Natural Products Expo East Sparks Sweet Innovation

Food Bars

Walking the show floor of Natural Products Expo East brought back emotions of excitement (we’re back!), eagerness (how are things going to taste?) and inquisitiveness (how is honey going to be used in new, innovative ways?).

Innovation truly means something for everyone. Of course, brand new made-with-honey products were displayed on the show floor, but we also had the welcome opportunity to chat with old friends who love creating foods and beverages with honey as the sweetener. Innovation can be displayed in a number of ways, depending on the lens of the viewer. In these made-with-honey products found at Expo East, each dove deep into a different view of innovation, and trust us — they were all unique, delicious and worth a grab off of store shelves.

Something Different

Fast Bar’s new line, including the Nuts & Honey variety, is a take on a growing trend: intermittent fasting. The company’s formulation goal is to allow the bar to work with the diet, as a way to curb hunger with fewer calories and less sugar. Developers suggest grabbing the bar after a 15-hour overnight fasting period or as a snack anytime during the day. And, with honey combined with almonds, coconut flour, sea salt and rosemary extract, it’s a bar so intriguing that its booth made its way into the “Hot Products” section of the show floor.

Photo Credit: Fast Bar

Pure Bison Jerky debuted on the show floor, and Susan Taylor Burgess said, “We wanted to use as all-natural sweetener as possible. We have a soft chew on the jerky, and it helps with the texture of the meat.”

O’dang’s Honey Mustard Hummus Dressing is not only made with honey, but also includes another new hot trend from the show floor: chickpeas. The dressing is dairy-, preservative- and gluten-free, and it has 45 calories per serving. This mix of sweet and tangy definitely had us saying “Oh dang!”

Photo Credit: O'Dang
Photo Credit: SOW GOOD

Possibly one of the most unique product lineups at Expo East comes from SOW GOOD. With a “mission to revolutionize food,” their products are freeze-dried, which eliminates moisture, reducing overall waste. Yummy Acai the Light granola mixes honey, chia seeds, flax seeds, coconut oil, and almond flour for a craving-worthy snack or breakfast food.

Line Expansion

K2 Ventures’ Brave Good Kind debuted its Hot Honey Chicken Bars in May (they have Hot Honey Bites as well). The company’s fun Expo East booth showcased what everyone’s been talking about all summer, and Prabal Chaudhri, president and founder of K2 Ventures, said: "Since the launch of BGK Tender Chicken Bites, we have received tremendous excitement from consumers who loved our delicious bites for their everyday snacking needs. Consumers also asked us for a more convenient product that they can consume for their active adventures such as hiking, running and road-trips as a meal replacement or sustenance snack that gives them portion control. That's why we decided to expand our portfolio and launch chicken snacks in a new format.”

Photo Credit: Brave Good Kind

Something New

Photo Credit: Purely Elizabeth

National Honey Month partner Purely Elizabeth debuted several new made-with-honey expansions at the show: our favorite was the Honey Peanut Butter Ancient Grain Granola. It’s gluten-free, non-GMO and 100% delicious.

Unique Flavors

Taste and flavor are always the No. 1 consumer demand in the food industry. After all, if something doesn’t taste good, what’s the point? Consumers love their favorites too, and mixing a familiar ingredient like honey with unfamiliar tastes is the perfect way to introduce new combinations. Honey Mama’s does just that with their made-with-honey fusions like Ginger Cardamom, Oregon Mint, Tahini Tangerine and Lavender Rose.

Photo Credit: Honey Mama's

For more information on how to innovate with your next made-with-honey product, or to put a new spin on an existing one, visit