Top Unique And Socially Impactful Food Brands At The Veg Expo 2018
Plant-based diets are growing at unstoppable rates and this year’s Veg Expo in Vancouver, BC vividly painted the picture as the number of attendees almost double from last years count to just under 20,000.
There were over 200 exhibitors innovating in the food & beverage industry and we had the privilege of getting an inside look at how they bring innovation to the growing plant-based industry.
Here are some of our favourites who particularly stood out in one or more of the below categories:
- Unique Product: Have a unique, delicious, and healthy product which is either consumed in a new way or is more integrated into our everyday life.
- Social Impact: Those passionate about social impact and are walking the walk with a cause directly baked into their product
1. Gummies For Adults & Kids
Health-based food had always been connected to boring and mediocre food. Herbaland changes that by showing that living a healthy lifestyle can be fun and delicious with their all-natural gummies.
Using a combination of bright colours and appealing cartoon designs of fruits and animals, they help make vitamins (gummies) more approachable.
Herbaland’s social channels fortify this by using bright imagery and working with influencers to show that their gummies have a place in their everyday lives.
Vegan Protein Gummies are an easy, delicious snack and one of Herbaland’s most popular products. They are a good way to fuel your training with additional protein, or for vegans and vegetarians to fill in gaps in their dietary intake.
At the Expo, their booth was a popular destination for adults and children alike were all over their gummies.
Each serving has 10g of protein, 28g of fiber and only 1g of sugar. They come in four fruit flavours: Kiwi & Friends, Papaya Paradise, Wild Berry, and Organic Banana – as well as Fantastic Fruit, a mix of all four.
Herbaland products are manufactured locally in Richmond, BC using all-natural, non-GMO ingredients.
2. Finally – A Healthy Frozen Treat
When you think of freezies, you tend to think of a sugary and artificially flavoured shard of ice in a plastic wrap. You don’t really connect it with being a healthy treat.
Tubify wanted to change that so people wouldn’t have to pick between health and great taste.
Aside from being made with 100% fruit ingredients and a base of coconut milk, Tubify’s freezies are also gluten-free, vegan, all-organic, naturally sourced and great tasting at the same time.
To provide more fresh and natural alternatives to children, Tubify has partnered up with FUEL Catering to provide their healthy frozen snack for local school’s Hot Lunch Program.
At the Veg Expo, the two owners, Casey and Emily, showed off their fun nature by having a summer-themed photo booth that gave you a physical printout of your Instagram photo.
3. Fake Meat That Tastes Like The Real Deal
Big brands like White Castle, Momofuku Nishi, and Shake Shack have been at the experimenting with placing burgers on their menu that cater to the growing vegan crowd.
The Eater went on to say White Castle’s meatless burger dubbed, ‘The Impossible Burger’ as America’s best fast food burger.
Whether you are vegan or flexitarian, you know how difficult it is to find fake meat that tastes decent or similar to the real thing for years. But this is slowly changing.
Yam Chops is a popular plant-based butcher shop based in Little Italy, Toronto that is helping drive this change.
They sell delicious meatless products like Tunaless “tuna” or Szechuan “Beef” that people are constantly asking for them on their social media. Their shop also has a curated selection of products by other vegan companies that are ready to eat-in or take out.
Narcity Toronto placed Yam Chops under their “Best of Toronto” series and a “local vegan’s paradise”.
At the expo, Yam Chops set up what was arguably a mini restaurant as they served out hundreds of jackfruit tacos. It was worth lining up for to have a second bite.
4. A Cost-Effective Way Of Reducing Cardiovascular Disease
Did you know that on average, Canadians consume double the amount of sodium than required?
Sodium is an essential nutrient for our bodies, but too much intake can lead to high blood pressure and risk of heart disease, stroke and kidney disease.
Koji Salt is a healthy alternative to regular salt, offering more flavour while drastically reducing the amount of sodium you are ingesting. It can reduce as much as 80% of the original sodium intake.
This innovative product can be added to any recipe that is wet and requires mixing.
Replacing regular salt with Koji Salt can be a cost effective way of reducing cardiovascular disease.
1. Ending The Poverty Cycle For Coffee Communities
In Nicaragua, a regular coffee harvest and production cycle takes up 6 months. Each year, harvesters and producers are left with 6 months without any income for their family and drives many to the city looking for work.
Families are pushed to ration their income for the remainder of the year and may experience months of hunger. This ends up forcing kids to abandon their schooling at an early age to take on odd jobs to help support the family.
Wize Monkey discovered that the coffee plant can produce more than just beans, the leaves can be used to create a tea with numerous health benefits as well.
This discovery shifts the coffee farmer’s dire seasonal working and income situations by providing year round work. This means more work and stable income for families and reducing the pressure of kids needing to help support the family.
Wize Monkey has helped create 1000 year round jobs for the Nicaragua coffee farms and is on the mission to end the seasonal poverty cycle for these communities.
Wize Monkey’s coffee leaf tea is ethically sourced all the way from Nicaragua and packaged locally in Vancouver, BC. The company has recently collaborated with David’s Tea and Bucha Brew and offers a wide array of delicious flavours.
2. Changing Positive Community Impact With Food
How much do you know about the ingredients that goes into your body?
Preet, founder of Feeding Change, is making moves to make you be more mindful of how the food you eat is grown, processed and treated.
Feeding Change encourages people to ask questions about how your food choices impact other your health and the environment.
They are committed to selling coconut products that are sourced from hand-picked farms in Southern Thailand.
Feeding Change also creates a positive social impact in their community by providing daily fresh, organic breakfast to underprivileged children in their local school districts. From their fresh Thai coconut water to vegan, nut-free, non-GMO coconut macaroons, this company puts care into every product they sell.
Miss Veg Expo? See Luckie Lifestyle’s coverage of the show.
Did we miss a local brand who deserves to be in one of the categories? Let us know!