Agri-Food Trade Service
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What's New at CHFA Expo East 2011
December 5, 2011
It's been a busy trade show season for the ATS team. Soon after attending the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show in Vancouver, the ATS was off to Toronto to attend the Canadian Health Food Association's (CHFA) Expo East, held from October 15th to 16th, 2011 at the Toronto Convention Centre.
CHFA Expo East is the largest trade show in Canada for the health and organic industries and this year's show did not disappoint. Hundreds of exhibitors converged in Toronto to promote their products, ranging from food and beverages to nutraceuticals, cosmetics, bath products, home décor and more.
Food and beverage exhibitors made up a large part of the show, offering a wide variety of products, from canned soups, to snacks, teas, noodle bowls, desserts, baby food and breakfast items, just to name a few. Buzz words seen and heard around the trade show, both in promotional materials and in talking with exhibitors, included "all-natural", "eco", "pure", "raw", "wild", and "good for you". Overall, the message conveyed at the trade show was that consumers are not only demanding products that are healthy and natural, but also expect products to be tasty and well presented.
Interesting health food trends that stood out at this year's CHFA Expo East include:
- Superfoods and Superfruits: greens and exotic fruits, such as acai, camu camu, mangosteen, noni, and goji, boasting rich nutrients and antioxidant functions, were available in juice, supplement and powder formats, and continue to be a hit among consumers looking for health foods that pack a punch and can be easily incorporated into their day-to-day diet.
- Organics: continue to be a highly sought after category with products ranging from baby food, to snacks, desserts and beverages. Non-GM foods were also heavily marketed.
- Dietary Accommodations: growing awareness of the various dietary restrictions faced by consumers has led to product innovations, resulting in a wide variety of dairy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, and allergen-free products to choose from. For example, coconut beverages were featured prominently at the show and are expected to be a major new entrant to the non-dairy market in coming months
- Gourmet Health Foods: following consumer demand for health foods that do not sacrifice taste or appearance, food and beverage manufacturers are introducing gourmet, luxurious and tasty treats, such as desserts, that are also boasting healthy attributes.
- Sport/fitness Nutrition: protein shakes, energy drinks, and snacks designed for high performance fitness and sport purposes are packaged attractively in a ready-to-go format and claim to be all-natural, for example, offering non-caffeine alternatives to mainstream sport products.
- Ethnic Health Foods: health food items are no longer limited to granola bars, wheat grass and soy beverages. The ethnic food category is also tapping into the heath and wellness trend with products such as all natural instant noodle and rice bowls, organic rice vinegar, and all natural Indian sauces and condiments.
- Innovative Packaging and Formats: food products came in a variety of formats, from powder packs to mini-bottles, ready-to-eat containers, drink cartons, and gel packs, in line with the trend for convenient portable food items. For example, health foods that are in powder format or can be made into a blendable beverage are growing in popularity.
Many of these product trends, such as health and wellness, dairy-free, and organic, were also seen at other trade shows attended by the ATS team this year, such as the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association Show, and the Canadian Coffee and Tea Show.
Looking for a more in-depth overview? A full report on the CHFA Expo East 2011 trade show will soon be posted on the ATS website. Also, check back for our upcoming blog post on another trade show we just attended, Grocery Innovations Canada 2011!
Until next time,
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