Expo West Highlights & Making an Impact

Here’s some highlights of the trip out west so far…. and the first day at Expo West.  I want to show you everything that’s happening here and could write for days about what I have experienced so far!  But a girl’s gotta get to the pool before another long day of exploring new products, meeting companies and idea generation.

Speaking of idea generation, yesterday I met with the CEO of Yoforia, Luke Tashie.  If you’ve been reading my blog – you know that I am super passionate about having the highest level of quality available in foods and hold companies accountable to their marketing.  After writing about some of Yoforia’s questionable advertising and lack of ingredient disclosure, Yoforia positively responded to the attention.  The CEO not only wrote me one, but two personal letters and publicly asked if I would be willing to work with the company to improve their product offering.  Most recently, the company has conducted a course correction by finally changing and clarifying some of the marketing slogans displayed in their stores.

After meeting with Mr. Tashie yesterday, I see a lot of potential for the company and I am becoming convinced they are headed back in the right direction. Mr. Tashie is committed to making his product as clean as possible, but is only a year and half old CEO. And this may be one of the reasons Yoforia isn’t quite there yet. It’s worth noting he is already making groundbreaking partnerships with some notable organic food producers for new products, but still finds certain ingredients cost prohibitive to provide in his stores. For instance, would consumers be willing to pay more to top off their yogurt with organic gummy bears?

With persistence and the right partners and influence with formula makers and distributors, I think it is possible for Yoforia to become one of the first certified organic self serve frozen yogurt franchises.  But will they be willing to take the financial risks? Only time will tell. There are many hurdles in this space and I am up for taking on the challenge and working with Yoforia to help overcome these obstacles.  

Thank you for commenting on the multiple posts about Yoforia and sending your feedback to them directly, because this, as you can see, has made a lasting impact. It’s pretty incredible to think a blog and its readers have the power to influence positive change like this. They’ll be a lot more to come on this topic…Just wait.

On a lighter note, I ordered a juice for breakfast yesterday from room service here at the St. Regis, it was tasty – but not quite the level of quality I am used to. Lots of pulpy foam on the top of the juice.  Today I’m going to try the Laguna Whole Foods and compare… really excited about making a salad there and taking it with me to the Expo.

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I followed the juice with a quick 3 miles on the treadmill and some “made in your hotel room” oatmeal.  It was delicious.

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The first day of Expo West was overwhelming to say the least. It’s a gigantic conference of epic proportions.  To say I was like a “kid in a candy” shop is an understatement.

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Tasted a variety of micro greens… my favorite type of green to eat… so rare, so beautiful, and so nutritious.

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I visited some of my favorite products. (Hint – There will be lots of blog give aways in the future!)

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Witnessed a lot less plastic based packaging design and interesting new ways to get vegetables into children.  I particularly liked this product from Peter Rabbits Organic – 3 ingredients, 2 of them vegetables and all organic – what’s not to love?

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This was interesting new packaging design for bbq sauce.  I was not impressed however on the back of the package – I get dizzy just trying to read the ingredients.

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Tasted over my fair share of organic chocolate.  Between samples and chocolate, I didn’t have much of an appetite for lunch… but did try an organic salad from the Hilton Hotel next door to the conference (not pictured.)

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Pukkaherbs is a really cool new tea brand I came across. Their philosophy is based on Ayurvedic holistic medicine and wellness. I love the fact they are using all types of medicinal roots in this three ginger tea. AMAZING. This is first time I’ve seen galangal in anything since I was in Bali last Fall.

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Sampled some organic beer. (For the husband, not me!) Honey – this stuff was goooooood.

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Artisana Foods – An innovative raw nut butter company – has ventured into really new territory.  Combining all sorts of superfoods and medicinal herbs together with their raw nut butters.  This is really groundbreaking and I am impressed at their effort.

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I witnessed, but didn’t taste some rather suspicious organic products…

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Tried dried fruit that I had never seen or heard of from eastern europe. Pictured here are 4 different types of exotic raisins.

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I fell in love with a new bread… Manna Organic Bakeryhas been around for a long time – but I had never tried it.  I LOVED IT. The banana walnut hemp was definitely my favorite. Check out the ingredients too. I also sampled some of their new varieties that will be coming out soon. I am really excited I finally discovered this company and their products.

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And finally, it was amusing to see Mary’s Gone Crackers made into bread crumbs – I will definitely be replacing the “panko” breadcrumbs in my pantry with these. They are so clever!

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Any thoughts about the products I shared? Tomorrow I will pick the winner of the Earth Fare Travel Give Away. You can still enter here until Monday.

Do you read the Sunday paper like I do? Well you should cause I’m in the New York Times today… Check it out here.

Enjoy the Extra Sunshine Today!

Food Babe

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10 Responses to “Expo West Highlights & Making an Impact”

  1. Gillian

    I could spend hours at that Expo! Impressed by the impact you made with Yoforia – that’s awesome!! I totally grew up on Peter Rabbit juice boxes, Dad’s bbq is my sauce of choice (gluten-free), and I always grind up my Mary’s crackers to make “bread crumbs”. Really delish in my vegan pot pie recipe (made with beans and cauliflower puree).

    Thanks for sharing all of these amazing products – I wish I was there!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Gillian)

      Thanks Gillian…I’m pretty impressed with you as well. Any new product ideas ahead for the next round of Recipes to Riches? Yes – this expo really needs to be a week long – a weekend is too short to see everything!

      Reply
  2. Jessica

    This is awesome! I want to go! Do they do this every year? I am looking into the Pukka herbs now as I am kind of obsessed with Ayurvedic healing. I already kind of know, but I wish they indicated what dosha would benefit from each product in the description…

    Reply
  3. Amber

    Wow, that expo looks amazing. I’m with Gillian in that I could spend hours there. Are those bread crumbs available in stores now? I haven’t seen them yet!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Amber)

      I haven’t seen them yet – I’ll let you know when I spot them!

      Reply
  4. Faith

    I’m excited to try the new nut butter creations by Artisana! Did you get to try any of the flavors? If so, what did you think? Enjoy the rest of your trip!

    Reply
    • Food Babe (to Faith)

      I tried them all! Talk about packing a nutritional punch on top of toast!

      Reply
  5. Bethany Ugarte

    I was there all three days working at Vegetarian Plus vegan protein! Did you come by? I didn’t see you. It would have been nice to meet you after following for so long!

    Reply
  6. Jess

    I am loving your blog and all of your insights! However, how can you be so in touch with food and not with exercise? I am completely flabbergasted by this. Getting on a treadmill for 3 miles?- That’s the exercise equivalent of eating pop-chips… Let me know when you are in AZ and we chat about better forms of exercise that are low impact for your joints, and that work all of the muscles of the lower quadrant!- Your session is on the house!

    Reply

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