Earlier this month, I attended Natural Products Expo
West in Anaheim, Calif., to find out more about where the natural products
industry is headed, and to learn more about what "natural"
Right from the start, I was surprised by the number of
booths on the show floor that were promoting low-carb. After all,
wasn't this a mainstream trend that shouldn't be part of the
definition of "natural"?
In addition to walking the show floor, I had the
opportunity to attend a briefing session that featured a panel of experts.
In addition to covering the trends in green power initiatives, and studies
dissecting consumer perceptions regarding obesity and wellness, there was a
healthy dose of low-carb coverage.
Again, I was hit with the never-ending low-carb
discussion that seemed to have permeated even the Natural Products show.
After listening to the experts, it was clear that terms such as functional,
wellness and natural (even low-carb) were so deeply engrained in the
product category that it's the mainstream producers that are only now
catching the wave.
The term "value-based lifestyle", used by one expert who tried
to capture the overarching theme of natural trends, was possibly the most inclusive
and accurate description of what "natural" means. Although, with the way trends
fall in and out of popularity, I'm sure "natural" will have a whole new meaning
to consumers and manufacturers in the near future. As far as low-carb, the life
cycle of that trend also will be the topic of discussion for months to come.
Bombay Sapphire's polo team competed in the Outback 40-Goal
Challenge played at the Royal Palm Polo Club in Boca Raton, Fla., last month.
The game featured four-player teams of individuals with a 10-handicap, the highest
handicap a polo player can achieve. The event marks the sixth time in the history
of polo that a 40-goal polo game has ever been played, and all money raised
from the event was donated to the Polo Player's Support Group.
Dixie Blackened Voodoo Lager, distributed by Distinguished Brands
International, was caught bouncing around the Oahu, Hawaii-based set of The
Big Bounce, the latest comedy written by Elmore Leonard. During the movie, actors
Owen Wilson and Sara Foster appear in a beach scene with a case of the made-in-New
Kahlua's Skinny White Russian cocktail was spotted in the hands
of celebrities at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The cocktail was reportedly
the drink of choice for actresses Mena Suvari, Jennifer Tilly and Jane Seymour,
among others at the festival. The Kahlua-based cocktail is currently being served
at trendy hotspots in Hollywood.
Root beer festival
The Dr Pepper Museum & Free Enterprise Institute
is hosting its second Brew Ha Ha festival in April. The festival features
root beer tasting inside the museum located in the historic Artesian
Manufacturing and Bottling Co. building in Waco, Texas. Music, food,
activities, games and performers are planned for the newly redesigned
Allied Domecq Spirits and Canadian Club Whisky have revived
the brand's "Hide a Case" program, taking it on the road. Based on the marketing
program that started in 1967, the renamed "Find the Case Challenge" contest
involves consumers taking the ultimate road trip to find "dummy" cases of Canadian
Club as well as demonstrate physical and mental skills to win cash and prizes.
Unique events such as The Canadian Club Poker Run and The Canadian Club Barrel
Roll were held during the trip last year.
Boddingtons Pub Ale has put its mark on specially
painted Mini Coopers emblazoned with the Boddingtons colors and logo. The
four "Busy Boddies" vehicles began touring the United States
beginning in February.
Beverage Industry’s October issue features a cover story on our 2019 Executive of the Year, Jim Koch of the Boston Beer Co. This issue also features a category focus on bottled water and the innovations that abound in flavored, functional and sparkling waters. The issue also includes an ingredient spotlight on the beloved chocolate ingredient as well as voice-picking solutions aimed at streamlining beverage warehouses. As usual, we rounded up the latest trends in products, packaging and ingredients.
Check back throughout the month for additional content.