I’m literally shaking in my boots (okay slippers) right now out of the excitement I have for the upcoming Expo West event in Anaheim, CA next week. It’s only a week before I am there and interacting with some amazing gluten-free and allergen-friendly brands. I am lucky enough to be part of the We.Blog team of editorial bloggers with Delicious Living and New Hope 360 – the great people that put on this wild and crazy event. After pouring through so many press releases that my eyes are now crossed, I put together my list of exciting new products I’m excited to try at Expo West. There are a kazillion exhibitors at Expo West, so I know that I didn’t even touch on so many products – especially since so many are embargoed to press until after the show. There are also a lot of my favorite exhibitors that are showing off products that are already in the market that are still amazing (like Enjoy Life Foods and their dark chocolate morsels that I just ordered online in bulk). I also tried to choose brands and foods that were new to me, and even brands that were naturally gluten-free that don’t necessarily always market to our little gluten-free corner of the world. Check out my top pre-expo picks in the categories below and happy eating!
High Brew Coffee will debut their high-quality cold-brew ready-to-drink coffee 50-60 calories a can, they’re launching with awesome flavors like Salted Caramel and Mexican Vanilla. Check them out at booth #5651. Because I love coffee. Because…coffee. And at Expo West, I should probably grab 10 of these.
Sweet Leaf tea is debuting a new hybrid beverage – a mix of coffee and tea! The new flavors are the Coffee-Tea blend and a Vanilla Coffee-Tea blend. Both flavors are certified organic. These tea hybrids are sweetened with organic cane sugar and a touch of stevia. I’ve only mixed coffee and tea on accident when I was very, very tired, but I’m excited to see what Sweet Leaf came up with! They’ll be at booth #5401.
Numi tea is coming out with some pretty amazing flavors launching at Expo West. If you don’t know Numi, you need to run to the store and try this amazing high-quality tea. I’ve been a fan of theirs since before I became a food blogger. And now to find out that they’re launching a line of Indulgent chocolate teas? I feel like they’re speaking directly to my ovaries saying “you’ve had a hard day, and it looks like you’re out of wine…here, have me instead.” When I saw the Chocolate Earl Grey flavor, I about teared up. This is exactly what I want – and it’s at #2426.
BREAD & SNACKS
Canyon Bakehouse, with my favorite gluten-free focaccia I’ve ever found, is hosting my book signing on SATURDAY AT 2-3PM (changed from original date and time) at booth #4385! I first fed this bread to my non-GF friends and they couldn’t believe that it was gluten-free (which is a huge compliment). They’re in a dedicated gluten-free bakery with 100% whole grain products. They’re dairy, nut, and soy free on top of being gluten-free! Come visit me and taste some amazing gluten-free bread! Yes, shameless self promotion happening right now!
Phoney Boloney will be at Expo West in booth #7004. When I saw this company on Twitter I had to read it twice. I mean…c’mon. How could I not mention coconut bacon. Like faux bacon made from coconut that is vegan and gluten-free. I can’t even. This should be one of the most interesting products.
Along with the Root Veggie burger that they made last year that you can make in a toaster, I am constantly impressed with Hilary’s Eat Well (#1677). When I connected with them about what they were showcasing at Expo West 2014, they introduced me to their new line of dressings. These include Hilary’s Eat Well Ranch Chia with Omega-3’s dressing, and Creamy Remoulade with Dill Pickle dressing. These are made with coconut milk and are organic, gluten-free, and dairy-free (and egg-free, yeast-free, soy-free and corn-free too, whew!). But don’t get excited just yet, they won’t be available to the general consumer until August 2014!
Beanitos gave us an exclusive on their new product they are debuting at Expo West. Are you ready for this? I mean, their bean chips (especially the restaurant style white bean flavor) blew people away – especially in our house (and no, that wasn’t supposed to be a bean/fart joke). I love these chips! However, their new product isn’t even a chip at all! Beanitos is launching their new puffs at Expo West 2014 at booth #1785. This is the first ever bean puff! They’re launching in two flavors: white cheddar and hot chili lime. They’re made from navy beans and they are not fried, just baked! Much like the chips they are high fiber, high protein, and low(er) in calories than many chips. They are GF, non-GMO as well as low-glycemic. Be one of the first to try a bean puff at Beanitos’ booth at Expo West. For everyone else, they’ll be rolling into stores around spring/summer.
Quinn Popcorn at #5127 is showcasing their new “Farm-to-Bag” pre-popped popcorn. The coolest thing about it – other than the fact that there’s now kale popcorn – is that it has complete supply chain transparency. Check out this website: http://www.quinnpopcorn.com/farmtobag – you can enter the unique product code and find out who actually supplied the corn that made your popcorn! This is mind-blowing and such a cool way to keep your consumers connected with your brand! They are, not surprisingly, non-GMO project verified. I’m most excited to try this kale popcorn, although they have other flavors. This popcorn contains organic dried kale and organic dried carrot – at only 39 calories a cup!
Pacific Foods is launching a new quinoa vegetable soup that is gluten-free! The Organic Vegetable Quinoa soup looks delicious and I can’t wait to have another gluten-free soup from Pacific! It contains quinoa (obviously), zucchini, onion, and bell peppers and is also vegan. Look for this in a few months on the store shelves and at booth #3648!
Massel will be at booth #7402 and you may have seen me tweet about this booth because they’re hosting Tess Masters (aka Blender Girl and a friend from FABlogCon ’13) on 3/8 at 1pm. They’ll be debuting their all natural gluten-free concentrated liquid stock (one pouch makes 2 quarts). And even though it’s chicken-styled (different from chicken-flavored), it’s suitable for vegans! Everyone should have their bouillon cubes around in the kitchen in case you run out of your own stock or need something super quick!
Way Better Snacks is appearing at Expo West in booth #5317 and they’re launching two pretty radical new flavor combos of their sprouted chips. One of them is a Sriracha flavor. I haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love Sriracha. Maybe that makes me a super hipster because apparently Sriracha – not orange – is the new black. When I met with Way Better Snacks at the Phoenix GFAF Expo, Linda told me that they just came back from Fancy Foods and kicked some butt with this awesome flavor launch. I seriously can’t wait to put this chip IN MY MOUTH. I’ve loved their Sweet Chili chips and can’t wait for this to come out. Way Better Snacks are way better because they use sprouted seeds – like kale and broccoli to make their food better for you!
TREATS & GOODIES
XO Baking Co. will be at booth #2799 and will be showing off several new gluten-free products. Lindsey is amazing and I’ve always loved her stuff at gluten-free expos I’ve seen her at over the years. She’ll be debuting a biscuit and scone mix, a blondie mix, an all purpose muffin mix, and a pie crust mix. She’ll also have new packaging and a new cookie variety for the ready-to-eat cookie line!
Hail Merry Snacks is debuting their chocolate chip flavor of my favorite macaroons! They instagrammed a video of their new product and I was drooling on my iPhone! Head to booth #1474 to snag one – but save me a bite! Seriously, wrap them in a napkin and put them in your pocket for me!
Mary’s Gone Crackers is launching their gluten-free graham crackers at Expo West. Head to booth #2304 to sample these. So far, Schar holds the gluten-free crown for their honeygrahams, so we’ll have to see how Mary does against Dr. Anne and team!
Yasso greek frozen yogurt at #5123 is launching new flavors including Sea Salt Caramel and Peanut Butter Cup. I first got a chance to sample this brand at last year’s BlogHer in Chicago when they held a yoga in the park event for bloggers. It was a TON of fun, and it made me think this brand was someone I should connect with. I think that I’ll probably cheat on my dairy-free diet for a day to sample the peanut butter cup flavor. I mean, I’ve got digestive enzymes packed!
Mr. Dewie’s reached out to me on twitter and talked to me about their new cashew ice cream. Um….sign me up! It is gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free! See also: they have a coffee flavor. I can’t wait! Find them at booth #2372!
So what are YOUR top pre-Expo West picks? Where should I definitely go? What are you most excited about?