In early March, a group of Down to Earth team members attended Expo West, one of the largest Natural Product shows in the entire world. At this convention, the main draw is usually to see new products and upcoming innovations. There are also numerous events and workshops that cover relevant topics surrounding the Natural Products industry. One of the most popular events focuses on predicting upcoming trends. Usually these feature trending categories like specific kind of snacks or beverages (i.e. plant-based jerky, kombucha, etc.) that are gaining popularity. At this past Expo, one of the highlighted trends was Climate-Friendly Brands. As companies make increased efforts to use recycled materials or source sustainable ingredients, consumers are taking notice and creating a demand for even more sustainably-minded efforts. In fact, a study showed that preference for sustainable products has grown 20% these past 5 years. One of the seminars alluded to a study that most of the top climate-changing factors are food-related which is now growing to be an even more dominant consideration for the natural products industry. With this in mind, there were more companies displaying their B Corp and Fair Trade Certified labels and showing off their eco-friendly product characteristics or production.
At the show, there was a surge of brands that are driven by missions to protect the environment with minimal strain. These upcoming brands include a powdered tea that could make 60 cups of tea without using any extraneous tea bags or packaging. Even established brands are looking to make climate-first innovations, such as one of our favorites, Lotus Foods. Using innovative ideas like their More Crop Per Drop™ practices, their farmers are reducing their use of water by up to 50% and more. Down to Earth was really impressed by these companies and their innovative efforts to be thoroughly environmentally conscious, and we will be bringing many of them into our stores.
As this year’s Earth Day approaches, we often think of what we can do as individuals to help with environmental issues. I’ve noticed that while price is an important quality to me when shopping, I’ve now come to prefer companies that have a strong commitment to their mission and values. After attending Expo this year, I was extremely excited to see the upcoming trend of Climate-Minded companies grow even stronger. I’m excited to support these companies with my money as they help me do more for the environment than I could do on my own. When you make a choice to buy more of these wonderful climate-friendly companies, it’s a great reflection of your values and helps support the larger efforts toward sustainability.