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      1. Regenerative Agriculture, CBD, and Sustainable Packaging: Trends at Upcoming Natural Products Expo East

        With the thousands of existing and new products soon to be on display at Natural Products Expo East in September, we know there will be an abundance of actionable insights. Check out some of the preliminary trends we’re seeing pop up as Expo East draws nearer:

        Momentum in Regenerative Agriculture?

        The prevalent topics of regenerative agriculture and sustainability will both be at the forefront as consumers and companies become increasingly invested in the future health of the planet and its habitants. Consumers feel the tension and consequences of short-sighted practices in farming and in the use of materials; and, as a result, brands and retailers of all sizes are implementing immediate changes with a long game in mind. We expect more brands to share stories of ways that they are nourishing the soil and its inhabitants, as well as using innovative packaging and other means to embrace a circular economy and the principles of reduce, reuse, and recycle. Additionally, we hope to see innovation actually reduce packaging waste.?

        Sustainability and Affordable Packaging

        Fast Company recently shared a report from McKinsey that uncovers consumer tension in this area. While consumers are alarmed by plastic consumption and want to address the waste generated, they are not willing to pay more for packaging that is friendlier to the earth. Sustainability-driven chocolatier Alter Eco is a pioneer in eco-friendly packaging and well aware of the challenges in implementation. Their CEO believes that collaboration with other food brands and packaging companies is key to sustainable packaging innovation, in terms of identifying solutions together and partnering to achieve the scale necessary to make any new packaging option feasible and affordable. Alter Eco’s partnership with Numi Tea allows the two brands to generate the volume needed to make the runs of their compostable packaging cost effective.

        CBD in the Spotlight

        Joel Stanley, co-founder of CBD pioneer Charlotte’s Web, shared in a recent interview that the three things that the hemp industry needs most are consumer education, progress in regulation, and research to further understand and untap the potential of the hemp plant. The fact that the Expo East Hemp Pavilion exists demonstrates the proliferation and growing popularity of hemp and CBD products. And the opportunity for attendees and exhibitors to convene opens opportunities for discussion and ideation to meet the industry-wide needs cited by Stanley.

        With natural products growing five times faster than conventional product sales in traditional groceries, it is not surprising that 7 of the top 10 food and beverage brands in the 2019 Inc. 5000 list of the fastest growing companies in America are in the natural and organic category. We are eager to see new product launches from existing brands along with new companies entering the market. Stay tuned for our topics, trends, and takeaways from Expo East, and click here to download our full report from Expo West 2019.

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