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RTD 2.0: Latest Innovations from Natural Products Expo West 2018

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  • Someone preparing a drink
    The Natural Products Expo West was mixing up innovation and interesting beverage flavors at the 2018 event.
  • A tea beverage
    Brands like Igzu featured its teas made from unique ingredients.
  • Milk beverages at Natural Product Expo
    A modern take on milk from California's Alexandre Family Farm.

From March 7-11, 2018, at the Anaheim Convention Center, the Natural Products Expo West showcased the latest innovations and products coming out of the natural space. Everything from healthcare products to foods, snacks and lifestyle brands were on display.

One segment, the beverage category, was a focal point of the show, featuring products made from unique ingredients, interesting flavor pairings and innovative approaches to RTD. With over 3,000 exhibitors, here are just a few of the things that Perfumer & Flavorist saw on the show floor.

A RTD soup at Natural Product ExpoRTD isn’t just for beverages. Fawen offers an RTD chilled soup for the consumer on-the-go.

Tea with a Twist

One of the major trends coming out of the event were teas created with unique ingredients. Igzu presented its line of bamboo leaf teas, which featured elderflower citrus, lavender peach and hibiscus blackberry flavored beverages. Shaka Tea also featured its line of Hawaii-grown mamaki teas that claimed no added sugars and fruit and botanical flavors, including lemon Lokelani rose, mango hibiscus, guava ginger blossom and pineapple mint flavors.

Water Isn’t So Clear

Another popular beverage segment on display at the show were water and infused water beverages. Just Water presented its line of lightly flavored waters, which include organic lemon infused water, organic tangerine infused water and organic apple cinnamon infused water. The Maple Guild also showcased its line of infused tree water in peach, grapefruit, raspberry, strawberry, citrus, cranberry pomegranate and blueberry flavors.   

Breaking Beverages

In addition to waters and teas, the show featured a range of dairy and dairy alternatives. In the dairy and non-dairy segment space, companies like Ripple, Silk and Elmhurst featured its line of non-dairy milk beverages. For a unique flavor twist on traditional dairy milk, Alexandre Family Farm featured its ginger turmeric and caramel milks, along with its 6% whole milk and chocolate milk.

Another area emerging in the RTD space were products with specific claims and RTD moving beyond beverage applications. To clean your teeth after a meal, tea brand qīī offers a green tea and oolong tea beverage with oral care claims and benefits. For consumers on-the-go, Fawen offers RTD chilled soups that are organic, vegan and shelf-stable, in either beet and cabbage, broccoli and cauliflower or sweet potato and red lentil flavors.