#Trendspotting: Expo West Recap Part II

 In Blog, Trendspotting

Your source for the most up-to-date information on emerging beverage trends.


Imbibe sent a team to Expo West to look for the hottest trends and most innovative products. In Part I of our recap we highlighted trends in coffee and tea, plant-based beverages, CSDs, sparkling waters, and sports nutrition products. Here's what else we found!

Food as Medicine | Hot Ingredients | Favorite Flavors | Product Call-Outs & Claims

Food as Medicine

Gut health is still a top priority for consumers and brands are using more than probiotics to improve digestion. Apple cider vinegar and prebiotics were widely represented on the show floor. Teaonic’s I Love My Gut Tonic uses a laundry list of plant-based ingredients suggested to aid with gut health including milk thistle, dandelion root, and fennel seed.


Beauty beverages suggested to improve hair, skin and nails are an emerging trend. Collagen is the rising star and can be found in products across categories. Other products touting beauty benefits include bamboo water — which is high in silica for collagen production — and rose water — which has anti-inflammatory properties.


Consumers have cognitive healthon the brain so brands are incorporating ingredients that improve focus, clarity and memory into juice, tea, kombucha, smoothies, enhanced waters and more. iQ Juice uses fruits and herbs high in Quercetin, a flavonoid that is suggested suggested to improve brain function.


Beverages and wellness shots that help you fall asleep are a growing trend. Ingredients like L-Theanine, Valerian root, and melatonin are common in these products. Hempi’s sleep inducing shot also includes 10mg of CBD and adaptogens to encourage better slumber.

Hot Ingredients

CBD was one of the most prevalent ingredients at Expo West. It was found in food and beverage across categories and as a supplement. Water was a popular CBD delivery method for beverages, but it was also incorporated into lemonade, coconut water, and coffee products.


Plant-based ingredients were a top trend at Expo West, especially in protein beverages. Aloha showcased an RTD plant-based protein beverage made with pea and brown rice protein for a well-rounded amino acid profile that can compete with dairy-based protein drinks.


More brands are incorporating adaptogens into their products and helping raise awareness about these stress-relieving herbs. Temple Turmeric introduced a natural energy drink with adaptogens and caffeine.


Medicinal mushrooms for different functions were popular throughout the show. Chaga, reishi, lion’s mane, cordyceps and turkey tail offer varying benefits like improved energy, focus, and gut health.

Favorite Flavors

Food and beverage products are getting flavor inspiration from India. Flavors like cardamom, turmeric, ginger and chai could be found in CSDs, juices, teas, and even ice cream.


Fruity flavors also had global inspiration from Asian and Latin American countries. Blood orange, pomelo, dragon fruit, yuzu, and guava were popular in waters, teas, CSDs, and energy drinks.


Floral flavors like elderflower, rose, lavender, and jasmine were used in CSDs, tea, lemonade, and sparkling water.


Consumer palates are becoming more sophisticated and welcoming of flavors other than savory or sweet. Bitters were incorporated into beverages by brands like Hella Cocktail. Hops were also used in beverages beyond IPA beers like water and iced tea.


There were several diet-friendly products on the show floor, but keto was by far the most common. Products highlighted keto on the label and called out ingredients that align with the diet like no sugar and healthy fats.


Other diets called out on the show floor were paleo and Whole 30. Several brands had signage that their product was Whole 30 Approved.


Growing with the plant-based trend are vegan claims on product labels. Some of the claims include vegan, vegan-friendly, and 100% vegan.

Sugar Reduction

Studies suggest that a significant number of consumers are limiting the amount of sugar in their diet in order to live a healthier lifestyle. Brands are responding by reducing, replacing, or completely removing sugar. “No added sugar” is an
increasingly popular claim as changes to the nutrition facts panel loom. Other
sugar claims include zero sugar, no sugar, sugar-free, reduced sugar or calling out
how many grams of sugar are in a product or serving.


Want the full Expo West Trend Report? Email us and request your copy!

Listen to Food and Beverage Insights Podcast Episode #XX: Xxxx Xxxxx Xxxx