Expo East: New Hope Discusses Trends

Expo East kicks off on Sept. 20 in Baltimore, and when it does it will be accompanied by the debut of a year-long research initiative, New Hope 360’s Next Report.

BevNET had a chance to speak with New Hope editor Carlotta Mast about some of the trends that are particularly applicable to the beverage category.

“We’re really seeing a shift toward naturally functional beverages,” Mast said. “Rather than ones that have an added nutritional ingredient, like, say, Cognizin, we’re seeing beverages that seem to have a natural functionality.”

According to Mast, products like Chia\Vie (emphasis: “natural energy”) have “a clear positioning for people who want clean, naturally functional beverages, and I’m expecting we’ll see more of those at Expo East.

Mast said aloe is growing in terms of its stature as an ingredient, largely around digestive health but also around skin benefits, but beyond chia and aloe, new ingredients haven’t begun to come into focus yet.

“I’m excited to see what emerges at Expo East,” she said.

One area that is screaming for new ingredient functionality is sports and nutrition, Mast added, saying that while interest in that area among natural product consumers remains high, they are still looking for products to fulfill that demand.

“Sports is still a conundrum,” Mast said. You’ve got this demographic that wants natural, but a huge number that also gravitate to Monster Energy. But the emergence of sports like crossfit, yoga, pilates, along with women gravitating to endurance events means that sports nutrition is moving across toward a consumer group that’s interested in the profile of natural products rather than the traditional bodybuilding crowd.”