CHFA WEST: What’s trending and which brands we’re loving
Maybe one of our favourite weekends of the year, CHFA West (Canadian Health Food Association trade show) brings together natural food, skincare and supplement brands, to showcase their new products and new brands on the market. We always take this opportunity to see what our favourite brands are up to, try new products and check out what’s trending in the health and wellness industry. After wandering around for the better part of a day, we’ve rounded up a few of the top trends we noticed and wanted to share some of our favourite products with you.
While nut cheese isn’t necessarily a brand new trend, this was our third year at CHFA and we’ve never seen more options. It literally felt like every aisle had a different brand of nut cheese, each one so delicious. Dairy substitutes aren’t always the best, so it was exciting to try cheeses that genuinely rivalled the real thing (and this is coming from a cheese enthusiast).
FLAVOURED APPLE CIDER VINEGAR
Apple cider vinegar has a variety of health benefits, especially for digestion if you have low stomach acid. But anyone who has tried straight shots of ACV knows that it can be tough to get down. This year we noticed a few brands offering more palatable alternatives to ACV, either combining it with natural juices or herbs to help it go down more easily. We especially loved Flora’s Lemon Ginger Wellness Shot, which combines apple cider vinegar and a herbal tea blend.
This year we noticed more and more companies focusing on upcycling, either as part of their product, or for their packaging. From Cha’s Organic’s packaging to Organika’s seed paper which they use for their info sheets, it was nice to see this trend becoming more prominent. Loop was also using the concept up “upcycling” of what was once wasted food products into delicious juices, breads and other treats.
Kombucha is of course nothing new, but this year more than ever, it was EVERYWHERE! What we’ve learned through extensively tasting our way through many a kombucha is that they are definitely not all created equal. Our favourite brand hands down is Hoochy Booch Craft Kombucha. Not only do they have the best flavours, but unlike so many other brands, they infuse their kombucha with organic teas & herbs as opposed to fruit juice, juice concentrates or added sugar. And bonus, they are Vancouver locals! Other brands we are still big fans of are GTs and Rise.
WELL DAILY PICKS
After wandering around for the better part of a day, there were a few brands that definitely stood out to us, here are just a few:
We were already very much addicted to Spread’Em’s cashew based dips (the Chive and Garlic flavour to be specific), so were more than happy to sample every single one of their flavours (twice) at CHFA this year. The Jalapeno Lemon is definitely going to be our new (guilt-free) addiction.
We love the mission behind Loop, which is to offer cold-pressed juices made of “perfectly imperfect produce” (essentially they rescue the produce that no one else would use, and make juice out of it) and sour beers made out of day old bread.
Being from Ontario, we were really excited to see Greenhouse Juice on the west coast. We were told that they aren’t going to be opening any brick and mortar stores just yet, but will be selling their juices in places like Whole Foods and Choices. If you haven’t tried Greenhouse, what we love most about them is that they offer a few juice options that are made with just vegetables and no fruit (and this can be hard to find).
Within Us offers a line of collagen based products, from marine collagen powder to collagen coconut creamer. What we didn’t realize is that they are also a Vancouver-based company which is a plus as we love supporting local businesses!
They sustainably harvest and process pine pollen from the forests of BC and created into powders and tinctures. They have recently expanded their line up to include chaga mushroom harvested in Ontartio and various spruce tips — which left us wondering if it would be the next superfood trend?
We are suckers for branding, so were immediately drawn to this booth and brand we hadn’t seen before. Mutha Dukkah is a modern take on a traditional Egyptian condiment called dukkah, and is a tasty mix of good-for-you organic superfoods: nuts, seeds and spices. Great for adding to soups, salads or smoothie bowls, it’s a simple way to pack in some extra flavour or nutrients to pretty much any dish.
We were introduced this Montreal-based brands of probiotics this year, and were impressed by the various products they had for different purposes (e.g. travel, sport, women’s health, etc.). What most of us don’t realize is that when it comes to probiotics, there isn’t really a one-size-fits-all. Different strains serve different purposes, so we liked seeing this brand focus on that.
Cha’s Organics is a company we have been fans of for years, and it’s been so great to see how far they’ve come even in the three years we’ve seen them at CHFA (their booth was particularly beautiful this year). Specializing in spices, tea, coconut milk (one of very few brands than offers a coconut without emulsifiers like guar gum), and now turmeric latte mixes, Cha’s is 100% organic and fair trade (most of their products come from Sri Lanka), and you can tell they use super high quality ingredients.