>U Mom Knows Best: Expo West And My Favorite Product Discoveries

Thursday, March 17, 2022

Expo West And My Favorite Product Discoveries

 Expo West is the event that showcases all the new products that are the health, wellness, and natural food line. It is where brands and buyers meet up to get the newest products into your shopping cart.

 Last week I attended the biggest event in the natural food and wellness line of products. This event had 60,000 registered people attending. As a person who writes about healthy living, I attended the event in Anaheim California on the media side. I was overjoyed to get an invite to this event as a way to meet brands and learn about their products. So I can in return, help you decide what health and wellness products to buy.

Expo West had close to 3000 health and wellness brands, whose sole purpose of being there was to introduce their products to buyers. So their products could ultimately end up in your shopping cart or online order. The booths at Expo West were amazing and the samples were plenty. It was the best place to try new healthy foods, supplements, beauty products, and more. The healthy brands wanted you to try or take their products, in hopes that they would make it to the consumer end. 

Brands were excited to meet me

 Several weeks before Expo West, I had plenty of healthy brand companies reaching out to me. These folks wanted me to stop by their booths so they could tell me about their products. They wanted me to put their product on my website so you, my readers, could learn about them. The emails were rolling in and I had to be selective in who I decided to chat with at their booth. This was a huge event and I wanted to see it all. I had 4 days to check out all 3000 booths. 

 The brands that offered to send me samples pre-show, made the list of who to chat with at the show. For the rest of the brands that emailed me, I saved their email, agreed to check out their booth, and told them I would be in touch if I wanted to feature their product on Mom Knows Best. I made a list of all the brands that I needed to see and that list was long. 

This article is the first of several that I will be writing as there are so many products that I am excited to tell you about. I discovered many amazing products at Expo West. Some I sampled while I was at the event and others I grabbed a sample. I simply could not try everything in the four days that I walked the event floors. There was plenty of food and drinks to sample. There was a massive amount of supplements with gummies being the hot products. By day 4, I was tired of eating and did not want to eat another gummies sample.

My favorite brands who sent me samples pre-show

For this article, I will be focusing on brands that sent me products before the show and the next article will be brands that I discovered at Expo West. While I love companies that send products to my home, I completely understand that not all have the marketing budget to do so. So enjoy learning about these brands that I discovered before I attended Expo West.


OMG! Pretzels 

 OMG! Pretzels are "ridiculously delicious" gourmet flavored sourdough pretzel nuggets with eight bold and innovative flavors, crafted by a mom and daughter team in the U.S. This women-owned brand offers both savory and sweet gourmet pretzel flavors including garlic, lemon pepper, cheddar jalapeƱo, salty butterscotch, and sweet chili. The name originated because everyone who tried these gourmet sourdough pretzel nuggets truly exclaimed, “OMG!” The enthusiasm is well warranted! 

 These pretzel nuggets were loaded with flavor. I was able to try the Lemon Pepper and the Kettle Corn pretzels as they were dairy-free. My husband sampled the Garlic and the Salty Butterscotch. I loved the intense amount of flavor that was on the crunchy pretzels. These were gourmet pretzels that I would buy. 

Discover OMG! Pretzels ~  https://omgpretzels.com/

Banana Samba 

 Banana Samba was introduced to the U.S. by two Brazilian sisters, Carla and Ruth Wahnon, whose passion for this sustainable snack and for its nutritional attributes is undeniable. Banana Samba is not banana chips or dehydrated bananas, and that’s what makes them unique. They are slowly cooked bananas that caramelize their own natural sugars.  The result is a delicious, soft, chewy goodness so delectable you’ll forget you’re still pumping your body with nutrients. It’s the perfect choice for the whole family looking for something simple, tasty, and only made with the highest quality ingredients

 I am not usually a fan of bananas but I enjoyed the compact size Banana Samba chew. These chews had a nice flavor and I appreciated that I was able to get the health benefits of bananas in a small size. Bananas are loaded with potassium and are great for your muscles after a workout. My son’s track coach tells the kids to eat 2 bananas a day to avoid cramps, so these chews are an easier way to eat bananas. The best part is you don’t have to worry about these banana chews turning brown like you do with fresh bananas. The Banana Samba is offered in four varieties, some have additional health benefits like chia seeds. 

Discover Banana Samba ~  https://www.bananasamba.com/ 


 Launched in 2018, Caribbrew is the brainchild of Beverly Malbranche. Growing up in Haiti, she felt compelled to give back to the Haitian economy after moving to the U.S. as an international student. Knowing that Haitian coffee used to be well renowned in the 1960s and inspired by her uncle who is a coffee connoisseur, she decided to embark on a journey to revive Haiti's coffee industry. Currently, Caribbrew partners with more than 100 coffee and cocoa farmers in Haiti to create economic opportunities! The company hires young people in the capital of Haiti to package and export the coffee to the U.S. shipping facility in New Jersey, where they hire local residents. The female founder, Beverly, is proud to offer job opportunities to NJ women. Their shipping facility is currently 75% female employed. 

Coffee is my love language and I was excited to sample this coffee from Haiti. I also sampled an amazing coffee body scrub that had a wonderful scent. Haiti has a special place in my heart as my husband did a mission trip, with our church,  there many years ago. My former church sponsors an orphanage in Haiti and several members have adopted children from Haiti. So I have enjoyed Haitian coffee beans many times through church fundraising events. The Caribbrew coffee had a delicious taste and I liked that the company supports not only the farmers in Haiti but also the young people of Haiti. This company wants to create economic opportunities for the local people. It is also awesome that their shipping facility is 75% female employed. 

Discover Caribbrew ~ https://caribbrew.com/


 Hop WTR is a drink with a scientifically-proven, stress-busting stack of adaptogens and nootropics, including L-Theanine and ashwagandha. It is specially formulated to deliver the chill you crave, without the hangover. No CBD, no alcohol needed. It’s seriously good. And seriously good for you. A perfect balance between fun and functional, HOP WTR is purposefully crafted to be your health-conscious, hop-forward reward for a job well done. Our blend of Citra, Amarillo, Mosaic, and Azacca hops pack a piney, earthy flavor reminiscent of your favorite IPA — without booze. Combined with big bubbles and topped off with stress-busting adaptogens and nootropics to help you unwind and relax. With  All natural flavors, no BS in our brews Adaptogens, and nootropics take you from stressed to decompressed, without a drop of alcohol, calories, carbs, or sugar, HOP WTR is a way to unwind and relax without boozea healthy alternative to beer. Flavors include Mango, Blood orange classic lime.

 Functional drinks were huge at Expo West and I simply could not sample them all. I had to limit what I grabbed as drinks make your swag bag heavy. They also add too much weight to your suitcase. So I was glad that Hop WTR sent me samples to try. My first impression of the drink was that it was a non-alcohol beer and I was not sure what to expect with my first sip, as I don’t like the taste of beer. I was glad that this functional drink was not a beer replacement and rather a drink to help you chill. The drink was light and flavorful. While my husband was looking forward to the taste of beer, I was glad that it did not taste like beer. The Blood Orange was my favorite and it reminded me of sparkling water. It was great to drink after a long stressful day of work.

Discover Hop WTR ~  https://hopwtr.com/ 

Mary’s Gone Crackers

  Mary’s Gone Crackers is proud to offer the tastiest organic, gluten-free, and non-GMO crackers on the market since 2004, proving that gluten-free does not mean have to mean taste-free! Available in 14 varieties, Mary’s is designed to fuel active and health-conscious lifestyles with delicious and nutritious allergen-friendly snacks. Every bite offers hearty whole grains rich in plant-based protein. You can eat them right out of the box or get creative with your favorite toppings to build your own taste bud adventure!

 Mary’s Gone Crackers has been a favorite cracker of mine for a while so I love checking out their new offerings. I love these crackers for the whole grains and all the seeds. These are healthy crackers that not only have an awesome taste but are loaded with nutrition. I love that they are dairy-free and loaded with protein. 

Discover Mary’s Gone Crackers ~ https://www.marysgonecrackers.com/ 

Pickle Juice

 Pickle Juice is the only product on the market scientifically proven to stop muscle cramps, prevent dehydration, and aid in recovery. Pickle Juice uses a proprietary grain and blend of vinegar that blocks that nerve signal being sent from brain to muscle and a blend of vitamins and minerals for immediate muscle recovery. Whether you are missing something from your diet, exhausted from exercise, or dealing with poor circulation, Pickle Juice can provide a source of relief. 

 Pickle Juice sent me samples last year before I attended Expo East. I discovered that the juice from pickles tasted good but since the weather outside was cool, I had no need for this drink as I was not sweating. So I placed the samples in my pantry. Fast forward to February with my joining a marathon series on my elliptical with ifit. I was working up a sweat and I needed an electrolyte drink. I grabbed those small bottles of pickle juice shots and placed them in my home gym. I fell in love with these delicious shots for my post-workout recovery. The drinks helped my muscles recover and I experienced no soreness.

Discover Pickle Juice ~ https://picklepower.com/ 

Nirvana Water

 Nirvana's HMB-infused water boosts muscle performance, reduces muscle recovery time, and slows muscle degradation making it the perfect drink for anyone who prioritizes health and fitness in their lives. HMB is scientifically proven to improve muscle performance, slow muscle loss due to age and disease, and decrease the recovery time from muscle injury.  Even professional athletes have seen the positive effects of Nirvana, such as All-Star Kyle Lowry of the Miami Heat and Larry Ogunjobi of the Cincinnati Bengals, who have signed on as ambassadors of the brand. Nirvana HMB is muscle wellness for everybody and every body. With the only patented water-soluble HMB, you'll be staying strong drinking Nirvana. 

 This water arrived at my house at the perfect time. I was doing that marathon series on my elliptical with ifit. This was a series of 4 marathons that I ran over the course of several weeks. So my muscles needed help. The water tasted great and was great for my post-workout fluid replenishment. I was able to taste their new flavored water at Expo West and I loved them. They had a hint of fruit flavor and quickly became my favorite drink when I was thirsty.

Discover Nirvana Water ~ https://www.nirvanawatersciences.com/ 

Adagio Teas

Adagio Teas' individual portion packets make loose tea portable and easier to prepare. Each holds the right amount of leaves for one serving to enjoy at home or on the go. Simply rip, pour, and steep, with nothing to measure or clean.

In addition to convenience, individual packets improve teas' flavor and freshness. Tea ages quickly when exposed to air. Adagio's individually-portioned packets keep it sealed and ultra-fresh until ready to use. Adagio's tea portions are available in assortments of black, green, oolong, and herbal teas, as well as a collection of Adagio Teas' best sellers

 With the warmer weather, I look forward to enjoying ice tea. So I wanted a caffeine-free tea to make my ice tea with. Adagio Teas sounded amazing. I like that the tea packets contain the right amount of tea leaves for one serving. The tea packets are sealed to keep the leaves fresh and made a great tasting cup of tea. These will be great to take with me when I travel.

Discover Adagio Teas ~  https://adagioteas.prowly.com/178613-tea-perfectly-portioned 

Hot N Saucy

Samantha Allonce is a first-generation Jamaican-American who is influenced by Caribbean cuisine, bringing a passion for spices and unexpected pairings. Her successful hot sauce brand, Hot N Saucy, translates well into her influences. She began her career in food as a private chef for clients including Leslie Jones, RocNation, Adidas, and The Daily Show, after switching from a career in cancer research. Her entrepreneurial endeavors inspire us all! Samantha can give expert commentary on creating a successful business during the pandemic and what to pair these delicious hot sauces with!

 I just love the colorful Hot N Saucy bottles. The flavor combinations all sounded so delicious. My favorite was Beet N Fresno. I admit that the pink color caught my attention and I also love beets. The sweet heat of the sauce was perfect on eggs and vegetables. The heat was mild and I will be using this sauce on my favorite fish taco recipe. 

Discover Hot N Saucy https://www.hotnsaucy.co/

These are just some of the wonderful brands that I discovered at Expo West and I have so many more to tell you about. This was an event that I enjoyed attending. I had fun tasting new food products and learning about new supplements. I even learned that magnesium oil is the best for tight sore leg muscles. 

 Crazy me, decided to walk on an incline on the hotel treadmill in sandals. The next day my calf muscles were sore and tight. While I could walk fine, squatting was painful as well as walking on stairs. I tried CBD creams, turmeric, and magnesium pills but none of them took away the tight painful sore muscles. It was on the last day of the event that I asked a supplement company for advice and they recommended rubbing their magnesium spray oil on my calf muscles. Within an hour the pain was gone as well as the tightness. How I wished that I had known that 2 days ago.



Beth said...

All of this looks so good! You really found some winners here.

AiringMyLaundry said...

I love expos like this. Trying new foods and drinks always excites me. You found some delicious looking ones!

Shelley@StockpilingMoms said...

They all look very good but we LOVE Caribbrew coffee! We did a mission trip once in Haiti. The people were amazing.

Tami Creates said...

All of these look good but I really wanna try Caribbrew! :)

alita said...

All these food discoveries look good. I'm most excited to try the Adagio Teas.

Elizabeth Neas said...

What a great bunch of products to receive from all of these brands. I have tried Nirvana water before. To me, water is water but it didn't have any odd taste. The Magnesium spray for your calves sound amazing. I have discomfort in my calves/legs at times, especially at night. That is something I would like to try.

Tasheena said...

I love attending Expos. I would love to try the OMG! Pretzels.

Terri Steffes said...

As a blogger I haven't done anything like this. I would like to go to such an event myself.

Gust si Aroma said...

wow! So many brand and products that I am curious to discover too!

Beth said...

All of the products you mention sound great. I'd love to try the OMG! Pretzels and Carribrew in particular. I'll mention the magnesium spray to my kids, they work out a lot.

Agnes Dela Cruz said...

So many new products to try! The coffee and the pretzels would go perfectly together. :)

Marysa said...

What a neat expo to go to. It would be neat to go to one of these. I know I would have fun sampling all of these different items.

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