Expo West is the largest trade show in the natural and organic products industry. It takes place annually in March at the Anaheim Convention Center in California. This year’s expo was attended by over 65,000 people and 3,000 exhibiting brands.
It’s an exciting time for established brands looking to expand their shelf space and especially for new brands, as they meet with retailers, who also attend. Tons of new products are showcased. Some so new, they aren’t sold anywhere. Some don’t even have packaging, yet. There is a lot of excitement as connections are made to get new products to YOU.
My non-scientific calculation was that over 25% of the brands at this year’s Expo West had at least one gluten-free product. So I put on my tennis shoes (actually boots the first day, which was a terrible mistake) and covered as much ground as I could during my two days attending Expo West.
Disclosure: I attended Expo West as a Blogger, which means I was provided a free media badge to attend. While at Expo West, I, like all attendees, had the opportunity to sample many products. Additionally, some exhibitors gave me samples to try at home.
Some of the links on this post are affiliate links. To learn more, visit our Disclosures.
Consumers want to know what’s in a product. Labeling, especially front-of-package labeling, and independent certifications are trending.
Whether plant-based, fair trade, or gluten-free (definitely gluten-free), shoppers with specific buying values want clear labeling.
As gluten-free consumers, clear labeling is critical. We need to know our food is safely gluten-free.
According to New Hope, the company that brings us Expo West:
Transparency is no longer just about where food comes from or which farmer grew it. Considering food tech, climate change, inequity issues and increasing use of vague terms such as natural, clean or sustainable, consumers want to know the who, what, where, when, why and how of the products they are buying—and they depend on retailers to help them navigate it all. Certifications, audits and dietary guidelines also help. Companies can also achieve transparency by disclosing company goals (and progress toward them), ingredient lists and new initiatives. The key to success is to be clear, authentic and truthful, which also means being vulnerable.Nancy Coulter-Parker, content marketing director, New Hope Network
40% of consumers intend to purchase plant-based meat products in 2023 (Datassential’s 2023 Food Trends). There is growth in the vegetarian and vegan market, as well as with those simply wanting to eat less meat.
Food manufacturers are visibly keyed into this trend. Plant-based products were all over Expo West.
Just like plant-based, everywhere I turned there were products using sugar substitutes. From beverages to baked goods and candy, low-sugar and no-sugar products had a big presence at Expo West.
As keto and low-carb diets are on the rise, consumers are looking for ways to enjoy their favorite sweets with low or no sugar. These products are also marketed to diabetics and those needing a low glycemic diet. Commonly appearing ingredients in these low and no-sugar products were: erythritol, coconut sugar, monk fruit, and allulose.
I recommend first consulting with a doctor or a registered dietician regarding using sugar substitutes in your diet.
The “free-from” categories are based on consumer diets that exclude something: free from gluten, free from dairy, free from meat… These are all growing.
According to Jeanne Reid of the Gluten Intolerance Group, within the gluten-free category, she sees growth in the following:
- baking mixes: including innovative ingredients, okara, cassava, coconut, pea, almond, lentil, buckwheat, carob, hemp seed
- staples: spices, seasonings, sauces, dressings
- Asian flavors: sriracha, soy, pad Thai, masala
- pasta: especially plant-based, including green peas, cauliflower, spinach, and sweet potato
Keep reading for some of the best and newest gluten-free products on the market. As well as a few not even on the market, yet.
I have included links to buy or to find a store near you if the products are currently available. For the handful of products that aren’t out, yet, you’ll see links to the company’s website where you can watch for the product to drop.
Fit Joy (gluten-free replacement for “Ritz” crackers)
Fit Joy has one of the most exciting products I saw at Expo West, Fit Joy Cracker Rounds. Launching in June or July, these crackers are made for those in the gluten-free crowd who miss Ritz crackers. These are not currently available in stores, but you can stalk the Fit Joy Store Finder, Amazon, and Thrive Market. Fit Joy’s existing gluten-free pretzels are widely available, and you can use the store finder to locate them near you.
Righteous Gelato makes gluten-free Cookies and Cream Gelato! Actually, everything they make is gluten-free (and some dairy-free). Gluten-free cookies and cream, however, is so rare it deserves to be called out. Currently, Righteous Gelato is sold widely in Canada and in select stores in the US, but the company is working to expand in the US market. Fingers crossed!
Sweet Laurel Baking Mixes
Sweet Laurel baking mixes and baked products are all gluten-free and grain-free. Use the Store Locator feature to find Sweet Laurel cookie dough and mixes for pancakes, scones, and cakes. Coming soon… keep an eye out for individually packaged brownies.
Schar is certainly no newcomer to the gluten-free space, but you will love its new Hazelnut Truffles. They remind me of the Schar Hazelnut chocolate bars Miss E and I enjoyed in Greece (those are not available in the US). These Hazelnut Truffles meet exactly the same “need” in a smaller truffle form. Use the Schar store locator to find these near you or buy them on Amazon.
BeanVivo (use to make a gluten-free version of a Taco Bell burrito)
BeanVivo sells gluten-free high-protein, ready-to-eat meals in microwavable pouches. They are also organic and vegan. All of that is wonderful, but my favorite thing about BeanVivo (besides being gluten-free) is that the 3 bean chili tastes just like the filling of Taco Bell’s bean & cheese burrito. If you’ve been missing that gluten-filled fast-food favorite, check out my copycat recipe for a gluten-free Healthy Taco Bell Bean & Cheese Burrito. Buy BeanVivo Chili on Amazon.
Saucy Lips is a family-owned business offering Mexican sauces. The recipes were all created by mom, and the adult children run the business. Consumer favorites are tacos al pastor and the classic fajita! They even have mole, which is a lengthy undertaking to make from scratch. Saucy Lips are widely available at Whole Foods, Sprouts, and Amazon.
Good Crisp Company (gluten-free replacement for Pringles & Cheese Balls)
Good Crisp Company has taken the gluten out of your favorite childhood snacks. Stacked chips and cheese balls are sold in canisters that you will easily identify with their original gluten-full versions. They are widely distributed. For the stacked chips, the top sellers are the original and sour cream & onion flavors. Use the store locator to find them near you or buy them on Amazon.
Lil Bucks are a gluten-free granola alternative made of buckwheat. Perfect for those celiacs who cannot tolerate oats, Lil’bucks come in a variety of flavors and are sold in “groat”-form or in grabbable clusters (Clusterbucks). You can order on Amazon
Ethel’s Gluten-Free Dessert Bars
Ethel’s Gluten-Free Dessert Bars. Picture pies, made into bars. Not new, but they are so good they are worth mentioning if you haven’t already tried Ethel’s products. They are certified gluten-free, certified kosher, and widely available from Target to Meijer. You can read the story inside the package about Grandma Ethel. Her granddaughter, Jill, who has celiac disease, modified Grandma Ethel’s pecan dandy recipe to make it gluten-free, and still delicious. I highly recommend the pecan dandy, the bar that started it all!
Simple Mills Pop Mmms (gluten-free replacement for goldfish crackers)
Simple Mills Pop Mmms are coming to Whole Foods in July! Of all of the products I sampled at Expo West, this one has me the most excited! These diamond-shaped puffed crackers taste like goldfish!
My daughter, who was diagnosed at three and cannot remember goldfish crackers, was over the moon. We’ll be watching the shelves for these crackers. Also coming this summer is a chocolate pancake mix.
Bonus, like all Simple Mills products, these crackers contain basic ingredients you can read and understand. The Pop Mmms ingredient list is longer than most Simple Mills products, but you’ll be happy to see butternut squash first on the list.
Long a favorite in the gluten-free community for having certified gluten-free spices, Badia recently dropped its certification (to save money) and opted for in-house testing. All Badia spices are still labeled gluten-free (check the package at the time of purchase for the most up-to-date information) and are tested by Badia. Badia products are affordable and widely available, including at Walmart and Amazon. Keep an eye out for the new Lime Pepper seasoning!
Bone Brewhouse sells individual-serving packages of gluten-free, instant, chicken bone broth. Simply add water. Varieties include naked, ginger beet, Thai coconut, and lemon ginger. Order on Amazon.
Alice’s Sweet Tooth
Alice’s Sweet Tooth makes its lemon cookies with real lemon oil. They are plant-based, kosher, organic, gluten-free certified, and the flavor is excellent. Purchase on Amazon.
Wonder Monday makes delicious mini cheesecakes. They caught my attention because my kids usually request cheesecake for their birthdays. Gluten-free, store-bought, real cheesecake is a rare find. Wonder Monday’s individual-size cheesecakes are gluten-free, low carb, plant-based, sweetened with allulose, real (contain dairy) cheesecake on an almond flour crust. Flavors include Classic, Key Lime Pie (I sampled and loved this one), Strawberry Bliss, and Double Chocolate. Wonder Monday was at Expo West seeking distribution. Meanwhile, you can buy these individual-size cheesecakes online.
Mi-Del If you decide to make your own cheesecake, Mi-Del has an easy shortcut with its certified gluten-free graham-style crust and gluten-free chocolate crust. Shelf-stable, certified gluten-free, top-8-allergen-free, and non-GMO, these pie crusts are easy to find in every Walmart. Or use the store locator to find another retailer near you.
Coconut Whisk sells gluten-free and vegan mixes. No oats. The most popular are the chocolate chip cookie mix and the regular pancake and waffle mix. If you live in Minnesota, they are widely distributed. Otherwise, buy direct online and use the promo code “EXPOWEST” at checkout for 15% off.
The New Primal and Noble Made
The New Primal sells beef, chicken, and turkey jerky sticks. The chicken sticks come in unique flavors, such as pizza, cilantro lime, and buffalo chicken. We are taking some on a road trip next month! Visit The New Primal online store and use the code GOGLUTENFREELY for 15% off your entire order.
The sister brand, Noble Made, is one of my favorite brands of certified gluten-free sauces and seasonings. The company tagline is: Cut the Sugar. Keep the Flavor. And they do! These are some of your favorites, from buffalo sauce to everything bagel seasoning You can also get 15% off our order at the Noble Made online store with the same code, GOGLUTENFREELY.
Taza Chocolate is certified gluten-free and certified kosher. You can find this gourmet chocolate at Whole Foods or use the store finder. Taza Chocolate has a brand new smooth and crunchy line that just launched. The Lemon Cookie Crunch is fabulous, or go with the best-seller Wicked Dark (95% dark chocolate). I love the Mexican-style chocolate disks, which are perfect for really rich and flavorful hot chocolate.
All Yum Earth products are free from the top 9 allergens… including gluten-free. This brand allows kids with allergies and celiac disease to enjoy all the fun and festivities of every season and celebration. I love this brand and what it means for our kiddos! Yum Earth sells gluten-free versions of some of your favorite year-round candies (licorice, fruit chews, and giggles) along with seasonal gummy fruits in special shapes for holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, and Halloween. Some products are available both online and at retail stores, check the store locator. Other products, like the new Choco Yums Cake Bites Kit, are available directly from Yum Earth.
Whoa Dough is edible cookie dough. Certified gluten-free, using purity protocol oats from Canada and allulose as a sugar alternative. My favorite flavor was the sugar cookie dough. Buy Whoa Dough on Amazon.
Hope Plant-Based Dips
Hope Plant-Based Dips are certified gluten-free, as well as dairy-free, plant-based, and made with real food and good ingredients. I stumbled across this brand several years ago when looking for hummus actually made with olive oil. Thankfully, I have since also discovered the chocolate dip. With guacamole, chocolate hummus, spinach artichoke dip, and a wide variety of hummus flavors, Hope has a full line of gluten-free dips. Use the store locator to find Hope products near you.
Brazibites, popular for its traditional gluten-free cheese bread bites, has a new product coming to Sprouts in April. “Everything Bites” have all of the flavors of an everything bagel, in the form of a chewy, airy Brazibite.
The Humble Seed
The Humble Seed just got its gluten-free certification, so you may not see the certification on the packaging, yet. Keep an eye out! My husband eats seed crackers almost daily and was excited to learn about this new grain-free cracker. Check out this list of “frees”: gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, corn-free, rice-free, dairy-free, and egg-free. Buy at Sprouts or Amazon.
Like Air is another family-run business (I love these) that just got gluten-free certification for its puffed corn snack. It is gluten-free, uses non-GMO corn, and is braces-friendly. I can only describe it as similar to Pirates Booty, but richer and smoother. Varieties include butter, cheddar, pancake, and cinnamon which is launching in April. Like Air Snacks are available in Sam’s Club or online on Amazon, or use the store locator to see if they are available in a store near you.
Feel Good Foods
The company that brought us gluten-free mozzarella sticks and potstickers, is about to give us crispy jalapeño bites. They are essentially gluten-free jalapeño poppers. Feel Good Foods dices the jalpeño peppers for the perfect cheese-to-pepper ratio. They aren’t currently in stores, so keep an eye out!
Undercover Quinoa Dark Chocolate Snacks
Undercover Quinoa Dark Chocolate snacks were made by a mom on a mission to find gluten-free, healthy, and delicious snacks for her two daughters with celiac disease. They are certified gluten-free. Coming soon to Target and currently sold at Walmart.
Stubbs BBQ sauce
Stubbs BBQ sauce is a third-generation family company, now part of McCormick. Certified gluten-free, widely available, and affordable bbq sauce is a rarity. Newer flavors include jalapeño honey, smokey brown sugar, and reduced sugar.
Bakery on Main
The Bakery on Main rep chatted about oats, a hot topic in the gluten-free community. Bakery on Main’s oats are Aveeno purity protocol oats. The company tests the oats coming into the dedicated gluten-free factory. Then the finished products are tested and certified gluten-free. If you can tolerate gluten-free oats, Bakery on Main is a trustworthy brand. Buy Bakery on Main’s oatmeal and granola products on Amazon.
Smart Sweets’ motto is “Kick sugar. Keep candy.” This company has taken the sugar and gluten out of all of your favorite gummy sweets: peaches, fish, cola, sour watermelon, worms, bears, licorice, and more! Plus, the newest product, caramels. Smart Sweets are sold in Target and several other stores nationally. Use the store locator to find them near you.
TruEats is a father-son business that makes protein-based, fiber-rich flour blends. No fillers or starches to spike blood sugar. The mixes are sweetened with monk fruit and erythritol and use protein-based flours, like chickpea, buckwheat (which is not a grain at all and has nothing to do with wheat), and almonds. They are also dairy-free, and GMO-free. And of course, it’s gluten-free. I sampled the chocolate brownie, which was decadent. Currently available on Amazon, and they are hoping to be in stores soon.
King Arthur Baking Company
King Arthur, a major player in the gluten-free baking space, has just taken it up a level with its Gluten-Free ’00’ Pizza Flour. I cannot wait to try out the King Arthur flour in place of Caputo Fioriglut flour (both are made with gluten-free wheat starch) in my favorite pizza recipe!
Even newer than the Gluten-Free ’00’ Pizza Flour is King Arthur’s Gluten-Free Bread Flour, which is also made with gluten-free wheat starch.
Let’s talk about gluten-free wheat starch. If it’s new to you, it can be confusing.
Important, gluten-free wheat startch is not wheat-free, and not suitable for those with a wheat allergy.
Products made with gluten-free wheat starch are commonly eaten by celiacs in Europe, but it is relatively uncommon in the United States.
Gluten-free wheat starch is heavily processed wheat. The gluten protein (the part that is a problem for those of us with celiac disease) is removed and the starch remains. You are left with the wonderful stretchy airiness and taste of wheat flour, with none of the gluten.
To be labeled gluten-free in the United States, FDA labeling rules require that gluten-free wheat starch contains less than 20ppm, a threshold generally considered safe for individuals with celiac disease.
The King Arthur rep and I discussed testing for the Gluten-Free Bread Flour and Gluten-Free ’00’ Pizza Flour. The wheat starch coming into the factory tests below 10ppm. The final product is also tested with a goal of below 10ppm, and a guarantee of below 20ppm (per FDA gluten-free labeling rule).
As a celiac, I personally eat products made with wheat starch, if they are labeled gluten-free and sold by reputable brands within the gluten-free space. You can read more in this Go Gluten Freely article: Is Gluten-Free Wheat Starch Safe for Celiacs?
You can currently buy the Gluten-Free ’00’ Pizza Flour on Amazon or at Whole Foods. The Gluten-Free Bread flour will be on Amazon by the end of April. Both can be purchased directly from King Arthur:King Arthur Baking – Gluten-Free Bread Flour King Arthur Baking – Gluten-Free ’00’ Pizza Flour
Olivia’s Croutons makes delicious gluten-free garlic croutons. The bread for these healthier croutons is made with a whole-grain flour blend of millet, sorghum, and brown and white rice flours, along with other easily recognizable and pronounceable ingredients. Olivia’s gluten-free croutons are currently available on Amazon and coming soon to Sprouts. The company also makes seasonally-available gluten-free stuffing. While Olivia’s Croutons also makes gluten-containing products, the gluten-free items are made in a dedicated gluten-free kitchen. I’m looking forward to trying them in my favorite stuffing recipe: Slow Cooker, Gluten-Free Stuffing.
Lotus Foods’ ramen is popular in my house. My daughter considers the certified gluten-free ramen cups a must-have for flights. They make an excellent hot meal if her gluten-free in-flight order is missing. All Lotus Foods products are gluten-free, and most are certified gluten-free. They are widely available in retail stores. Use the store locator to find them by you.
Cup4Cup is a popular gluten-free flour brand. Its products are made in a dedicated gluten-free facility. Cup4Cup will be even easier to buy when the company expands to 1100 Walmart stores in April. The new chocolate brownie mix is very rich and undetectably gluten-free. The brownie mix is not yet as widely available as the Cup4Cup flour blend, but you can find it on Amazon or via the store locator.
Super Fat sells gluten-free nut butter, cookies, and mac & cheese, all available on Amazon. The products are certified: gluten-free, kosher, keto, vegan, non-GMO, and paleo. What I love most about Super Fat is that at the end of Expo West, all of its remaining products were donated to GIG Cares, an arm of the Gluten Intolerance Group dedicated to fighting food insecurity in the gluten-free community.
If you need a little help dealing with the high cost of gluten-free food, apply for a GIG Cares gluten-free care package.
To help others, sign up to volunteer or donate to GIG Cares.