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Ryan Lincks3 min read

Navigating Expo West 2024: 4 Major Trends to Explore

Every year Expo West offers a unique opportunity to explore the latest innovations, make new connections, and inspire the future of natural, organic, and healthy products. Will we see you there?

With nearly 3,500 exhibitors scheduled to attend this year's Natural Products Expo West at the Anaheim Convention Center and more than 100,000 attendees, there is a ton to see! To help you get the most our of this year's conference here is our shortlist of what we’re looking forward to and where you can find us.


Where to start

The journey begins in the North Hall, a space synonymous with innovation and fresh ideas. This year, as with all years, we’re excited to see the new and emerging brands that are pushing the boundaries of what's possible in the industry. 

From the introduction of novel ingredients to brands that cater to hyper-specific consumer needs, the North Hall is the top destination for those eager to discover the future of consumer products.


4 trends on our radar this year

Expo West is not just about observation but active learning and engagement. We're going to guide our partners through this expansive maze to uncover emerging trends. Here are the top 4 trends we’re looking forward to exploring:


1. Emerging Functional Ingredients

We’re excited to explore how brands are utilizing new functional ingredients to power their existing products or introduce new line extensions. 

A case in point is Karma Energy Water, which is set to introduce a product featuring Cognition Citicoline, an active ingredient promising mental clarity and energy without the usual crash associated with energy products. 

This exploration is crucial for understanding how functional ingredients are evolving to meet consumer demands for healthier, more effective products.


2. Advanced Formulation & Ingredient Technologies

The expo is a goldmine for identifying new ingredients and technologies that could revolutionize future ventures.

Whether it's delivery platforms that improve absorption or new encapsulations that bolster stability for functional foods and beverages, these tech advancements are key to driving the industry forward.

Like Incredo Ltd. — innovating the sweetener industry by creating a healthier sugar alternative. Their technology enhances the sweetness delivery from real cane sugar, allowing for 30-50% less sugar in foods without compromising taste.


3. Brand Marketing & Product Messaging

How brands convey their product benefits through their tradeshow booths, sales materials, and packaging choices offers invaluable insights. 

These communication strategies reflect the brand's identity and also could inspire our own go-to-market strategies, emphasizing the importance of clear, compelling messaging in capturing consumer interest.

Have a look at Oatly — they offer oat-based dairy alternatives, focusing on sustainability and health. They use a casual, quirky communication style, blending humor with straightforward messaging to appeal to an eco-conscious audience.

They advocate for plant-based living not just as a dietary choice but as a critical shift for the planet's future, blending activism with their marketing strategies. This approach has helped them create a strong, engaged community and differentiate themselves in a crowded market.


4. Disruptive Category Trends

Identifying which emerging brands and products are coming to the market and looking to disrupt the category is crucial.

The Daily Crave will unveil their newest product, UTOPEA-AH!™, which are pea chips crafted from non-GMO, gluten-free, and kosher ingredients, boasting seven grams of plant-based protein per serving.

From snacks with a purpose to innovations in the microbiome, immunity, and active aging sectors, understanding where these trends are leading is vital for staying ahead in a rapidly evolving industry.


Translating insights into tangible actions and meaningful outcomes for your business

Expo West is so much more than just an event, it’s an important moment in the industry calendar that brings together the best and brightest in the natural and organic products sector. It's a catalyst for innovation, a hub for networking, and a source of inspiration for professionals across the industry. 

Bringing together a diverse range of participants, from startups to industry giants, it’s a unique environment for all to form partnerships, get inspired, and shape the future of the industry. And that’s exactly what we’ll do!


Going to Expo West?

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Shoot me a message and let’s chat during the event!


Ryan Lincks

Ryan is the Managing Director of Ventures at Pilot44, where he applies over 20 years of experience in retail, CPG, marketing, and advertising to drive growth and innovation. As a seasoned entrepreneur and former founding CEO and COO, he specializes in transforming companies and elevating brands. Known for his strategic acumen and results-oriented approach, Ryan's insights into the CPG industry provide valuable perspectives for anyone looking to navigate its complexities.