Function Follows Food At Natural Products Expo West

By Barbara Weller

In architecture, they say form follows function. When it comes to good food, the new axiom is that function follows food.

This year, an estimated 83,000 to 85,000 people attended the 37th Annual Expo West in Anaheim, CA, recently (3/8 to 3/12) to view more than 3,100 exhibitors’ new product offerings, most of which promise a lot more than a tasty snack, meal, or drink.

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 I have been attending this show regularly for over 20 years. For the past several years, the Broadthink team has attended for our client, FoodTrients, a brand dedicated to the nutrients that help us age better.  Even though our feet hurt and we are exhausted after 3 days at the show, we love meeting so many creative new business owners, and ferreting out the latest trends that are coming to grocery shelves near you.

This year’s show did not disappoint. Functional foods (and drinks) are the name of the game. A chip is no longer just a chip. It may be infused with protein, ancient grains, healing herbs, probiotics and a few superfoods, and it may not even be chip-like. Two of my favorite new offerings are Burma Love’s Lotus Chips and Jicachips’ jicama chips.  There are delicious potato chips from Vegan Rob’s flavored with wild mushrooms and their Brussels sprouts puffs, and delicious sauces and soups from Le Grand made of organic superfoods such as kale, spinach and broccoli that are vegan, sugar-free, gluten-free and sulfite-free.

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Protein-packed chickpeas were everywhere, too – in chips, dips, crackers, frozen entrees and more. Hippeas are one of the fun snacks we liked, and there are a number of roasted snacks in various flavors from companies such as Biena Foods. A company called Banza makes chickpea flour into high protein, high fiber dried pasta in shapes from angel hair to ziti. The samples they handed out were perfectly al dente. Vana Life Foods presented a hearty, shelf-stable, microwavable entree containing green chickpeas with sweet potato in a coconut/lime/cilantro sauce as part of their Legume Bowls products. It was tasty!

And while many of the new drinks on the market will quench your thirst, they are also determined to help you thrive. There were lots of ginger, vinegar, kombucha, probiotic, and fermented tonics to try. There are also coffees, teas and juices that contain vitamins, herbs, probiotics and more.

Just about every brand seems to be spicing up their products, too. We found chili lime, habanero, spicy ginger, Sriracha, and cayenne in chips, crackers, frozen dinners, and drinks. As the American melting pot grows, our interest in more exotic, international flavors expands. A plethora of international dishes in the convenience category are contributing to America’s hunger for more flavorful foods.

And water products continue to grow with new functional varieties -- pre- and probiotics, alkaline balancers, minerals, fruit and herbal flavors. There were even a couple of black waters that are supposed to supply more essential minerals and benefits.

Even popsicles got into the act, many with less sugar and more fresh ingredients. Eatpops has a more adult line of popsicles with benefits – Green Detox (kale, spinach, apple, pineapple, lemon, ginger, cayenne); Cleanse (lemon, cayenne, agave); Super Detox (acai, noni, goji, cherry); Restore (kale, banana, pineapple, pear); and more.

Over the ten miles we covered during three days of the Expo we saw other notable items:

§  Pitaya smoothies made from shocking pink dragon fruit

§  Cayenne pepper plantain strips

§  Organic tsampa, a Himalayan-style barley that can be eaten hot or cold

§  Ancient grain, gluten-free pizza flour

§  Probiotic sriracha

§  Environmental Working Group (EWG) verified skin products like Sea Kind made from fermented extracts of sea plants, algae and micro-nutrients – (I have visited this booth for several years and am an avid customer)

§  We stopped by the Sunflower Meadows Herb Farm booth and met experienced herbalist Doug Taylor who scans the iris of your eye to determine your body’s needs and deficiencies, and then recommends a regimen of herbs to correct the conditions. We all tried it and found it fascinating! I will let you know how my personalized herbal formula works. If I look years younger, you’ll know why.

Yes! Consumers are demanding more, and natural food companies are trying to deliver. According the New Hope Network, the organizers of Expo West, for brands to succeed there’s a healthy list of demands they need to address to win over today’s consumer. They include:

·         Transparency – Shoppers want to know that a company has nothing to hide.

·         Verification – Certifications from the right organizations do matter (GMO Free, Certified Organic, Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Fair Trade, and others).

·         Millennial Trust – This new and powerful generation of consumers is putting nutrition first as part of their strategy to stay healthy.

·         Climate of Change – Whether food is the victim, villain, or solution to environmental issues, consumers care more and more about how products impact the earth.

·         Plant Revolution – Whether you’re focused on heart health, climate health, ecology, or animal welfare, plants are center-stage as man’s best friend.

·         Feed Me – There are more people vying for less land and water, which calls for a great deal of innovation (grow your own, green-walled buildings, water conservation practices, etc.).

·         Regeneration – Doing no harm is required, but healing existing harm is a great opportunity to build loyalty and trust.

·         Prioritizing Health -- Wellness is about more than prevention these days. It’s about optimizing health as brands develop products that can help consumers thrive rather than just survive.

·         Stress & Sleep Solutions – Whether we need to power up, power down or find balance throughout the day, companies are looking for ways to help – aromatherapy, new marijuana and hemp products, and supplements like magnesium, an essential mineral that most people are deficient in.

·         Sugar Vilified – Sugar is the Most Wanted villain in food and drink products. Consumers are demanding safer, healthier sugar substitutes, and less or no sugar in products sweetened with sugar. Monkfruit sweeteners (natural & calorie-free) and some new Erythritol blends are some of the fresh alternatives to look for.

·         Food Allergy Friendly – Allergies are at epidemic rates in the U.S. and our overly-processed-food diets don’t help. Food companies have expanded offerings for special diets with an increasing number of GMO Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy Free, wheat free, and/or peanut free foods. Dairy products and baked goods are using chickpeas, nuts, and vegetables as substitutes in many new products.

·         Consciousness Rising – As consumers look beyond products to the companies behind them, companies are faced with a new bottom line: purpose.

·         The Purposeful Brand – Aligning with a social or environmental cause is the new norm. Businesses can be a force for good, and consumers put more faith in those that are doing good.

·         Waste Not, Want Not – Our landfills are flooded with wasted food, while many go hungry. Companies that develop innovative solutions to reducing waste and to feeding those in need will stand out and be rewarded. The demand for innovative, earth-friendly packaging is also critical and growing among consumers.

Now more than ever, consumers want brands they can trust and believe in, and the challenge is on for food companies to deliver. This is no easy task, but the Natural Products Expo gives me hope that more and more companies will rise to that challenge.

 

 

The Age Beautifully Cookbook Wins National Gourmand Award

The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards announced that Grace O’s The Age Beautifully Cookbook: Easy and Exotic Longevity Secrets from Around the World has won the National Award in the INNOVATIVE category for this year’s competition.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA -- The Gourmand World Cookbook Awards, which have been called the “Oscars” of the food world, announced that Grace O’s The Age Beautifully Cookbook: Easy and Exotic Longevity Secrets from Around the World has won the National Award in the INNOVATIVE category for this year’s competition. The Age Beautifully Cookbook, the latest cookbook from FoodTrients®, will now compete in its category against winners from other countries for Best in the World held in Yantai, China on May 27 and 28.

The FoodTrients brand was created and developed by Broadthink for our client Grace O. Her age-fighting recipes were the inspiration for her popular website, social media sites and two cookbooks – The Age Gracefully Cookbook and The Age Beautifully Cookbook – which were produced and sold to Skyhorse Publishing by Broadthink. The FoodTrients website, which is also managed by Broadthink, is a deep content site that include’s Grace O’s weekly blog along with contributions from nutritionists, anti-aging medical experts, and food and wellness experts.

Inspired by the Olympic Games and their global spirit, the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards were founded in 1995 by Edouard Cointreau. Every year, they honor the best food and wine books, printed or digital, as well as food television shows. Last year, books from 211 countries competed in this prestigious awards competition, which is free, and open to all languages.

As for FoodTrients, people don’t have a choice when it comes to aging, but they can choose HOW they will age – the foods they eat, exercise, and healthy habits can have dramatically positive effects on aging. That’s why Grace O introduced FoodTrients®, which is dedicated to news, information and great-tasting recipes that also deliver the age-defying benefits of food, herbs, and supplements.

Eating well doesn’t mean sacrificing the foods people love or satisfying meals. The Age Beautifully Cookbook provides one hundred-plus, easy-to-make recipes that promote health and well-being. The recipes are built on foundations of modern scientific research and ancient knowledge of medicinal herbs and natural ingredients from around the world. And consumers won’t believe how good they taste, too!

Since the publication of her first anti-aging cookbook, Grace O has identified eight categories of FoodTrients that are essential to age-defying and healthier living – Anti-inflammatory, Antioxidant, Disease Prevention, Immune Booster, Mind, Beauty, Strength, and Weight Loss. Specifically designed logos represent each category and are indicated with every recipe along with summaries of the recipe’s healthful properties. These benefits show how specific foods, herbs, and spices in the recipes help keep skin looking younger, prevent the diseases of aging, and increase energy and vitality. By incorporating these properties in an everyday diet, people are more likely to look and feel younger, have more energy, and improve their mood and mind.

The cookbook also includes Grace O’s Feel-Good Formula for Longevity, Beauty and Wellness, and lists of the top age-fighting fruits, vegetables, grains, spices, and proteins. Plus, a guide to age-defying FoodTrients and their benefits, a list of ingredient resources, and menus for entertaining.

Who knew that the right foods in sufficient amounts could do so much good for your body? Now there is the science to prove it.

The Age Beautifully Cookbook was also awarded Gold in the Specialty Cookbook category of the Living Now Book Awards presented in September, 2016, and is available in both hardcover and eBook online and at bookstores nationwide.

About the Author 

Grace O has been cooking and baking professionally all of her adult life. As a young adult in Southeast Asia, she managed her family’s cooking school and eventually opened three restaurants. Grace has worked more than twenty years in the health-care industry and is the owner and CEO of three skilled nursing facilities in California. In addition to The Age Beautifully Cookbook, she is also the author of the award-winning Age Gracefully Cookbook and lives in Pasadena, California. Visit Grace O’s website at FoodTrients.com

About FoodTrients 

Combining her passion for food and a lifelong commitment to promoting a healthy lifestyle, Grace O has created FoodTrients®, a unique program for optimizing wellness. A FoodTrient is her name for the natural anti-aging properties of food. Grace O is a fusion chef with a mission: to cook up recipes for sustaining a long and joyful life that are built on a foundation of anti-aging science and her work in the health care industry. Mixing foods and unique flavors culled from a lifetime of travels in Asia, Europe, and America, Grace O encourages young and old to celebrate a full life that embraces food diversity. Lifestyle tips, age-defying recipes, and secrets of the healing properties of food are the centerpiece of FoodTrients– all available through cookbooks, the website, e-newsletters, and much more. For more information, visit FoodTrients.com and at facebook.com/foodtrientsagegracefully

 

Broadthink Partner Cynthia Cleveland Leading International Women's Day Lighting Talks

During these engaging, interactive lightning talks, get inspired by female leaders who are spearheading local innovation in tech, culture, social media, and politics. They’ll discuss how they’ve pioneered gender equality in their industries, the challenges they faced, and provide key tips and strategies on taking action. After the talk, connect with people of all backgrounds in your community, and pledge to #BeBoldForChange in 2017.

Tune in tomorrow! Click below for more info!

https://generalassemb.ly/education/international-womens-day-lightning-talks/los-angeles/33432

Broadthink Helps Broker Multi-Book Deal with SkyHorse Publishing

Skyhorse signs author Jeff Lazarus for DOGTOLOGY and CATAKISM

Broadthink and All-American Licensing are proud to announce the licensing of two new humorous books, written by Jeff Lazarus, to Skyhorse Publishing, one of the fastest growing independent book publishers in the United States. Dogtology: A Whimsical Exploration of Man’s Fur-ocious Devotion to Dogs and Catakism: A Whimsical Exploration of Humankind’s Fanatical Fondness for Felines will be releasing in the Fall 2017.

Dogtology is a humorous exploration of man’s fanatical devotion to Dog, which has become a bone-a-fide belief system on par with the world’s great philosophies and religions. Jack Canfield, co-creator of the Chicken Soup for the Soul series said, “I think the concept of Dogtology is as fresh and unique as Chicken Soup for the Soul was two decades ago.” 

Some of the chapters in Dogtology, a very humorous parody, include: The Book of Bones, The Book of Leashes, The Book of Collars, and of course, The Book of Hydrants.

Catakism is a humorous exploration of man’s obsession and subservient relationship with their cats. Catakism has become one of the world’s most popular beliefs and with completely dedicated (and some may say obsessed) followers.                 

Michael Gottsegen, Co-Founding Partner of All-American Licensing, stated, “We’ve seen how the whimsical world of Dogtology has resonated with a huge dog customer base and with the addition of Catakism, our plans are to reinforce this lifestyle fascination with both licensed dog and cat products--as well as products for their humans, of course.  Dog lovers and cat lovers alike are bound to smile, if not laugh out loud, when reading both of these books," added Gottsegen.

Nancy Cushing-Jones handled the licensing of Jeff Lazarus’ books to Skyhorse on behalf of both Broadthink and AALMG. She is an expert in translating story concepts from one medium to another and is a recognized expert in all forms of print and digital publishing across all genres and age groups both domestically and internationally. Cushing-Jones began her career in book publishing as the Managing Editor of two academic presses before transitioning to trade publishing and video game licensing, where she launched and ran for 23 years the worldwide book publishing division of Universal Studios and the Universal Videogames Licensing Division. After leaving Universal, she launched Broadthink with her two partners.   

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Jeff Lazarus is a Health Science Consultant serving as a scientific liaison to physicians, academicians, and health educators. He has a BA in speech communications, with an emphasis in interpersonal and organizational communication, from Cal State University, and an MBA from Pepperdine University. He teaches public speaking at the university level and has conducted numerous workshops on listening, presentation skills, and customer engagement. Jeff’s previous book, entitled Listen Like a Dog: And Make Your Mark On the World, is published by Health Communications, Inc. Jeff is an avid animal lover. His great love for his dog, Roamy, gave him the inspiration for writing Dogtology, the system of rituals, practices and behaviors engaged in by Dogtologists.

 

 

 

 

 

Broadthink Partner Quoted at CES Show

Broadthink Partner Cynthia Cleveland, who attended the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas earlier this month, was quoted along with four other business leaders in YPO’s coverage of the event:

“The winners now are going to be those people who understand the importance of finding ways to use connectedness to solve problems and actually simplify consumer’s lives,” says Cynthia Cleveland, owner of Broadthink, who has attended CES for more than 20 years and toured this year’s show with 100 women in tech. “For example, LG Electronics integrated Alexa into its refrigerator so that it alerts you when you are low on milk and can automatically reorder it for you. And the Zera Food Recycler composts your week of food scraps in 24 hours into something that looks like coffee grinds and has no odor.” See the full article here.

A Girl’s-Eye View of Cool New Technology

Can technological “connectedness” solve our problems and make life a lot easier for us? 

That was the overriding theme of a thought-provoking session at THQ’s (The Female Quotient) Girls Lounge in Las Vegas that I attended this week. The session was led by Joanna Peña-Bickley, who heads creative and design for IBM iX and Josh Golden, editor of Ad Age.
We discussed the potential behind all of the innovations leading to "the connected human," and Johanna stressed the importance of finding ways to use connectedness to solve problems and actually simplify consumer’s lives.


As part of our immersion into this brave new world of products, I then toured CES (Consumer Electronics Show) with 100 women in tech, including high school girls who built a cool robot, led by Johanna and TFQ leader Shelley Zallis, a futurist in her own right. We girls definitely stood out in the male-dominated kingdom of technology!


The opportunities and products at the show are overwhelming as more than 150,000 attendees scramble to discover the next “best thing.” However, several big trends stood out, including:

 


1. Communication (IOT) Internet of Things -- was hyped last year at CES, but it appears to be more of a reality this year because the products are interconnecting and talking to each other. They are getting smarter (let’s hope we are, too). In the past, I always felt like the devices were for the cool tech kids, not for me. This year, I started to see how they could make my life easier, and also better for others. One example: Whirlpool integrated Alexa into its refrigerator so that it alerts you when you are low on milk, and will automatically reorder it for you (assuming you want her to). Now there’s a refrigerator you can talk to (when no one else will listen) and that can organize your household by running your family calendar! A number of the smart devices offer exciting possibilities for our health from managing diabetes without shots to item recognition for the blind. If only they would develop a refrigerator that would lock itself up when I get the munchies!


2. Mobility (autonomous cars and drones) -- While the concept cars were cool, what fascinated me was the bigger vision auto makers have for mobility. Hyundai created an exoskeleton walking device for handicapped and elderly people. Multiple modes of mobility are being catered to as well. I saw a fold-up bike that fits into a back pack! The super connected Chrysler ‘Portal” minivan, which has set its sights on frisky Millennials, was also a hoot. It’s an all-electric, hyper-designy, semi-autonomous, configurable “third space” between work and home. I could see my Millennial kids going for it! It’s so cool, I can see myself in one, too.


3. LG’s wallpaper TV was also a big hit. It is thinner than an iPhone, weighs only 17 pounds and can be hung by magnets (so you could actually move it around.)

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4. Energy (renewable) -- Whether managing your own energy grid (including solar) or making healthier decisions for the planet, this trend has also gained momentum. My favorite was Whirlpool's WLabs award-winning home composter, the Zera. The size of a slim-line trash can, it composts your week of food scraps in 24 hours into something that looks like coffee grinds and has no odor. Their Indiegogo campaign is starting today with a pre-order price of $699. No doubt they will make $$ on the accessories (like razors and razorblades). Europe is ahead of the U.S. – they charge people for garbage pick-up by weight, so it makes sense to lighten your garbage load (and carbon footprint)! Some cities like San Francisco require composting. Sales should be brisk there! My husband Paul actually introduced a solar powered hat for recharging all of your devices when on the go. Their start-up booth has been packed with visitors from around the world.

 

 

I don’t know if technology can solve all our problems, but it’s encouraging to see if it can solve a few of them!

Nancy Cushing-Jones and William Nix presented to 2016 Rio Film Festival Participants

Nancy Cushing-Jones, Partner/Chief Publishing Officer of Broadthink and William Nix, Chairman of Creative Projects Group, conducted a workshop on "Branding and Cross-Media Storytelling" for the participants in the 2016 Rio Film Festival and RioMarket in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

While a large part of the festival is targeted towards the resident Brazilian public, Festival do Rio also has a very strong industry section. RioMarket offers seminars, Master Classes, industry screenings, one-to-one scheduled meetings, and networking events covering film, home entertainment and television.

The backdrop to the festival is the city of Rio de Janeiro, unquestionably one of the world’s most beautiful, which has been recognized as such by UNESCO. It is a city surrounded by mountains and water that together have dictated just how Rio has spread and evolved since first being ‘discovered’ by Europeans in the early 16th century. Those explorers believed that they had come across the mouth of a great river, hence the name River of January (Rio de Janeiro). The mouth of the river turned out to be Guanabara Bay, the bay over which the festival headquarters in Armazém da Utopia overlooks. In 2015, Rio de Janeiro is celebrating the 450 anniversary of its birth as a city.

Rio de Janeiro was the host city for the 2016 Olympic and Paralympic games, a city that has already hosted the final of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, a tournament considered by many to be the best ever. Festival do Rio, Rio de Janeiro’s international film festival, warmly welcomes its’ guests and the fans of the moving image to what is Brazil and South America’s largest film festival and audiovisual industry event.

For further information, please see:

www.riomarket.com.br/en/subscribe/rioseminars/buy/riomarket-advertising

www.festivaldorio.com.br/en/

www.riomarket.com.br/en/

www.riomarket.com.br/en/business-area/players/nancy-cushing-jones

www.broad-think.com and www.trulovestories.com

www.riomarket.com.br/en/business-area/players/william-nix