The 33rd annual Natural Products Expo East, held Sept. 12-15 in Baltimore, showcased numerous meat and poultry new product innovations, everything from fresh whole muscle to breaded nuggets to snacks. This year, the show hosted more than 1,500 brands, including 244 first-time exhibitors.
The US natural products industry grew 6.3 percent to hit $206 billion in annual sales last year, and industry sales have more than doubled each year since 2007, according to expo organizers. The combined US sales of natural, organic and functional foods and beverages increased 6.5 percent to $143 billion in 2017. This growth was about 10 times that of the overall $280 billion total food industry, which saw another stagnant year of about 0.7 percent growth.
Much of the growth in natural products comes as a result of entrepreneurial brands bringing innovative ideas and new flavors to the table and the expo floor. Check out this slide show of some such innovations.