Inside Expo West—emerging trends, innovations abound in 2019

by | Mar 28, 2019 | Analysis, Public Relations

The 39th annual Natural Products Expo West is now behind us, and, with more brands taking part than ever before, it proved to be one of the most successful in the event’s history.

For those who didn’t attend, try to imagine walking through football fields of never-ending aisles with products from your favorite brands, and a wealth of products not yet available to the public. From ingredient transparency, to CBD in all forms, to keto diet goods, Expo West provided visitors with an abundance of incredibly interesting trends and innovations emerging from the natural products marketplace.

Approximately 90,000 industry professionals descended upon California for the event, where over 3,500 brands displayed their products, including 300 first-time exhibitors.

As in year’s past, we came away from the event with a tremendous amount of inspiration and insights in a variety of fields. However, there were definitely a few emerging trends and innovations that stuck out to us.


CBD is still taking the market by storm! For consumers seeking out natural alternatives to over-the-counter medicine, whether it be muscle and joint pain relief, anti-anxiety and relaxation, or just a better night’s sleep, CBD is more widely available than ever before. We saw tons of brands touting their innovative hemp and CBD-infused products and ingredients – ranging from oils and skincare to CBD-infused water and brownies!

Clean eating

Whether it was the keto, paleo, or gluten-free diet, the Expo West show floor was filled with brands, products, and innovations pushing functional nutrition. Clean eating, which has always been an ebb and flow fad within the health industry, has gained a remarkable amount of steady interest from consumers over the past year. This is a space to keep an eye on, especially as studies continue to be published on the latest and greatest nutritional trends.


Whether it is with nature or the body, sustainability, which means choosing and consuming foods and products that positively impact our environment and society, was a predominant theme at Expo West this year. This concept was best expressed through brand’s attempts to be ultra-transparent with ingredient quality and origin by harvesting them themselves. We encountered brands with walnut butter made by their own walnuts and beauty brands growing their own calendulas and florals for their products.

Beauty from within

Food brands are creating beauty products and beauty brands are creating food products. We saw the start of this on the floor two to three years ago, but this year we saw the products have evolved to be more routine and behavioral, versus just taking a pill without changing your wellness regime. Collagen shots, special shakes, and products from beauty brands that belong in your refrigerator instead of your medicine cabinet, were competing for attention.

Watch the Natural Products Expo West 2019 video here:

Dara Busch
As Co-CEO at 5W Public RelationsDara Busch oversees 5W’s Consumer Practice, which includes Travel & Entertainment, Apparel & Accessories, Non-Profits, Home & Housewares, Health & Wellness, Mom & Baby, Beauty & Grooming, and Consumer Packaged Goods.


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