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Top 10 New & Noteworthy GF Products: 2011 Natural Products Expo West

March 14, 2011 by  
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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:

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.

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.

CocoaNova - Mocha Cacao

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.

7 Ancient Grains-Hint of Sea Salt

7 Ancient Grains-Cracked Pepper & Herb

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!

Italian Sausage Pizza Wrap

Shredded Beef Burrito

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.

Kim & Scott's Gluten Free Soft Pretzel

3. Udi’s Gluten Free – Classic Hamburger & Hot Dog Buns
Really, really excellent new soft, yummy buns. Finally!

Udi's Classic Hamburger Buns

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


31 Responses to “Top 10 New & Noteworthy GF Products: 2011 Natural Products Expo West”
  1. Kara says:

    mmm Sounds yummy! I’m excited to try the pre-made pie crust!

  2. Laura says:

    as usual, mostly sweets..don’t do sweets, but I’m interested in trying Udi’s rolls

  3. Nancy says:

    Laura- There’s only one “sweet” in my top 10 here, so I’m not sure what you mean. I’ve mostly reported on non-sweet things.

  4. Lauren Posavetz says:

    Thanks for sharing! DO you know if they will be having a similar conference on the east coast?

  5. josef says:

    you should have come by the Orgran booth for some gluten free licorice.

    there is an Expo east but it is to the trade only and the show has been in a decline over the last 7 or 8 years.

  6. Giorgio says:

    Expo East will be in Baltimore, MD Sept 21-24
    Check out how to register at http://www.expoeast.com

  7. Katie says:

    I have to say we got some of Rudis multigrain bread today and it is amazing! I don’t have to eat gluten free but tasted some that we made with dinner (hubby & son are Celiac) and I was amazed!! It tasted so much better than regular bread!! Can’t wait for their buns!

  8. What a great show it was! How fun to taste-test so many new gluten-free products!

    It should be noted, though, that Wolfgang Puck’s Soups are not marked gluten-free because their soups, broths and stocks share manufacturing processes and equipment with gluten containing ingredients and products. They do this for the safety of those with celiac and high intolerances to gluten.

  9. Pam says:

    WOW! Thanks for the awesome show wrap you for us East Coasters. I know of a show in Charlotte, NC April 30th http://www.charlottegfexpo.blogspot.com/

  10. Great post! Wish I met you at Expo West; I had a great time and tasted all of these gluten-free products. I agree, Rudi’s is by far still my favorite. Thanks for the wonderful information for everyone!
    Have a great day.

  11. Kevin says:

    Wow, I didn’t realize that there was co many new gluten free products. This list is going to help alot of people. Isn’t it great that we can go online and order so many of these products instead of hunting down a health food store. I was for a couple of years eating gluten free/dairy free products, but was recently diagnosed with cancer and have switched to a mostly raw organic diet with lots of freshly extracted carrot juice. This has not only solved my celiac disease problem, but it has cured me of migrains, caused me to lose all of my unhealthy weight, increased energy tremendously, and is healing me of my cancer. I must admit though, I do sometimes like a tasty gluten free/dairy free treat and I will keep this list in mind. Thanks.

  12. Sorry we missed you at our booth. Our gluten-free lemon bars, cookies, and muffins were a hit.

  13. Expo West was a fantastic experience! It was the first time I attended. My all-time favorite samples were Pamela’s Products White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake; and Dagoba Organic Chocolate, though it contains soy. Check out today’s blog to find out all of the new products I taste tested: http://glutenfreerecipebox.com/new-gluten-free-products-2011

  14. Nancy says:

    Carla- The press sheet (& Rep I spoke to) says “New for 2011″ 12 of the Wolfgang Puck soups will contain gluten free statements on the packaging. I like that Pamela’s cheesecake, too, but it’s not new, so I left it out of this list.

  15. Nancy says:

    I did make it to just about every booth, but didn’t necessarily stop and chat since there were so many to see. It depended on the crowd there at the time. Sorry I couldn’t meet everyone personally this time since I was only there for one day.

  16. Michelle says:

    After checking onto some of the products you mentioned that looked good to my family, I am at the same point I almost always am with gluten-free products. As many celiacs have a problem with corn as have a problem with oats (research study was done in 1978!), yet oats are avoided in gluten-free foods and corn is almost always included. Very, very aggravating for us that the corn lobby is so strong in our country since both celiacs in our house can not tolerate corn either.

  17. Nancy says:

    Sorry about that, Michelle. That must be disappointing to find all that corn. I avoid gluten and soy. You avoid gluten and corn. Others avoid dairy or eggs or sugar. I decided when I started this site, that it would focus on gluten free living/foods, etc. Other than that, everyone has their own list of other things they avoid. Corn is everywhere, though. That’s a tough one to avoid so I hear your discouragement. I have also noticed that a lot more gluten free companies are using gf oats lately in more products. FYI- Rudi’s bread doesn’t contain corn, but Udi’s does.

    You probably found this out, but out of these top ten products, only some of the Wolfgang Puck soups, Glutenfreeda products & Udi’s have corn. The other 7 don’t. (Although,I don’t have the ingredients for the Canyon Bakehouse bread on hand.)

  18. Michelle says:

    Actually we avoid gluten and corn because of celiac and dairy, soy, MSG, sulfites, and beef between my daughter and I. We do use Rudi’s white and raisin-cinnamon breads because they are corn-free. Their multigrain bread is not corn-free. Neither are their new hamburger buns, hot dog buns and pizza crusts, according to the company when they responded to my question on Twitter. I heard they are really good from multiple people so was bummed about that. About a year ago, the people at Udi’s said they were perfecting new recipes that would alleviate the corn in many of their products, but that hasn’t happened. We love some of the Zing bars that meet our safe criteria and need to check into their new offerings you listed as I haven’t yet.

    Please understand that I wasn’t dissing your blog for focusing on gluten-free content. I am thankful for that starting point when I am on a search. Who I’m frustrated with the companies who keep manufacturing gluten-free foods with corn, another grain that nearly half of celiacs can not tolerate. Those with soy, I can’t eat either, but not because of celiac. That is a food allergy for me.

  19. Nancy says:

    Michelle- I totally understand your frustration with the corn thing. Rudi’s hamburger buns DO have corn as do the Udi’s and Canyon Bakehouse. :(
    I’ve included some of the ingredient labels that I got at the expo. Sorry about that. ~nancy

  20. Hi Nancy,
    Thank you so much for including us in your top 10 from Expo West! We’re really excited about all 4 of our new flavors coming out this year and I’m thrilled to hear you loved the Chocolate Walnut Brownie. It’s a treat for chocolate lovers for sure. All of our products are dairy, gluten, soy, and corn free. Our cookies are being made by Pamela’s Products which is why they are so delicious!
    Thanks again ~Kiley

  21. Nancy says:

    Hi Kiley- Thanks for stopping by to comment! I really LOVED your new products and I’m not even much of a frozen dessert person. Incredible that you guys can do that without all the allergens, too! ~nancy

  22. Pat Zahn says:

    I love that more and more gluten-free items are being developed, especially if they are adding some whole grain goodness. However, I don’t like the prices – thank goodness I can bake; I will keep some on hand for convenience though…

  23. Pat Zahn says:

    Oh, and I forgot to mention, I love Coconut Bliss ice “creams” – since I am wheat-free AND dairy-free.

  24. Michelle says:

    Kiley @ Coconut Bliss, Thanks for posting that your products are now corn-free. When I checked a couple years ago, your company said the flavorings weren’t corn-free and we just didn’t buy them even though they looked awesome. Guess I should have checked again for changes. I am avoiding sweets trying to lose the large amount of weight gluten-fee eating has caused me, but my daughter loves ice”cream” and will be happy to hear she now has another choice.

  25. Joel Warady says:

    Thanks for including Enjoy Life products in your “notables” list. We appreciate you visiting our booth at Expo West and trying our products. We launched 6 new products at the show (4 Crunchy Cookies, 1 Chocolate Granola, and 1 Mega-Chunk semi-sweet chocolate chunks), all of which are Gluten Free, free of the 8 common allergens, and corn-free. They should start to show up in stores within the next couple of months. And they taste great!

    Thanks for this blog. Great work!

    Joel Warady
    Chief Marketing Officer – Enjoy Life

  26. Jim Garsow says:

    Our team is honored by your nice review of our new Crunchmaster products. We are glad that you enjoyed them. Let us know if we can help you and your community spread the good news about nutritious, delicious items for your GF lifestyle.


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