Top 10 New & Noteworthy GF Products: 2011 Natural Products Expo West
Natural Products Expo West is the premier show for organic, natural, green, gluten free and healthy products. The 2011 Expo was attended this past weekend in Anaheim, CA, by over 58,000 industry professionals. Many companies use this opportunity to roll out new products or new packaging that will be in stores soon to retail buyers that attend, but they also let some “press” folks in as well. Here’s the report of what I found in the gluten free products category . . .
Top 3 Trends:
1. PUFFED FOODS
I noticed a few trends in the gluten free products category. First, there were more puffed rice, puffed potato, and puffed corn products than I’ve ever seen in one place. – all covered in powdered flavorings and colors that are definitely not found anywhere in nature. Not so “natural.”
The second trend I noticed was chips, chips and more chips. Potato chips, corn chips, cassava chips, falafel chips, yucca chips, kale chips . . . all are “naturally” gluten free to begin with, but are being marketed in a big way to the gluten free community.
3. CONVENIENCE FOODS
The third big trend of gluten free products I noticed was convenience foods. Protein bars, granola, and granola bars were everywhere. Most companies that are known for granola brought new bars, and most companies known for bars, brought new granola.
There were a few particularly innovative convenience products including Pamela’s products Individual Brownie Mix that makes a one-serving microwavable brownie and single serving Baking & Pancake Mix. Another notable tasty innovation coming soon to a store near you is Kinnikinnick’s refrigerated unfold-and-bake pie crust (2 to a package). A third interesting convenience food was Maplegrove Rice Mac & Cheese Meal in a microwavable cup. Glutino’s new microwavable pizza wrap is convenient and tastes great. Kettle Cuisine, McDougall’s (not all are GF), Thai Kitchen & Annie Chun’s all had their convenient microwave soups and meals there as well. Conte’s Pasta & Caesar’s Pasta also have delicious microwave meals, pizza and easy pasta dishes.
My Top Ten New & Noteworthy
(There are detailed reviews of some of these coming.)
10. Wolfgang Puck – New Gluten Free Canned Soups
Twelve new soups are gluten free and organic. I loved the Creamy Tomato. Amazing, creamy and fresh.
9. Kinnikinnick New Pie Crust
This crust was sampled as little chocolate mousse tarts that were delicious. Refrigerated, fold out and bake. I’m always looking for cooking shortcuts that taste great, and this is one that I’ll be happy to add. This is definitely not in stores yet, but I’ll be looking for it.
8. Honest Tea: New Honest CocoaNova, Mocha Cacao
A new category from Honest Tea – CocoaNova, 50 calories, about 1/8 the caffeine of a cup of coffee, full of antioxidants, this is a strange and delightful brew of chocolate cacao beans. Think Yoo-hoo meets tea. Light & refreshing. Dairy free, gluten free, organic, no GMO’s. Amazing.
7. CrunchMaster – New 7 Ancient Grain Crackers
Includes two varieties: Hint of Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper & Herb. 100% whole grains and are certified gluten free, all natural, low fat. Brown rice, sorghum, quinoa, sesame, millet, flax and amaranth.
6. Glutenfreeda – New Pizza Wraps & Shredded Beef Burritos
Convenience food, yes. But really tasty and the Pizza Wraps are a little like Hot Pockets. They come in 3 flavors: Three Cheese, Pesto Chicken & Italian Sausage (I had this one and loved it.) The Beef Burrito is really great, too!
5. Luna & Larry’s Coconut Bliss – New Chocolate Brownie Flavor
Four new flavors of this incredible ice-cream-like coconut milk frozen dessert were introduced, but this chocolate brownie flavor was indescribable. Non-GMO, non-dairy, gluten free, organic, soy free, vegan. Everyone around me kept asking the guys running the booth, “This is gluten free?”
4. Kim & Scott’s – New Gluten Free Soft Pretzel
This is the first gluten free pretzel for Kim & Scott’s but they got it right. Microwave in about 30 seconds and add your own salt (included). Soft but not mushy or too chewy.
3. Udi’s Gluten Free – Classic Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns
Really, really excellent new soft, yummy buns. Finally!
2. Canyon Bakehouse – Mock Rye
Another great bread from Canyon Bakehouse, but gluten free “rye” bread?! Yum! Soft and tastes like the real thing. (Canyon Bakehouse also has awesome hamburger buns and beat everyone else to it, but they aren’t new) Can’t wait to make a “mock” Reuben on this bread!
Ingredients: Brown Rice Flour, Whole Grain Sorghum Flour, Water, Tapioca Flour, Caraway, Eggs, Xanthan Gum, Cultured Corn Starch, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Organic Agave Syrup, Potato Flour, Whole Millet Flour, Sea Salt, Yeast, Natural Enzymes
1. Rudi’s Gluten Free – MultiGrain Hamburger Buns
My top favorite new product! These buns are soft and have a great, slightly rustic texture with a hint of honey and molasses. You can see the whole grains and they taste great! That’s what pushes them over to first place in the bun category.
Watch for these other new products worth trying (either available now or soon – in no particular order):
- Bakery on Main – New Granolas: Fiber Power with 9g of fiber per serving, new soft & chewy granola bars
- Crunchmaster – New cracker flavors white cheddar and roasted vegetable
- Rudi’s – New pizza crust & Hot dog buns
- Enjoy Life – New Crunchy Cookies – Double Chocolate, Honey Vanilla Graham & Chocolate Chip, Sugar
- Glutenfreeda – New Individual Cheesecakes
- Popcorn Indiana – Black & White Drizzled Kettlecorn, Chipins Popcorn Chips (sea salt flavor)
- Zing Bars – New Granola, new coconut bars
- Mrs. Mays Naturals – New Fruit & Nut Rounds
- Justin’s – Dark & Milk Chocolate Peanut butter cups, Peanut almond & hazelnut butters – Dairy Free/Gluten Free
- Love Grown Granolas
- Glow Gluten Free Cookies – Not new but always noteworthy
- Mary’s Gone Crackers – New Cracker Crumbs (for breading or crumb toppings)
- Feel Good Food – New Gluten Free Asian Dumplings
- Earth Balance – New Coconut Spread
- Amy’s – New Sandwich rounds, New Margherita Pizza
- Kinnikinnick- New Thin Pizza Crust
- Udi’s – New Ancient Grain Breads – Omega Salba & Millet Chia, & cookies
- Glutino/Genius Bread – New partnership with Glutino brings Europe’s most popular GF bread to the US
- Hodgson Mill – New GF Coating
- O’Doughs – New GF Muffins: Chocolate, Blueberry & Carrot