Every year Anaheim hosts the largest natural products convention in the U.S., Natural Products Expo West. The event showcases the newest and most innovative products in natural, organic and healthy living with more than 1,900 hundred brands spread across 300,000 square feet.
The shear volume of products on display and the liberal application of the term “natural” made finding meaningful innovation hard to come by – unless of course, you feel we need more ways to turn soy into meat-like substances or diet ice-cubes are the cure for America’s obesity problems.
However, these five products stood out as truly innovative – meaning they have the potential to positively influence consumers impact on people or the planet.
According to the International Bottled Water Association U.S. consumption of bottled water was up nearly 8% in 2007, making us the world-wide leader in bottled water consumption. Ecousable’s ech2o 2-in-1 water bottle filter is hoping to change those statistics. The 100% food grade stainless steel water bottle houses a water filter that removes up to 99.99% of all pollutants, allowing you to ditch your plastic water bottle and fill up at any stream, lake, hose or tap.
With Americans throwing out enough plastic forks, spoons and knives each year to circle the equator 300 times, “Reduce Your Forkprint” has become the credo of To-Go Ware, a sustainable food utensil and container company. To-Go Ware’s utensils are made from sustainably grown bamboo and come in a variety of pouches produced according to fair trade principles. Their stainless steel containers come in a variety of sizes and can be latched together so your food stays in one place, while your life stays on the go.
Green Hearts, by Soler is working to create guilt free barbecuing. This Brazil based company sustainably manages eucalyptus forests in Brazil, harvesting the giant trees to make charcoal briquettes while maintaining the natural ecosystem. Eucalyptus is a fast growing renewable resource that allows Soler to offset the CO2 caused when producing and using the briquettes by planting a new tree in its place. So grab your ech2o water bottle, To Go-Ware and Green Heart charcoal and go have a guilt-free picnic
Farmer’s markets are on the rise across the U.S.. However, as we become reacquainted with where our food comes from, gaps in our food story begin to appear. Like where does all that wheat we consume come from? Stone-Buhr, the 95 year-old flour company that sources its wheat from sustainable family farms in the northwest, is providing an answer to that question with the launch of FindTheFarmer.com. You simply type in the Best By date and the site provides profiles of the farmers who grew your wheat, complete with photos, bios and videos. It makes buying a bag of wheat at your grocery store almost as fun and informational as a farmers market.
Lets start by admitting that there is nothing healthy about candy. With that admission out of the way, Gimme is giving us as healthy of a candy as you can find, and it tastes good. Gimme uses a minimal amount of all natural ingredients that you’ll actually be able to pronounce. Then they throw in omega 3’s, calcium or probiotics to make you feel a little better about consuming more than you probably should.
Which of these new product lines do you think are truly innovative? Are you excited to buy or carry any of them?