2022 Expo West was an Entrepreneurial Success with an Energetic and Healthy Focus.
We can look forward to more plant-based/vegan, keto, non-alcoholic, zero or low sugar, alternative & functional ingredients, global flavors, and remember to eat your veggies.
Expo West 2022 was back in full force after three years. The show was filled with high energy and genuine happiness as startups and established companies re-connected and shared their fabulous new products with a throng of attendees. I can’t wait to hear the numbers.
As a brand owner myself, I could appreciate the passion and enthusiasm of founders and team members for this year’s Expo West. New Hope and the exhibitors still had to juggle the in-person and virtual events during this unprecedented time but after the practice run at Expo East, it was a seamless experience. New Hope did a fabulous job of live casting the key speakers. I sat in traffic the first day, late to the first Pitch event, and was able to listen in easily on my phone. Well done all!
A few favorites (there are so many!):
Amazi Foods founder, Renee Dunn, continues to overachieve in working toward a sustainable and more equitable supply chain, recognition for the brand, packaging, and great-tasting products. Well done making it to the Expo West Pitch Event Finals.
Bonn AppéSweet’s story inspires from the founder, Thearesa Black’s, deployment in the military to her mission of liberty and justice for ALL! The brilliant package re-design, zero added sugar, plant-based, sweetened by dates, dairy-free, and tasty chocolate is quickly being noticed. Another founder doing good and making it to the Expo West Pitch Event Finals.
Eat the Change now that’s a good motto for the future! Seth Goldman is doing it again with his new brand of mushroom and carrot chews, which are delicious, healthy, and planet-friendly. We know Seth from Honest Team Beyond Burger and then he started PLNT Burger restaurants. He has been an ambassador for the entrepreneurial spirit working with Startup CPG.
Good Food for Good is a Certified B Corp, organic, vegan, keto, paleo, Whole Food 30 approved, with a buy one give one for good! They have a terrific mission and delicious plant-based products, especially the Bolognese.
Machu Picchu Energy made their first entry to Expo West and talk about ‘energy’, you could see and feel the excitement of sharing this new brand with the community. Daniel Scharff, CEO of Machu Picchu Energy plus Founder of Startup CPG with Bernardo Paiva, Founder of Machu Picchu Energy had their own energy to share! Daniel is the inspiration behind the Startup CPG community of brands and supporters and with his expertise is surely getting attention for this new delicious, organic, clean ingredient beverage with great flavors, packaging, and a mission to give back.
Moon Shot Snacks was founded by Julia Collins and makes climate-friendly snacks, plus she went above and beyond to build a platform, Planet FWD, which allows other companies to do the same.
Om Mushrooms are a standout and superfood due to their founder expertise, mission, products, and packaging. Om is short for Organic Mushrooms and grows many varieties in their own facility in Carlsbad, California. I love that they also recognize the universal significance of the word ‘Om’ meaning connection and universal possibility. They use mushroom species like Lion’s Mane, Reishi, Chaga, Maitake, a master blend and more.
The Pocket Latte story is heartwarming and the true meaning of an entrepreneurial spirit! A real coffee bar with all-natural ingredients by mother and son. Terrific flavors are available in dark roast, cream, and sugar, lavender vanilla and hazelnut
Rind Snacks – Matt Weiss, the Founder, has a genuine passion for his brand and innovative products. Rind Snacks has a terrific story, mission, and ingredients. They are beyond startup mode and will certainly become a global brand.
TCHO Chocolates is a Certified B Corp that produces and sources cacao with their farmer partners. I have been a fan of this brand since they launched and they continue to focus on transparency and ‘Fair and Square’ chocolate production. Of course, I should mention, it’s always delicious!
The flavor, colors, and fun in the Thaiwala Tea booth were fabulous plus delicious. Heather Howitt, the founder, also brought us Oregon Chai and continues to be recognized, including a 2021 SOFI Silver Winner. The yummy Thai Tea can be mixed with any favorite milk, just shake and serve.
Twrl Milk Tea produces canned vegan milk tea made with organic fair trade tea, pea milk, low sugar, and calories. I have been following Pauline Ang for some time and am not surprised by the success of this unique brand.
The Yishi story, packaging, trendy flavors, functional foods, keto-friendly and Asian influence. The founder and team’s energy was fun to see and the booth was full of visitors. I couldn’t resist the flavors that are so cool like toasted black sesame, taro bubble tea, red bean berry.