piece by Politico’s Helena Bottemiller Evich on The Great Nutrient Collapse — how the environment is literally changing the food we eat, for the worse — speaks to the desperate need for regenerative organic agriculture. This farming method will only grow in importance.
2) While it is no surprise that plant-based foods are becoming more popular than ever — the Plant Based Foods Association and The Good Food Institute reported that plant-based foods surged by 8.1% over the last year — what I saw at Expo East really made an impression.
The keynote speaker was Jonathan Safran Foer, noted vegan and author of Eating Animals. Also on Friday during Expo East, there were four educational panels focused on plant-based businesses and strategies.
Within the plant-based category, the massive trend that is about to emerge is plant-based fish, or vegan fish.
On Living Maxwell, two of my Top 5 Organic Food Products of Expo East were plant-based fish or plant-based fish ingredients, including this vegan organic sushi by Mozza Sushi.
Additionally, a team of very experienced organic industry executives at Beyond Brands has launched Good Catch Foods, a plant-based fish company. Even though it is not organic, it generated a lot of buzz at the show.
3) The number of carbonated drinks that have been traditionally still, or not carbonated, took me by big surprise.
Chameleon Cold-Brew introduced a line of carbonated cold-brew coffee. To my complete shock, its unflavored version was outstanding.
Also, Kalena introduced a sparkling coconut water with pineapple, which was phenomenal as well.
I expect to see beverage companies move more into carbonation as a way to diversify their existing product line.
Have a great day!
Max Goldberg, Founder
The Inspector General at the USDA said that lax enforcement at U.S. ports helps explain the millions of pounds of fraudulent organic corn and soybeans.
A report out of Nielsen says that organic food is reaching more people while overall prices are coming down.
A new report from the Organic Trade Association says that Millennials, who already favor organic, could have a significant impact on the growth of the industry.
The IFC, a division of the World Bank, is planning to invest approximately $25 million in Suminter India Organics, one of the country's leading exporters of organic produce.
The Cornucopia Institute holds nothing back in its assessment of Miles McEvoy, who is stepping down after 8 years of overseeing the National Organic Program.
The 5-time Super Bowl champion and quarterback of my beloved New England Patriots goes on the attack against GMOs and Big Food in his new self-help book.
Shocking! New documents reveal that the EU made its safety recommendation about glyphosate based on a study that it copied and pasted from Monsanto's own documents.
Facing shrinking demand, major sugar companies have launched A Fresh Look, a propaganda campaign defending GMOs.
Supermarket chain Wegmans has been operating its own organic farms in upstate New York for the last decade and now shares this knowledge with local farmers.
Chuck Templeton, the founder of OpenTable, has closed on a $180 million fund to invest in food start-ups.
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* Congrats to my friends Galit Laibow and Sarah Michelle Gellar, co-founders of organic baking company Foodstirs, for being named to Food & Wine’s Most Innovative Women in Food & Drink list!
* Just as I thought it would, Expo West has expanded to four days.
The Anaheim Convention Center North Hall is open from March 8-10 while the Anaheim Convention Center Main Halls are open from March 9-11.
Climate Day, put on by the Climate Collaborative, is on Wednesday, March 7th. The Fresh Ideas Tent will take place on Thursday, March 8th, from 12:30pm to 5:30pm.
* Speaking of the Climate Collaborative, it just signed up its 100th company and is hosting a webinar on Friday, September 29th called The Role of Organic Farming in Climate Change Mitigation.
* On Living Maxwell, I reviewed Suja’s new line of fermented botanicals.
* Meeting materials and an updated agenda for the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB) fall meeting have been posted.
The meeting takes place in Jacksonville, FL from October 31st to November 2nd. I will be there, and I hope many of you will also attend.
Dozens of organic farmers and soil advocates are flying in from all over the country to protest hydroponics being allowed in organic.
* As we speak, Canada is now celebrating its 8th Annual Organic Week.
* To stop glyphosate from being sprayed in NYC parks, please see this Action Alert from Beyond Pesticides.