Adventures at Natural Products Expo West 2012!

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After an awesome weekend of walking, eating, walking, eating, walking… and more eating,

boy, does it feel good to be back at my desk and off of my feet!
Natural Products Expo West in Anaheim was so wonderful this year,
full to the brim (much like me on the drive home) with new products from our favorite companies as well as new up and coming businesses with original, innovative ideas and ground breaking products!
With our eyes open and our minds on our consumers needs, the Lassens team spread out
to search far and wide for the next best thing to bring to the shelves.
Starting in the vitamin and supplement section of the expo,
I decided that I needed to pop on by my old friends at Megafood whole food supplements,
where I found my good buddy Tim! Tim filled me in on the new happenings at Megafood
and all about their new 100% vegan line of vitamins.
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After Megafood, I stopped by the Barleans booth, which was my favorite booth last year on account of their amazing Omega Swirls creamy “milkshakes”.
I probably consumed enough Omega 3’s for a lifetime due to my repeated trips to the Barleans booth to grab yet another sample (and another and another…).
This year I hoped for my sweet treat to return.
I never could have dreamed of the delights in store for me as I approached the booth!
Low and behold, a self serve ice cream machine of
Last year was clever, this was genius! What better, easier or more delicious way can you get kids to take their omega 3’s this summer, or anyone for that matter?!
Long story short – I died happy.

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When I got my heart beating again (and my taste buds rarin’ to go)
I proceeded to the rest of the expo, which included the highly anticipated and much awaited food zone!
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Daiya’s dairy free cheese booth, not only was visually pleasing with their shimmering leafy décor, but they also played a soothing melody on my heart strings as they served up some awesome vegan pizza and quesadillas.
And did I mention vegan Havarti? Unbelievable! 
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Rudi’s Organic Bakery premiered their new gluten-free tortillas by turning
their booth into a beachy little taco shack.
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Our wonderful Marketing Director, Erin, visits the Demand GMO Labeling booth
to sign a petition to have all companies label their use of GMOs!
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Speaking of which, Turtle Islands Tofurky hot dogs are labeled NON GMO! 
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One of the most popular products at the expo were the Popchips.
Every time I tried to visit it, It looked like a swarm of bees on a beehive.
To me, getting a picture became a hunt! Like getting a picture of a unicorn.
Crunchy, healthy and super tasty – a busy booth well earned!

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Surf Sweet had a fun and creative display as they made art out of their organic candies!

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After a quick visit with the lovely ladies of GladRags,
 we moved on into a less familiar world of discovery
where we hoped to find new and innovative products to BLOW OUR MINDS!
Here are some of our favorites!
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Coolest eco friendly toys I found, BeginAgain Toys! 
All products are made from natural rubber, 100% organic cotton, 
sustainably harvested wood, corn starch plastic and bamboo! 
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Wean Green, a line of environmentally friendly baby products and food storage!
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Feel Goodz! Awesome natural rubber flip-flop sandals!
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Moon Valley Organics beauty line! They smell as beautiful as they look!
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Another gorgeous and fragrant soap from Moon Valley Organics!
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This was an awesome and interesting find… Beer Shampoo!
 A throw back to the 60’s when apparently ladies 
would wash their hair in beer for bounce and shine.
I did get to try a sample at home and I’ll tell you now that i loved it! 
Despite my suspicions, it does not smell like a frat house
 (quite the contrary. It smelled very sophisticated indeed!)
Some beverages worth noting …. 
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Delicious, fresh and – Hey! Award Winning!
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Almond Water from Victoria’s Kitchen
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Fever Tree assorted sodas
Some fun and fancy Salsas we discovered….
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Super tasty salsa from Desert Pepper!
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Nopal Cactus Salsa!
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Tatemade Salsa–yum!
Some awesome sauces….
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Squeeze pouch pesto
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As if the packaging weren’t a delight already, these pasta sauces from Mia’s Kitchen were so yummy!
Winning VEGAN finds …
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Vegan Queso – no fat, no soy, no dairy, no cholesterol… 
Why, yes! Don’t mind if I do!
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BOLD organic vegan pizza
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The Vegan Eats & Treats and the Elegant Vegan booth had a little bit of everything …
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… Including vegan sliders and pulled pork sandwiches! 
and finally…
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Matt’s Munchies Choco-Nana!
The name may be silly, the the flavor combo can not be denied!!!
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Chocolate Fusions holiday treats. We already carry the chocolate bars at 
Lassens stores (the chamomile & honey infused white chocolate… mmmm)
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Vegan and gluten free sour worms
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Hawaiian style veggie chips
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Simple Squares gluten free confection bars.
Anything with rosemary and I’m there!
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Lassen’s team, day one!
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Like every page-turning book, thought provoking movie, awe inspiring sandwich…
unfortunately all good things must end and it was time to leave.
Did you see something you loved as much as us?
Let us know if anything that we mentioned here on this blog
made you exclaim “I want that!”
At Lassens, we’re constantly working to bring your wants, needs and desires to 
our stores and into your bellies and homes!
We hope you enjoyed walking through our experience at the expo!

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