Five Sustainability Trends to Expect at Natural Products Expo East

by: Noah Godfrey | August 24, 2023

Natural Products Expo East 2023 (Expo East), “the East Coast’s largest marketplace of emerging natural and organic brands and the freshest ideas to satisfy your conscious customers’ cleaner, greener appetites,” is returning to Philadelphia on September 20-23, 2023! Sustainability has long been a significant driver for consumer purchasing, and keeping up with the trends and avoiding greenwashing is a challenge. This expo provides fantastic indications of the evolving market and what’s behind the times. If the turnout for Expo West was any indication of success, Expo East should be bigger and better than ever before.

To help get you up to speed, here are five trends to look out for at Expo East 2023:

1) Eliminating Single-use Plastic

Single-use plastic packaging has been a cornerstone of the Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) sector for a long time. However, more and more brands are feeling pressure to transition away from single-use plastic.

Water bottled in aluminum cans is front and center in the spotlight. Liquid Death, Monster’s Tour Water, and Jason Mamoa’s Mananalu have captured impressive market share with equally remarkable marketing. Meanwhile, the beauty industry is turning to glass packaging and drop-off schemes, which allow customers to drop off their used packaging at the retailer for recycling. Consumers are calling for plastic action, especially in the natural product category, and brands must listen.

To add to the pressure, future legislation is looming, and the legally binding UN Treaty on Plastic Pollution is on the horizon. ClimeCo can help your company assess and mitigate its plastic footprint. Once measured, your company can create actionable plastic waste mitigation strategies and eliminate critical concerns.

2) The Wave of Regenerative

Regenerative is a recent trend, taking the CPG world by storm. Embracing regenerative agriculture allows companies to positively influence a series of vital metrics, including reducing waste and conserving carbon emissions. Regenerative agriculture can potentially eliminate up to 250 million metric tons of CO2 annually. Coincidently, Neilson reported that 54% of consumers globally are willing to make the shift toward products using regenerative agriculture practices.

Considering entire supply chains is critical on the path toward net-zero, and incorporating regenerative practices is a crucial component and now one that consumers are beginning to anticipate.

3) Crystal Clear Communications

Companies, large and small, continue to be concerned about greenwashing, so they must be hypervigilant in their communication efforts. Staying away from vague sustainability claims and using buzzwords are great ways to craft transparency in your communications efforts. Companies must also ensure their claims are verified or procured from leading verification bodies.

This is also true when it comes to the use of carbon credits. Ensure you have a trusted partner when securing carbon credits. ClimeCo offers our clients high-quality credits registered through reputable registries and audited by 3rd party verifiers.

4) Creative Upcycling

Upcycling has undoubtedly entered the limelight. Upcycling has quickly moved from a niche to a full-blown movement, like regenerative. Brands in the food and beverage industry, and now even the beauty space, are positioning their entire value proposition around upcycling.

A facet of the circular economy is finding unique ways to repurpose waste, and brands are getting creative. For example, Babo Botanicals incorporates pomegranate seeds destined for landfill into their products for added moisturizing benefits.

5) The Moonshot

Expect the unexpected and shoot for the stars.

Your company’s sustainability strategy isn’t limited to the Greenhouse Gas (GHG) protocol or Science Based Targets initiative (SBTi). You can deeply embed sustainability into your company’s ethos and create a novel product and story. A great example is Moonshot Snacks, the climate-friendly cracker that has taken the CPG world by storm as the “first explicitly climate-friendly snack brand.”

Not only is Moonshot Snacks a carbon-neutral certified company, but also has an extremely high level of intentionality in their supply chain. Jen Berliner, General Manager, explains, “The majority of [their] supply chain is less than 100 miles long, [their] recyclable paper carton is made from 100% recycled materials, and [they] bake [their] crackers in a facility that uses renewable energy”. [1]

Moonshot Snack is undoubtedly a harbinger of the climate-friendly CPG movement to come. It’s evident consumers are seeking products with sustainability embedded into their DNA.

Prioritizing the Tripple Bottom Line 

Overall, transparency and proactivity are the underlying themes of this article. Consumers purchase with intentionality, and they want their favorite products to align with their ethos and values. Yet, going above and beyond the bottom line, it’s time we ensure that our business practices align with global climate targets.

If your company is interested in exploring how to align your mission with one that better serves our planet and your customers, ClimeCo can help you navigate uncertain waters and ensure that your company creates actionable sustainability initiatives to reduce your corporate emissions and waste.

Please reach out to Kutty Stauder, Business Development Manager, to learn more or connect with us at Expo East!

Contact Information | Email: & Phone: +1 484.823.9198

[1]  Moonshot Snacks rolls out climate-friendly crackers into Target stores nationwide – FoodNavigator USA