10 Wellness Trends Spotted at Expo West 2024 

Published by Amy Davis, RDN
April 12, 2024
Category: ,

The 2024 Natural Products Expo West was held in Anaheim, California last month and it was one of the best yet! The event welcomed over 65,000 industry professionals, featured 3,300 exhibitors, and was truly the epicenter of global health and wellness trends.  

Three FRESH team members attended this year, and we noticed several key trends at the show – some new, some recurring – but all with the common theme of better for me, better for us. Here are the top 10 trends we noticed at expo this year.

Optimizing Metabolic Health

For the first time, our team noticed new claims like “blood-sugar friendly” and “controls cravings” on several different food, drink, and supplement products. Functional ingredients used for metabolic support and blood sugar stabilization include:  

  • fiber
  • chromium
  • amino acids
  • proteins
  • alternative sweeteners

We expect to see some discussion over the research of these ingredients and potentially the legitimacy of the claims.  

On-trend brands: Good Idea, Perfy, and Supergut 

Brain & Mood Boosting Claims

With rising support for mental health and optimizing productivity, we saw CPG products leveraging the food as medicine movement to support broad health claims. With the utilization of adaptogens, antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and probiotics, we saw products designed to enhance energy and focus, and help manage stress. We expect the use of bio-active ingredients to be on the rise. 

On-trend brands: Magic Mind, Heywell, Amazin’ Graze 

Gut Health Support

The science behind the connection between gut health and overall health is stronger than ever. As more consumers embrace the benefits of gut health, brands are finding creative ways to add a gut-healthy spin on old favorites and new products alike. Whether it be convenient snacks like protein bars, canned beverages, toppings, or supplements, the CPG investment in gut health continues to grow. We don’t see this trend going anywhere anytime soon! 

On-trend brands: Truth Bar, wildwonder, Bubbies, Biora 

Functional Beverages Get Smart(er) 

2024 is the year that fun and functional beverages got a little smarter. This category is not new but this year we noticed brands tapping into consumer trends by elevating the contents and specificity of their products. Brands were identifying common consumer desires and utilizing functional ingredients to improve experiences. We saw this with electrolyte-enhanced beverages, powders aimed at improving symptoms during menstrual cycles, leveraging the benefits of CBD for everyday stress, and supporting skin, hair, and nail health with collagen. 

On-trend brands: RINGA, mixhers, Trip, Pretty Tasty

More Functional Mushrooms  

Mushrooms are having a moment – again! Expo West showcased revolutionary ways to consume mushrooms for everyone, even if you don’t like the taste of mushrooms. We saw functional mushrooms in gummies, powders, coffee blends, and sustainably grown fresh or pre-cooked options. This trend has been going strong for years, and researchers are still exploring the mechanisms and benefits of functional mushrooms.  

On-trend brands: Windy City Mushrooms, Fungies, Raaka, Om Mushrooms 

Ultra Hydration

In 2024 science-backed hydration is for everyone. Brands are catering to all activity levels through offering electrolyte, vitamin, and mineral–rich tablets, powder, and beverages. A common theme is to provide all the benefits of hydration products without the extra sugar that is typically found in mainstream sports performance beverages.  

On-trend brands: No Days Wasted, Plink!, Nuun, ShineWater, Ultima 

Regeneration & Sustainable Brands

Forward-thinking brands are looking to both innovative, and tried and true ways to protect the planet. Sustainability initiatives were loud and clear at expo in 2024 – in everything from packaging choices to supply chains to regenerative agriculture. This was showcased in newly developed products like reimagined buckwheat products, and in familiar products such as grains, fish, baby food and beans.  

On-trend brands: Lundberg Family Farms, Lil Bucks, Patagonia Provisions, Simpli, White Leaf Provisions 

Nostalgic Food Reimagined

Whether for convivence or reminiscence, Expo West showcased brands that made some of our favorite foods and snacks healthier and/or more sustainable. Childhood favorites like PB&J, frozen waffles, cereals, sweets, and crackers were made with high-quality, better-for-you ingredients, omega-3-rich oils, and added veggies. These products were well-developed and remained true to familiar consumer expectations.  

On-trend brands: Best Behavior Cereal, Joydays, Cheddies, Chubby Snacks, SourCrans, Harken Sweets, Veggie Craft, Evergreen 

Frozen Food Gets Fancy

The frozen foods aisle keeps getting better and better, and brands are working hard to diversify their product lines while appealing to consumer demands for convenient foods that align with wellness goals. We saw fresh takes on veggie-only burger options, fully cooked and marinated entrees, and new flavor combinations in comfort foods like empanadas! These clean-ingredient products are designed to be nutrient-dense, satisfying and convenient.  

On-trend brands: Kevin’s Natural Foods, Maspanadas, Actual Veggies 

Zero-Proof Beverages

As Gen-Z shows a preference for lower alcohol consumption and the “sober-curious” trend continuing to gain traction, the zero-proof beverage category keeps growing! It is well-known that alcohol consumption has many negative impacts on overall health, and these brands have developed products that not only taste great but are also low in sugar, have fresh takes on flavor combinations, and often include bioactive, functional ingredients.  

On-trend brands: Kin, Figlia, Avec Drinks, Kul Rocks 

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