MarketPlace anticipates the future of food at Natural Products Expo West

Published: 17-Feb-2023

The strategy firm expects to see a big focus on functional beverages at this year’s show

While there’s no way to see into the future, MarketPlace has spent its 21 years staying ahead of the food industry’s biggest evolutions: the confluence of food and supplements, clean labels, and more recently the demand for a Regenerative Organic certification. 

The leading strategy and branding firm focused on nutrition and wellness brands is exhibiting at this year’s Natural Products Expo West show in Anaheim, which serves as the impetus for some of the biggest food and beverage launches of the year. 

“If you’re looking for the products that are driving the biggest shifts in-market and on-shelf, just walk the aisles at Expo West,” MarketPlace President Tracy Landau said. “We love nothing more than ideating, incubating, and innovating alongside progressive brands—Expo West is the place to do that. Our role as brand strategists is critical in this crowded space; we connect consumers to better products that will enrich their lives and drive growth for our partners.”  

Among MarketPlace’s biggest expectations for this show: functional beverages, and lots of them. 

“We’re predicting 2023 to be the big year for functional beverages – and particularly those that provide sustained, non-stimulative energy, focus, and brain health,” Landau said. “We’re also anticipating a satisfying next-generation take on the zero-proof beverages that swept the show and shelves in 2022. This time we’re expecting a more sophisticated variety of flavors and spirits, with an emphasis on those that have a ‘health halo’ like green tea and matcha.” 

This prediction comes from MarketPlace’s 2022 consumer research, which concluded that nearly half (48%) of supplement consumers reported that they would consume a functional beverage every day or almost every day if it contained the benefits or ingredients they would seek in supplements. The  beverage category was the third most popular format behind gummies and pills. Energy was the fastest-growing need-state when comparing 2022 data with the results of a similar survey conducted in 2020, increasing by 20 percent. 

The firm’s other predictions for Expo West and beyond include: 

  • Even more celebrity-founded wellness and personal care brands.
  • Carbon footprint labelling.
  • Upcycled and/or regeneratively farmed botanicals and teas. 
  • TikTok-inspired pre-made sauces and meal kits.
  • Convincing plant-based seafoods and cheeses.

MarketPlace works with numerous brands that are defining the future of functional foods and nutraceuticals, several of which are exhibiting at the trade show: 

  • Brightseed (booth 4379), the bioactives and artificial intelligence-based discovery company.
  • Kyowa Hakko USA (booth 3870), the manufacturer of globally recognized functional ingredients Cognizin and IMMUSE. 
  • Merit Functional Foods (booth 1492), a globally renowned supplier of high-quality pea and canola protein. 

This is MarketPlace’s first year exhibiting at the show. Landau, along with the firm’s Brand Strategists, Creative Directors, and more will be available at booth 2820 to discuss brand, business, and product launch strategies for B2B ingredient and B2C functional food and beverage and supplement brands. 

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